(RIA Novosti – January 30, 2013) Reports on 30 January that two US NGOs have closed their Russian branches and taken Russian staff to Lithuania over concerns for their safety prompted a mixed reaction from public figures and commentators. Some said the move was understandable in light of changes to legislation, introduced in November 2012,
Archive for January 2013
MOSCOW. Jan 30 (Interfax) – A decision of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to terminate the Russian-U.S. agreement on law enforcement and drug control cooperation aims at a new level of bilateral relations, Foreign and Defense Policy Council Chairman Fyodor Lukyanov told Interfax on Wednesday. “This is absolutely not a cold war; why would we
WASHINGTON, January 30 (RIA Novosti) Basketball, bone marrow and 250-year-old telescopes: 2012 saw a wave of initiatives strengthening US-Russia ties at a time of escalating tensions between the two countries. Russian-speaking representatives from organizations across the United States gathered in the US capital Wednesday for the second annual Silver Archer USA awards, presented to
(Interfax – Moscow, 30 January: The newly confirmed US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is a clear-headed politician who played an important role in the development of the “reset” (in US-Russian relations), the chairman of the Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, Mikhail Margelov, thinks. John Kerry does not think that Russia is America’s enemy, the
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – January 31, 2013) More then 40 percent of Russian businessmen have moved into the shadows since the government increased social taxes in 2011, business ombudsman Boris Titov said. Titov, the government envoy for protecting the rights of small and medium-size businesses, said the introduction of a 34
MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) The Russian government must turn the country’s enormous investment potential into a real flow of foreign capital, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. Putin was addressing a government meeting discussing Russia’s economic development to 2018, including measures to boost the country’s economic growth and reduce its dependence on raw
MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) The Russian city of Volgograd will call itself Stalingrad again for a few days this year, to mark the 70th anniversary of the epic World War II battle in that city, after local officials approved the measure on Thursday. The city legislature said Volgograd would be named “hero-city Stalingrad”
Russia: Worst Crackdown Since Soviet Era; Government Should Stop Pressure, Reprisals on Civil Society
From: “HRW Press” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 Subject: Russia: Worst Crackdown Since Soviet Era For Immediate Release Russia: Worst Crackdown Since Soviet Era Government Should Stop Pressure, Reprisals on Civil Society (Moscow, January 31, 2013) The Kremlinn in 2012 unleashed the worst political crackdown in Russia’s post-Soviet history, Human Rights Watch said
(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 30, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-indifference-not.html) A majority of Russians today does not feel any sympathy for the Putin regime or is not prepared to show any “active support” or “active opposition” to it, according to Lev Gudkov, head of the Levada Center. Instead, they manifest a kind
(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Olga Doronina – January 31, 2013) On Jan. 25, the State Duma adopted an “anti-tobacco” bill that will ban smoking in public places, cigarette sales at kiosks and smoking scenes in films and cartoons. Most Russians oppose a total ban on smoking in public places, but smokers will
Important to maintain demographic trend, ensure Russian population growth to 145 mln by 2025 – Medvedev
(Interfax – January 31, 2013) Russia is capable of increasing its population to 145 million by 2025, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at an expanded government meeting on Thursday. “It is important to maintain the recent upward demographic trend, and ensure sustainable growth in the birth rate, lower the mortality rate and increase life expectancy
MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – Presently, Russians think better of the European Union than of the United States and believe it would be best for Russia to follow foreign policy objectives in Western Europe and CIS, a poll indicates. During a poll in January, 64% of the respondents said they held a positive attitude to
TALLINN. Jan 31 (Interfax) – Georgia’s foreign minister made assurances on Wednesday that her country would stick to its policy of seeking membership in the European Union and NATO. “Both for Estonia and for Georgia, joining the European Union is primarily a security issue, but, of course, it would help revise the Georgian economy as
MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – The Russian Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) has announced that relations between Moscow and Washington in combating drugs will be developing despite Russia’s withdrawal from an agreement in law enforcement with the United States. “Today Russian-American relations in the sphere of drug control are on the rise and continue advancing,”
(Business New Europe – www.bne.eu – Molly Corso in Tbilisi – January 31, 2013) In power for just three months, the government of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili appears to have struck gold in economic relations with Russia: officials in Moscow have tentatively given the green light to resuming Georgian wine and mineral water imports, reopening
(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, Combined report – January 30, 2013) Though optimistic about the eurozone’s future, Russia is not planning to buy European debt anytime soon. Instead, according to Prime Minister Medvedev, Russia should look at options for swapping part of its euro reserves and reducing dependence on hydrocarbon exports.
