Tag Archives: Economy

What Does Greece’s ‘No’ Vote Mean for Russia?

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova, Delphine d’Amora – July 7, 2015) As EU leaders gather Tuesday to seek an answer to Greece’s sweeping rejection of international bailout terms, Russia -the EU’s third-largest trading partner – is quietly waiting to see where the chips fall. Hailed as a victory for democracy by Greece’s new far-left leaders, the resounding “no” […]

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Russia most likely to have 10.5% inflation for year – Ulyukayev

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MOSCOW. July 7 (Interfax) – Russia is must likely to have 10.5% inflation for this year, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said. “Our official forecast is 11.9%. We won’t be changing it before we submit our adjusted forecast to the government. Officially it will remain such until September. But right now we see the most likely dynamic as falling to […]

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Perspectives on Russia: June 2015

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

Subject: Perspectives on Russia: June 2015 Date: Sun, 05 Jul 2015 From: Sharon Tennison <sharon@ccisf.org> Sharon Tennison has worked for 30 years in Russia and the CIS, creating numerous multi-year, multi-million dollar programs to provide training for Soviet and Russian citizens to gain independence and skills designed for self governance. She is founder and President of the Center for Citizen […]

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Saudi Arabia to invest $10bn in Russia via fund

Middle East Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – July 7, 2015) Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund, will invest $10bn in Russia via the government-run Russian Direct Invest Fund (RDIF), in what will be Saudi Arabia’s biggest ever investment in Russia. “This is a landmark transaction, one of the largest transactions in the realm of sovereign […]

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Ruble’s Top Forecaster Sees Deeper Rout as Companies Repay Debt

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko – July 2, 2015) Sanctions are once again catching up on the ruble. While still the best performer in the world this year, no emerging-market currency has fallen more in the past month as the effect of rebounding oil prices faded. Approaching foreign-debt payments and a shrinking economy probably mean it has a further […]

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Is Saudi Arabia Leaving The U.S. Behind For Russia?

Middle East Map

(Oilprice.com – Robert Berke – July 1, 2015) The news from the recent St. Petersburg Economic Forum, which took place from June 18 to 20, inspired a torrent of speculation on the future direction of energy prices. But the real buzz at the conference was the unexpected but much publicized visit of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince, as an emissary […]

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Russia comes out worst in wealth equality study

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – July 2, 2015) Over four-fifths of Russia’s national wealth is held by just one-tenth of the overall population, according to the 2014 Global Wealth Databook, produced by financial services group Credit Suisse. The 84.8% of wealth held by the top decile of Russia’s population was the highest proportion measured […]

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

Eurasia Map

(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

Gas Flame file photo

(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 state banks are rotten

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – June 29, 2015) Banks epitomise capitalism, but not in Russia. The financial industrial empires of men like JP Morgan, Rockefeller, Rothschild and Harriman are intimately tied up with creating the vibrant no-holds-barred capitalism in the US. In Russia the top five banks are all state-owned and their power comes […]

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Russians See Western Sanctions as Plot to Weaken Them, Poll Shows

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – June 30, 2015) Two out of three Russians believe that Western governments want to “weaken and humiliate” Russia with their sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, and only 5 percent think the measures are aimed at ending the bloodshed in Ukraine, a new poll indicates. Nearly half of Russians – 46 percent – […]

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Russia seen muddling through, with no reform on horizon

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – CONFERENCE CALL: Henry Kirby in London – June 29, 2015) Russia’s wobbling economy will likely “muddle through the next couple of years,” according to panelists at a bne IntelliNews debate on June 25. The event, entitled “Russia: Which Way Now”, held at Cass Business School in London, aimed to form a broad prognosis for […]

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Russia hails sanctions as an economic wonder tonic

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nick Allen in Berlin – June 26, 2015) You know Russia’s hurting when it moves to cut more than 10% from its defence budget, as written into the 2016-18 draft just approved by the cabinet. But you would never know it from the flow of bullish comments by the political elite about what a […]

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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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Russia gripes to WTO about EU gas market laws

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Iana Dreyer in Brussels – June 24, 2015) Russia has formally requested that a dispute settlement panel be established at the World Trade Organization to rule on its complaints against EU energy market laws. From a legal and geopoliticial perspective, this is perhaps one of the most interesting cases the WTO will have to […]

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Interfax: Extension of Russian countersanctions for one year meets interests of national economic development – Peskov

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) – The extension of Russian countersanctions for a year meets the interests of the country’s economic development, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. “Our interests, I mean the interests of the Russian Federation from the viewpoint of the economic development of the country,” he said to journalists answering the question in relation to what Russia […]

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Etalon still building as world huffs, puffs, tries to blow Russia’s house down

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris – June 24, 2015) The world may be huffing and puffing and trying to blow Russia’s house down. But the house made of brick is proving to be a match for sanctions and falling oil prices, to the extent that Russia’s leading residential developer Etalon Group continues to see its business prosper […]

