NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal/Ariel Cohen: How Russia Could Become a Food Superpower

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ariel Cohen addresses historical shifts in Russian agriculture, and what the future might hold. Russia could be a food superpower, given its vast soil and water resources. It still may become one, but the question is whether the food will be Western or Chinese. Since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, the Russian economy has […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Islamist threat to Russia looms large at Central Asia security summit

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The Kremlin is increasingly concerned about an Islamist uprising in one of the weak autocracies along its southern flank, all of which will be attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit today in Ufa, Russia

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Putin calls for BRICS to assert financial independence from West

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – July 10, 2015) With a total GDP of $32 trillion and uniting 43% of the world’s population, the BRICS grouping of emerging powers took an assertive global stance at its annual summit in the Russian city of Ufa, as it unrolled plans to rival Western-dominated financial institutions. Marking the organisation’s seventh […]

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Russian weapons face West’s economic wall

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Rakesh Krishnan Simha, special to RBTH – July 8, 2015) Despite being technologically ahead, Russian weapons face a virtual ban in the West. However, the picture is entirely different in Asia. Russian weapons are good enough for China and India – countries flush with cash and able to afford the best – but […]

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Russia Searches for Post-G8 Footing at BRICS Summit

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – July 8, 2015) The leaders of the world’s biggest emerging economies will meet in Russia on Thursday for a powwow that Moscow hopes will demonstrate the futility of Western efforts to isolate the country. The summit of the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – that opens Wednesday […]

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Interfax: Putin says Russia can overcome difficulties in international politics, economy by pooling efforts with China

Map of China and Environs, adapted from archived cia.gov image

UFA. July 8 (Interfax) – Russia is aware of the difficulties it has been encountering in international politics and the economy but is confident it can overcome them by pooling efforts with China, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “We are perfectly aware of the difficulties we have to face in the economy and international politics but, by joint efforts, […]

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RIA Novosti: No plans for military alliance with Moscow, says Chinese envoy

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(RIA Novosti – June 30, 2015) Li Hui, the Chinese ambassador to Russia, has said that Beijing has no plans to form a military alliance with Moscow. He made this statement during an in-depth interview published on the website of RIA Novosti (part of the state-owned International News Agency Rossiya Segodnya) on 30 June. (http://bit.ly/1FNjB7z) No threat to third parties […]

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Russia-China pipeline to be largest infrastructure project in world – premier

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(Interfax – June 29, 2015) Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev has announced that the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, which is set to run from Russia to China, will be the world’s largest infrastructure project, privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 29 June. Speaking at a ceremony dedicated to the start of construction of the Chinese part of the […]

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Russia’s Pivot to China Is Real

Map of China and Environs, adapted from archived cia.gov image

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 25, 2015) The search for alternative investors and markets has been a political priority for President Vladimir Putin and his government since Western countries imposed economic sanctions on Russia last year. The resulting pivot to China may seem merely cosmetic, but it is happening. Admittedly, most of the vague and extremely long-term […]

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Russian Films Burst Onto Chinese Stage

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – March 24, 2015) Russian movies, which have struggled to gain a footing abroad since the fall of the Soviet Union, are now breaking into the world’s second-largest box office just across the border in China. In 2013, the big-budget war film “Stalingrad” became the first Russian movie to get a wide release […]

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Fears of Chinese Expansion Mar Budding Alliance With Russia

Map of China and Environs, adapted from archived cia.gov image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 25, 2015) The image of Russia’s increasingly friendly relations with China took something of a battering this week when a regional governor’s stated intention to rent out swathes of land to a Chinese investment company was met at home by a storm of indignation. After the governor of the Zabaikalsky region […]

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Putin Offers Little Change at Russia’s Top Economic Forum

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko and Peter Hobson – ST. PETERSBURG, June 22, 2015) More than a year into an economic firestorm that is pushing Russia into its first recession in six years, Russia’s flagship economic forum in St. Petersburg was titled “Time to Act.” With Western sanctions over Ukraine and fallen oil prices battering the economy, thousands […]

