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Digital industry talk belies Russian reliance on oil

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Subject

The St Petersburg economic forum.

Significance

Digital technologies were discussed as Russia's economic future at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 1-3, but the bulk of commercial deals concerned the mainstay sector, oil and gas. The presence of US and other foreign companies bolstered the event's political message that Russia was not isolated despite Western sanctions.

Impacts

  • Despite greater optimism, modest economic recovery is vulnerable to oil price volatility.
  • EU and especially US sanctions seem less likely to fall away than before, impeding foreign investment.
  • Laws allowing the state to control the cyber sphere may dampen some investors' interest in digital sector investment.
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