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Consumer-Rights Advocate Calls Putin ‘Paranoid’ After ‘Foreign-Agent’ Slur

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, June 24, 2015) A Russian consumer-protection group lambasted by President Vladimir Putin as a “foreign agent” after giving cautionary advice to Russians traveling to annexed Crimea has accused Putin of “paranoia” and called him “badly informed.” Mikhail Anshakov, chairman of the Moscow-based Society for the Protection of Consumer Rights (OZPP), said his […]

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Business confidence in Russia falls but firms see economy improving

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – June 22, 2015) Russia has fallen from the “positive” into the “neutral” expectations range in a Europe-wide study measuring business confidence of companies operating there. Russia’s score in the Association of European Businesses’ AEB-GfK Index dropped by 9 points from 115 in 2014 to 106 this year, out of […]

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Russia’s recovery faces a reality check

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory – June 22, 2015) After a relatively positive performance for Russia’s economy in the first quarter, the second quarter has brought more of a reality check, with sharply lower numbers across many categories reported in April and May. The preliminary GDP estimate for April shows a contraction of 4.2% year […]

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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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NEWSLINK Reuters: After midnight in the library, Putin sets out his world view

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

It was two minutes before midnight when Russian President Vladimir Putin finally entered the meeting room in the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library, more than three hours late, to be interviewed by a dozen exhausted journalists. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/20/us-russia-putin-idUSKBN0P00JG20150620

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Russia’s Middle Class Won’t Return to Pre-Crisis Spending – Report

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Sam Skove – June 19, 2015) Russia’s middle class is likely to continue to spend less even after the country’s economy recovers from its current crisis, a report said Thursday, in a trend that threatens to disrupt a once-key driver of Russian economic growth. Russia’s economic crisis, triggered by low oil prices and Western sanctions […]

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Early Election Would Benefit Putin, Not Russia

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 18, 2015) Russia’s former finance minister, Alexei Kudrin, came up with an interesting idea for turning Russia’s recent economic woes to the country’s advantage: moving up the scheduled 2017 presidential election. The problem with this suggestion — which may have been floated as a trial balloon with the Kremlin’s approval — is […]

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Russian Economic Path Is in Eye of Beholder for Putin Allies

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Paul Abelsky – June 19, 2015) The Russian economy is sailing along — in the eye of the storm or toward calmer waters, depending on who’s looking. Gauging the health of the economy during the first two days of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum were President Vladimir Putin’s confidantes, past and present. Things […]

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Interfax: Russia basically contented with hydrocarbon prices, says Putin

Oil Wells File Photo

(Interfax – June 18, 2015) Current prices on the hydrocarbon market could stay at this level for the next one or two years; this affects the ruble exchange rate against the U.S. dollar and the euro, and the Russian government is contented with this, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “It’s roughly clear how the hydrocarbon market is going to develop, […]

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Kremlin Weighs Early Presidential Vote as Economic Worries Mount

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ott Ummelas, Henry Meyer – June 18, 2015) The Kremlin said experts will study the idea of calling early presidential elections, a move that could give Vladimir Putin a fresh term while his approval rating remains near a record high. “This is a new proposal,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told reporters on a conference call just […]

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Lack of Action Questions Forum’s Reform Agenda

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – ST. PETERSBURG – June 19, 2015) Amid the grandiose, ambitious slogans of this year’s International Economic Forum, which opened Thursday featuring topics ranging from building efficiency in essential state-owned enterprises to making Russian jurisdiction “more comfortable for business,” the need to shift from defining problems to acting on them loomed large across […]

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Russia and Ukraine ‘Despair Index’ scores rise after turbulent year

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – June 18, 2015) [bne Chart here http://www.bne.eu/content/story/bnechart-russia-and-ukraine-despair-index-scores-rise-after-turbulent-year] Ukraine and Russia’s ‘Despair Index’ scores – a bne IntelliNews economic measure that combines inflation, unemployment and poverty – have continued to worsen throughout 2015 following a turbulent year for both nations. Rocketing inflation in both countries has been the driving force […]

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Russia’s St. Petersburg Forum Opens to New Economic Reality

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – June 18, 2015) Last year, Russia’s flagship economic forum in St. Petersburg, traditionally held in June, was moved forward to May to make room for a meeting of the G8 group of industrial nations in the Russian resort town of Sochi. The meeting in the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics […]

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St. Petersburg Economic Forum opens under a cloud

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in St Petersburg – June 18, 2015) The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), dubbed the “Davos of Russia”, kicked off on June 18 to a reasonably heavyweight turnout from the business world despite global tensions over Ukraine. With thousands of delegates from 144 countries, this is one of the biggest events yet, but […]

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NEWSLINK CNBC: Russia faces ‘serious challenges’ and must push reforms

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Russia faces a series of challenges and should use its current period of economic crisis as an opportunity to make far-reaching reforms, Russia’s political and business leaders have told CNBC at a panel at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

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Quiet days for books on Russia published in first half of 2015

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – BOOK REVIEW: Chris Weafer in Moscow – June 18, 2015) The first half of 2015 can hardly be described as a vintage period for new books about Russia. It seems that the Ukraine crisis and recession have led to many authors delaying completing their work until there is a little more clarity on how […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Russia’s Struggling Economy Clouds St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Corporate executives head to President Vladimir’s Putin hometown for annual event

St. Petersburg

Corporate executives head to President Vladimir’s Putin hometown for annual event.