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Russia Embraces Yuan in Move Against U.S. Dollar Hegemony

Map of China and Environs, adapted from archived cia.gov image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – June 16, 2015) Russian financial authorities, energy companies and state-controlled banks are stepping up their use of China’s yuan currency as Western sanctions spur diversification away from the U.S. dollar. In recent weeks, major Russian institutions have lined up to announce moves to use the yuan, which will likely emerge as the […]

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World’s economic centre of gravity continues shift east

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 9, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-worlds-economic-centre-gravity-continues-shift-east] The leaders of the G7 industrialised nations met in Berlin on June 7, but their decisions are becoming less and less relevant to the rest of the world as the centre of global economic gravity moves relentlessly east. In 1990, the centre of […]

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Interfax: Russians like Belarus and China, have aversion to U.S., EU and Ukraine – poll

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(Interfax – June 8, 2015) Most Russians speak ill of the United States, the European Union and Ukraine and see Belarus, China and Kazakhstan as friends, the Levada Center has told Interfax. Seventy-three percent of 1,700 respondents polled in 134 populated localities on May 22-25 expressed negative feelings for the U.S., 15 percent said the opposite, and 12 percent were […]

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US aim to “contain” Russia, China a concern – Russian security official

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(Interfax – May 30, 2015) The US policy in the Asia-Pacific region is viewed by Russia with concern as it aims to “contain” both Russia and China, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoliy Antonov has said. Separately, Antonov did not rule out “open confrontation” in the region faced with “new challenges and threats”. His remarks were reported by the Russian news […]

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Moscow Times: Russia Declared Best of BRICS in Developing Human Capital

File Photo of Flags of BRICS Nations and BRICS Logo from Past Summit

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – May 14, 2015) Russia on Wednesday claimed 26th place in a global ranking of countries’ ability to foster human capital thanks to its highly educated populace, putting it first among the BRICS group of developing nations. Among BRICS members Russia led by a mile, according to the survey of 124 economies published […]

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Building a fragile EM coalition

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MOSCOW BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – May 11, 2015) The May 9 victory parade on Red Square was a show of strength by Russia, which is locked in conflict with Ukraine and the West. But it was also a show of solidarity by some emerging markets that have sided, to a greater or lesser degree and with […]

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Is Gazprom’s changing export strategy a threat to Europe?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – James Henderson – April 17, 2015) James Henderson is Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies The visit of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping to Moscow in May to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II could also mark the next stage in Russia’s “pivot to Asia” if, as some […]

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NEWSWATCH Carnegie Moscow: From Greater Europe to Greater Asia? The Sino-Russian Entente

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Carnegie Moscow’s Dmitri Trenin considers shifting relations between Russia and China amidst tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.  He argues that, regardless of how close Russia gets with China, a rupture between Russia and the West could mean Russia is more energetic at seeking stronger connections beyond the West generally, especially in Asia. The rupture between Russia and […]

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Russia takes over presidency of BRICS group

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews- April 3, 2015) Founding a $100bn currency reserve pool, launching the New Development Bank, and progress toward the peaceful settlement of world conflicts should be the hallmarks of Russia’s presidency of the BRICS grouping of emerging powers, the country’s leadership pledged after taking the helm on April 1. “The Russian presidency will […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia

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[“American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia” – AP – James Ellingsworth – Apr. 1, 2015] AP examines the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia, such as increased prices for some farmers, instability in international projects, and evolving energy relations between Russia and China. The impact of sanctions, and a Russian embargo, on agriculture is apparently mixed. Russia’s ‘counter-sanctions’ ban on food imports […]

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China will win the war over Ukraine

Map of China and Environs, adapted from archived cia.gov image

Over the past year as Russia and the West have faced off over whose integration project Ukraine will join, China has been preparing a third way forward. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov – March 19, 2015) When a year ago Crimea became part of the Russian Federation, many said that this was the Rubicon not only for Russian […]

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Rethinking Eurasia’s future

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While an economic and political union between Russia and Europe is unlikely, it could serve the interests of both sides in an increasingly hostile world. (opendemocracy.net – Nicholas Ross Smith and Zbigniew Dumienski – March 17, 2015) Nicholas Ross Smith is a researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in the field of international relations. He has published extensively […]

