Political observers have long suggested that an increasingly self-confident Russia is acting more and more like its former Soviet incarnation. The statement certainly applies to the country’s oil output, with new figures from November showing that oil production reached 10.78 million tons per day in October. This is the highest level since the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991.
The low ruble combined with lower production costs put Russia in a position to increase production, despite the low oil price, to around USD 45 per ton. This trend is increasing the pressure on Russia's "peers" in OPEC. The relationship between the oil group and the largest oil producer outside the organization is further strained by the fact that Russia refused to send its usual observer delegation to the OPEC meeting Friday.