(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 29 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-concerns-about-sochi.html) President Vladimir Putin named Ramazan Abdulatipov, head of Daghestan in place of Magomedsalam Magomedov who will now work on nationality issues in the Presidential Administration because the Kremlin is worried continuing instability there could threaten the Sochi Olympiad in 2014, according to commentators
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – January 30, 2013) Moscow pundits gave a warm welcome to John Kerry on Tuesday, as U.S. senators were expected to confirm their veteran colleague as secretary of state. But they warned that U.S.-Russian relations were set for a potentially bumpy ride during President Barack Obama’s second
WASHINGTON, January 30 (RIA Novosti) The United States and Europe should work to persuade Russia’s leadership to let their country become more “integrated” with the West despite challenges in relations with Moscow, outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview published Tuesday. “It’s going to have to be a mutual effort, Europe
Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#20 :: 30 January 2013 E-Mail: email@example.com JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: http://russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. RIA Novosti: Bad Roads, Drinking, Utilities Russians’ Chief Concerns. 2. Christian Science Monitor: Fred Weir, Putin eyes trip to Antarctica, shuns elder image. 3. Vedomosti: NON-GOVERNMENTAL DANGER.
MOSCOW. Jan 29 (Interfax) – A little more than half of Russians are against the hypothetical dissolution of the State Duma and early parliamentary elections – about twice as many as those who want new elections, an opinion poll suggests. Moreover, more than two-thirds of Russians don’t want to take part in protests such as
MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Bad roads, the spread of alcoholism and the critical situation in the housing maintenance and utilities sector are Russia’s most pressing problems, followed by poor healthcare services and drug addiction, the Federal Statistics Service (FSS) said on Wednesday. Last September, the FSS conducted a survey covering 10,000 households in
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Gryaznova – January 29, 2013) 2012 was a busy and successful year for Russian scientists. They went on the hunt for long-hidden genomes, mysterious particles and subglacial lakes, and in their downtime deorbited multimillion-dollar satellites. The year wrapped up with the annual nationwide science festival, which aims to make
(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – January 28, 2013) When Ali applied for asylum in Austria, he thought that any kind of life would be better than facing rampant power abuses in Russia’s restive republic of Chechnya. Instead, he found himself fending off questions about whether he was a terrorist. And the scrutiny
(opendemocracy.net – Ben Judah – January 25, 2013) Ben Judah is the author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin to be published in May 2013 by Yale University Press. He is an associate fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. The Yellow Peril was a feature
MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) Russia has hired U.S. banking giant Goldman Sachs in a $500,000 deal to polish the image of the country’s investment potential abroad and lure foreign cash, Deputy Economics Minister Sergei Belyakov said. “We, officials, don’t know how to communicate with investors,” Belyakov said, explaining the government’s decision. Under a
In Russia, Eurasia is usually assumed to mean the post-Soviet space. The integration project Moscow has been actively promoting over the past four years is even called the Eurasian Union. However, the interpretation of Eurasia as the territory of the former Russian Empire and the Soviet Union is now outdated.