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Russian Sanctions Might Be Obama’s Greatest Blunder

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(oilprice.com – Robert Berke – January 25, 2015) One of the greatest foreign policy blunders of the Obama Administration was the push by the U.S. for economic sanctions against Russia. That led to Russia fleeing into the arms of China for refuge. In response, Russia, Europe’s largest and most populated country, is now intent on moving its vast storehouse of […]

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Poll shows Russians becoming more hostile towards the West

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(Interfax – Moscow, January 13, 2015) Almost half of Russians (47 per cent) believe that Russia’s long-term foreign policy should focus on strengthening relations with China, the Levada [public opinion research] centre has told Interfax. According to a poll carried out among 1,600 people in 134 population centres of the Russian Federation on 19-22 December, the second place went to […]

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Half of Russians stand for developing relations with China – poll

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(Interfax – January 13, 2015) Nearly half of Russians (47 percent) believe that the country’s foreign policy should center on stronger relations with China in the long-term period, Levada Center told Interfax. CIS countries ranked second (12 percent), Western Europe came third (8 percent) and the United States (4 percent) and Islamic countries (1 percent) followed in a poll of […]

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China Offers Russia Help With Currency Swap Suggestion

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – December 22, 2014) Two Chinese ministers offered support for Russia as President Vladimir Putin seeks to shore up the ruble without depleting foreign-exchange reserves. China will provide help if needed and is confident Russia can overcome its economic difficulties, Foreign Minister Wang Yi was cited as saying in Bangkok in a Dec. 20 report by Hong […]

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End Of South Stream: Winners & Losers

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – December 02, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin rarely makes an uncalculated gesture or concedes defeat. So his announcement on December 1 that Russian energy giant Gazprom was pulling out of plans to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to southeastern Europe took many by surprise. Russia had long sought a direct route […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Beijing and Brisbane meetings see Russia boost economic ties with BRICS

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, Gevorg Mirzayan, RBTH – November 24, 2014) The recent APEC and G20 summits yielded important dialogue between Moscow and the West on the Ukrainian crisis and a further strengthening of ties between Russia and its BRICS partners, though relations with West remain strained, as global media were keen to emphasize. Russian […]

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Russia pivots East – or is it just playing the field?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ian Ivory of Goltsblat BLP – November 24, 2014) Ian Ivory is an English qualified solicitor and Partner at Goltsblat BLP, the Russian Practice of Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), an award-winning international law firm. Ian is a fluent Russian speaker and regularly represents both Russian and international corporations on a range of business transactions. […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards?

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[“Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards? With Russia alienated by the West and China eager to buy high-end weaponry, a joint military pact – though still a long way off – looks increasingly seductive to both” – Christian Science Monitor – Fred Weir – Nov. 21, 2014] The Christian Science Monitor reports on […]

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Why new ‘quiet rivalry’ between U.S. and China is in Moscow’s interests

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – November 17, 2014) Beijing and Washington have developed a mechanism through which one side is to inform the other of any large-scale military actions. They have also agreed on a set of rules of behavior in the event their military units collide at sea or in the […]

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China Favored to Win U.S.-Russia Showdown

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 12, 2014) In what appears to have been an expertly crafted demonstration of Eastern diplomacy, Chinese President Xi Jinping walked into the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on Monday flanked by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama. Obama and Putin maintained equally icy demeanors, while Xi – the host of this […]

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China Gets Upper Hand in Gas Deals Amid Russia-West Tensions

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – November 11, 2014) Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum on Monday, President Vladimir Putin vowed that Russia would develop all forms of trade with China, not just hydrocarbon exports. But the second-largest natural gas deal this year signed the previous day with Russia’s Gazprom suggests China is more interested in Russia’s […]

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Interfax: Moscow says Silk Road route may go via Russia