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Putin’s unrealizable dream vs. his all too-real nightmare

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – June 15, 2015) That Vladimir Putin lives in a different reality than do other world leaders is now more or less common ground. Now, two commentators have described respectively what the Kremlin leader dreams about and what his worst nightmare might turn out to be. In a commentary of Kyiv’s “Novoye vremya,” Yury […]

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Russians’ Social Bonds Increasing, Giving Them Resource for Protest, Schulmann Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 16, 2015) Social networks among Russians have grown and deepened over the last two years, according to a poll conducted by the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service, thus creating the basis for the rise of civil society and more protests by making Russians less dependent on the state. In […]

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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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NEWSLINK New York Times: Despite Tensions, U.S. Company Officials Attend Russian Economic Forum

St. Petersburg

The published forum program listed as attending Jim Rogers, chairman of the Miami financial company Beeland Interests; John Wories, president of Amsted Rail; and Jacob Frenkel, chairman of J. P. Morgan Chase International. David Bonderman, a founder of TPG capital, a private equity investor with shares in a grocery store chain here, also reportedly planned to attend. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/19/business/international/despite-tensions-us-company-officials-attend-russian-economic-forum.html?_r=0

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Interfax: West loses tool of pressure on Russia after its withdrawal from G7 – Pushkov

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

MOSCOW. June 11 (Interfax) – The value of the G7 has markedly depleted in the U.S.’ eyes without Russia, State Duma International Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov has said. “To my mind, the G7 is merely another incarnation of the Western alliance, a club for friends of the United States of America. So, I believe its value has markedly depleted even […]

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Putin-Era Prosperity Fades as More Russians Slip Into Poverty

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova, Peter Hobson – June 11, 2015) More Russians have fallen into official penury as the country’s economic troubles cause the largest increase in poverty of President Vladimir Putin’s 15-year rule. The government last week published an order raising its recognized bare minimum required to live in the first quarter of this year to […]

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Putin: Russia has no relations with G7 but ready to cooperate with its members bilaterally

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(Interfax – June 10, 2015) Russia currently does not maintain any relationship with the G7, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We have no relations with the G7, what relations could there be?” Putin told journalists following negotiations with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on June 10. At the same time, “if our partners want it, we will be developing active […]

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World’s economic centre of gravity continues shift east

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(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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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by President Obama in Press Conference after G7 Summit (excerpts)

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – Elmau Briefing Center, Krün, Germany, June 8, 2015) PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to security, the G7 remains strongly united in support for Ukraine. We’ll continue to provide economic support and technical assistance that Ukraine needs as it moves ahead on critical reforms to transform its economy and strengthen its democracy. […]

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Interfax: Peak of inflation has passed, but risks remain – Nabiullina

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

MOSCOW. June 8 (Interfax) – The Central Bank of Russia is expecting a reduction of inflation and noted that its peak has already passed, although risks exist for it, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said. “Weekly inflation has remained at 0.1% for six weeks already. According to our estimate, we have passed the peak of inflation, we are forecasting its […]

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Russia mines a richer seam; Amidst all of the doom and gloom in Russia’s economy, some of the large metals and mining companies had a surprisingly good 2014

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Mark Adomanis in Philadelphia – June 5, 2015) I’ve written before about Russia’s banking system and the annus horribilis of 2014. With the possible exception of Sberbank, Russia’s other large banks have been beset on all sides, massively writing down the value of loans they had previously extended to Russian corporations and also taking […]

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Russia’s economy doing well but not out of the woods – Central Bank chief

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(Interfax – June 4, 2015) Russia’s economy is doing better than expected but it still faces dangers and “crisis phenomena”, the head of the Central Bank said on 4 June, acknowledging the impact of “external factors”. “Current figures for the economy have proven better than economists expected but it is early to say that all the crisis phenomena have passed,” […]

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Interfax: Russia proves it can feed itself – Medvedev

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

ROSTOV-ON-DON. June 5 (Interfax) – Over the ten months after it introduced the embargo on food from the European Union, Russia has proved that it can feed itself on its own, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “The past ten months, from the moment the special economic measures were introduced, have shown or proved, if you will, the main thing: […]

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Russians Hope Worst is Over as Inflation Slows in May

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 5, 2015) Russian inflation slowed in May for the second month and the price of key foodstuffs began to fall, official data showed, signaling that the worst of a painful inflation spike may have passed. Consumer prices were 15.8 percent higher in May than in the same month a year earlier, down from the […]

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