Russia Receives Sochi Olympics Flame

Novatek Advances as Net Seen Doubling: Russia Overnight

President Vladimir Putin on Oct. 7 fueled wagers a monopoly on liquefied natural gas exports may soon be lifted, prompting a rally in Novateks shares. The growth outlook is strong, Rob West, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in London, said by phone yesterday. He has the equivalent of a buy rating for the stock. The stocks had a very good run, but it remains a name that we like at this level. Novatek holds 25.5 percent in SeverEnergia, in a joint venture with OAO Gazprom Neft, Eni SpA (ENI) and Enel SpA (ENEL) , to produce natural gas and gas condensate, which is similar to crude oil. Novatek also has a 49 percent stake in Nortgas, which is producing gas and crude oil at the North-Urengoyskoye field. SeverEnergia, Nortgas SeverEnergia and Nortgas should begin paying dividends to shareholders in 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to Sberbank. In addition, Novatek plans to start its Yarudeyskoe crude oil field in 2015. The uptick in financials for Novatek has just started, Oleg Maximov , a senior oil and gas analyst at Sberbank CIB in Moscow, wrote in a note yesterday. He has a buy rating for the shares. If you think you have seen everything with this company, then think again. Novatek reported on Aug. 9 a 20 percent jump in second-quarter profit as sales volumes increased and prices gained.

Russia halts Lithuanian dairy imports before EU summit

We choose not to be silent this day, it said. Frustration among principals on both sides appears to be growing as government shutdown drags on in Washington More Featured Videos Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player . Indian Villagers Look to Sky for Water Supply Indian Villagers Look to Sky for Water Supply At least 11 percent of the global population does not have access to improved drinking water sources. And although the situation has improved in India, the United Nations says the world’s second most populous country still has some 97 million people living without a safe water supply. VOA New Delhi correspondent Aru Pande travels to a village in northern India where residents are turning to ancient water gathering practices. Video Egypt is in the midst of profound polarization, with supporters and opponents of the government facing off on the national stage, as well as the personal one. VOA’s Elizabeth Arrott reports on one woman trying to overcome the differences. Video As North Pole Ice Melts, More Ships Take Arctic Shortcut While many people are concerned about the negative effects of global warming, it’s also creating benefits in some cases. By the end of September, the ice at the North Pole had melted to a level well below the average for the last 25 years. VOA’s James Brooke reports from the Russian Arctic that as the ice retreats, ships have begun to fill the gap.

Torchbearers ‘kiss’ with their torches to pass the Olympic flame during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympi “Any normal person has a few questions: why were there 16,000 torches made? How much does each one cost? Is the price adequate? Finally, why don’t they work?” a group member and pro-Kremlin deputy Mikhail Starshinov asked. A spokesman for KRASMASH, a manufacturer in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk that produced the torches confirmed that 16,000 torches were made. “According to the agreement with the (Sochi) Organising Committee we don’t have the right to give out any information about the torches besides the confirmation that we made them,” he told AFP. The factory is known as the maker of ballistic missiles for Russian submarines as well as parts for the Proton rocket used in the country’s space programme. There was no tender process for the torch-making contract and it’s not clear why the factory was picked for the job. Some of the torches made for the relay have already been put up for sale on various Russian websites. One seller in the Siberian city of Chita, where the relay is set to pass through, offered a torch on the website Molotok.Ru, the Russian version of Ebay. So far only one bidder has made an offer of 40,000 rubles (about $1,200/900 euros).

Russia’s Olympic flame under fire after failures

One of the Olympic torches rises in front of a poster with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic logo just outside the Red Square in Moscow, on October 7, 2013

Russia’s consumer protection agency cited quality concerns in an announcement of the suspension, which could hit Lithuanian producers hard. According to Russian figures, 85 percent of the small Baltic nation’s dairy exports go to Russia. The suspension adds to tension between Russia and Lithuania, which currently holds the EU presidency and is hosting a summit in late November promoting closer trade ties with six ex-Soviet states that are not members of the 28-country bloc. Moscow is building its own trade alliance with former Soviet republics and is reluctant to see its neighbors, particularly Ukraine, slip further out of its sway by signing free-trade and political association agreements with the EU. Lithuania, which borders the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and joined the EU in 2004, has had transport trucks held up at Russian customs for up to 20 days at a time in recent weeks, causing heavy losses for its freight industry. Taking aim at another sector, the Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor said inspections of Lithuanian dairy imports had revealed “numerous violations” of quality and sanitary standards in products including cheeses and yoghurt. “We are seeing a sharp weakening of (Lithuania’s) position on protecting the rights and safety of consumers,” Rospotrebnadzor chief Gennady Onishchenko said, according to the Interfax news agency. Lithuania exported dairy products worth $193 million to Russia last year, according to the Russian National Milk Producers’ Union – the vast majority of it cheese that is found on many shop shelves. Russia is also stepping up monitoring of Lithuanian meat and fish imports, state-run news agency Prime reported, citing an unidentified source. Rospotrebnadzor declined to comment. POLITICAL PRESSURE Onishchenko regularly denies any geopolitical motives, but past bans on products from ex-Soviet republics – such as wine and mineral water from Georgia – have been widely seen as a form of political pressure. In Brussels, the European Commission said it had “complete confidence” in the quality of Lithuanian dairy products and called for discussions with the Russian side.