G20’s relevance under question, as Russia takes the helm; Russia is leading the G20, but questions stand over the group’s relevance in a time of crisis
(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – January 28, 2013) Russia’s assumption of the chairmanship of the G20 has received a lot of attention since the handover from Mexico at the beginning of December. One of the subjects of discussion at the Gaidar Forum earlier this month was the country’s potential to lead the
MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) Russia confirmed on Tuesday it is extending its “Dima Yakovlev” blacklist to include more US citizens deemed to be human rights violators, who will be banned from entering the country in the latest tit-for-tat retaliation for the US Magnitsky Act. “The Foreign Ministry is carrying out the law known
MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s Oil Wealth Fund will be totally consumed if world oil prices plunge to $60 per barrel and stay at that level for a year, experts from the Russian School of Economics (VSE) said on Tuesday. That scenario presents “a shock not only for the budget system but also
Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#19 :: 29 January 2013 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: http://russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. Government.ru: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with CNN. 2. Moscow Times/BBC Monitoring: What the Papers Say, Jan. 29, 2013. 3. Vedomosti: CHALLENGING CHUROV. The Russians fight for their right to
Will Moscow’s Use of ‘Soft Power’ in the North Caucasus Improve the Situation or Lead to that Region’s Islamization?
(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 28, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-will-moscows-use-of.html) Moscow’s new effort to use “soft power” in the North Caucasus instead of the “hard power” it has used in the past may reduce the number of young people joining the militants and thus buy the center some time — but only
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 29, 2013) The Defense Ministry’s opacity makes it difficult to determine whether anti-corruption reforms are being carried out, Transparency International said in a report released on Tuesday in which it gave Russia a “D-” grade on an A to F corruption index. The rating put Russia on par with
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 29, 2013) The net appears to be closing on former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov after military investigators opened an investigation into extravagant improvements at a dacha belonging to his brother-in-law, a news report said Monday. Serdyukov resigned in disgrace last month amid allegations that several of his close associates
(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Natalia Antonova – January 28, 2013) On Saturday, an inebriated policeman was involved in a deadly car accident on Leninsky Prospekt in Moscow. The policeman, whose official salary is 50,000 rubles a month, was behind the wheel of a Range Rover (the cost of which is about 3.5 million rubles).
Liberal governor advised by Navalny has office searched; Firebrand opposition leader Alexei Navalny may be linked to the investigation into Nikita Belykh, the head of the Kirov region.
(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva – January 29, 2013) The office of Kirov Governor Nikita Belykh was searched by investigators Tuesday in a probe into the privatization of a local vodka factory, which investigators claim was sold for a below-market price in 2010. Prominent opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny,
Johnson’s Russia List :: 2013-#21 :: 31 January 2013 E-Mail: email@example.com JRL homepage: www.russialist.org JRL on Facebook: www.facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support JRL: http://russialist.org/funding.php POLITICS 1. ITAR-TASS: RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW. Dmitry Medvedev analyses in interview with the media his presidency and comments on the Magnitsky case. 2. Nezavisimaya Gazeta: MEDVEDEV’S REASONABLE EXPEDIENCY. A brief
(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer & Ilya Arkhipov – January 28, 2013) A Moscow court opened the posthumous trial of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for Hermitage Capital Management Ltd. who died in prison, in a case condemned by Amnesty International as “Kafkaesque.” The state is appointing lawyers for Magnitsky and Hermitage head William Browder
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – January 28, 2013) Washington has effectively ended a key working group with Moscow for discussing human rights and democracy, arguing that the panel had become meaningless given recent restrictions on civil society in Russia. The United States’ withdrawal from the Civil Society Working Group of the
NOVO-OGARYOVO. Jan 25 (Interfax) – Privatization deals should be carried out on Russian markets, but the infrastructure needs to be put in place, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting dedicated to stock market development. “These deals should occur on Russian trading floors,” he said. “Privatization done within the country is testament to the
(Interfax – January 28, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev does not rule out that the issue of introducing a progressive personal income tax might be raised at some point, but not in the near future. “At some point, of course, the issue of progress taxation might be put on the agenda, it seems to
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – January 28, 2013) In a grim Soviet reality, he lived the lifestyle of a playboy. While not being a dissident, he sang satirical songs. While not writing a single song that would praise the authorities, he wrote ballads about World War II and was a symbol of
(Government.ru – January 28, 2013) Correspondent (via interpreter): Prime Minister, it is a great honour for us that you have agreed to give an interview to our newspaper, Handelsblatt. We are an economic publication and we cannot wait to hear what you will tell us. Dmitry Medvedev: I am glad to meet you and I