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BEIJING. Nov 10 (Interfax) – Some sections of the Silk Road route pass through Russia, according to Russian Direct Investment Fund head Kirill Dmitriyev. “The route is being chosen, and Russia should hold a very active position in this respect. The Russian president said earlier today that we had plenty of infrastructural capacity for building a part of that route […]

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If Anyone is Going to Attack Russia, It Will Be China – and When China Does So, It will Win, Khramchikhin Says

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 5, 2014) If anyone is going to carry out military aggression against Russia, Aleksandr Khramchikhin, the deputy head of the Moscow Institute for Political and Military Analysis, says, it will not be the West as many Russians think but rather China; and when China does so – and that rather than […]

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Russia signs raft of deals with China

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 14, 2014) Russia and China signed a raft of 40 agreements encompassing trade, energy, finance and technology, following a meeting between Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang, on October 14 in Moscow. The agreements demonstrate how Russia is looking for other options, after sanctions imposed on Russia in […]

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Putin Deals China Winning Hand as Sanctions Power Rival

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(Bloomberg – boomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Evgenia Pismennaya – October 13, 2014) Defying his former enemies in the U.S. and Europe may force Vladimir Putin to aid the ascent of his biggest rival in the east. Isolated over Ukraine, Russia is relying on China for the investment it needs to avert a recession, three people involved in policy planning said, […]

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Interfax: Expansion of Russian cooperation in China not end of relations with Europe – Putin

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MOSCOW. Oct 2 (Interfax) – Russia has no intention of ending its relations with its traditional partners, including Europe, and expansion of cooperation with China is a global trend, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Russia is also thinking about expansion of cooperation with China, and it didn’t begin thinking about it yesterday or due to some sanctions or political restrictions. […]

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As Russia and U.S. Struggle, China Rejoices

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – August 25, 2014) With multi-billion dollar energy deals between Moscow and Beijing recently being pushed through, China, the world’s second-biggest economy, is benefiting the most from the spiraling tension between Russia and the West over the violence in Ukraine. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban earlier this month compared the European Union’s sanctions […]

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NEWSLINK: How Obama Is Driving Russia and China Together

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[“How Obama Is Driving Russia and China Together” – The National Interest – Dimitri K. Simes – June 24, 2014] The National Interest examines President Barack Obama’s handling of the Ukraine crisis in the light of historical experience: President Barack Obama likes to say that America and the world have progressed beyond the unpleasantness of the nineteenth century and, for that matter, much of […]

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Looking down the Russia-China pipeline from Beijing’s end

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Karine Hirn, Partner and Senior Advisor at East Capital – June 17, 2014) The $400bn Russian gas pipeline deal has been hailed as a game-changer for Russia, but what does it mean for China? Pipelines are the geopolitical equivalent of marriage and China has happily tied itself to Russia for the next 30 […]

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Putin’s China Deal Won’t Help Russian Economy Much, Moscow Experts Say

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 5, 2014) The much-ballyhooed gas deal Vladimir Putin signed with Beijing will only have an “insignificant” impact on Russia’s economic development and state revenues, according to an analysis by experts at the Center of Development of the Moscow Higher School of Economics. Their 43-page report is available at opec.ru/data/2014/06/04/1233922990/KGB_70f.pdf. Its main […]

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Sino-Russia gas deal represents a fundamental change

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Jacob Grapengiesser of East Capital – June 2, 2014) After ten years of haggling, Moscow and Beijing finally signed off on game-changing $400bn gas supply deal, under which Russia will at first supply 38bn cubic metres (cm) of gas to China over 30 years from 2018. Moscow and Beijing are to share the […]

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Russia-China gas deal spells trouble for the dollar

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – INVISIBLE HAND – Liam Halligan in London, Editor-at-Large of BNE – May 28, 2014) The St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), now in its 18th year, was less well attended than usual. The absence of various US and Western Europe CEOs, responding to pressure from their governments following sanctions on Russia, was heavily commented […]

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Welcome to a multipolar world

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(Business New Europe, MOSCOW BLOG – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 19, 2014) The shouting match between west and east continues, but the Russian stock market was surging on May 19, a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to arrive in China, where he is expected to sign a string of massive investment deals. Some […]

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