Poverty rate in Russia went down in 2012 – Russia’s Statistics Agency

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – March 25, 2013) The number of people with incomes below the survival minimum in Russia in 2012 went down to 15.8 million people from 18 million in 2011, Russia’s Statistics Agency Rosstat has reported. The poverty rate (the percentage of people with incomes below the survival minimum) in Russia in 2012 decreased to 11.2 percent from 12.7 percent […]

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Russian rejects Cyprus to embrace China

Cyprus Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – March 25, 2013) The news images on Friday were dripping with symbolism. A Cypriot delegation lead by Finance minister Michael Sarris was on its way out to the airport having failed to secure a 10bn rescue package from the Kremlin, while newly anointed Chinese premier Xi Jinping was on his way in from the […]

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AmCham’s Andrew Somers to Step Aside

File Photo of American Chamber of Commerce in Russia Event

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 22, 2013) Andrew Somers will step aside after 12 years as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. Somers has informed the business association’s board that this will be his last year at its helm, AmCham said Friday. “He will move to the private sector and will begin an association in this […]

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Far East Plan Approved by Cabinet, Despite Siluanov’s Opposition

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – March 22, 2013) The Cabinet on Thursday backed a plan to invigorate the economy of the Far East, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the government would later this month formally ask the parliament to slash taxes for new business projects in the region. Plans to develop the remote and sparsely populated […]

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Russian Monetary-Policy Changes Are Possible, Putin’s Pick Says

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Artyom Danielyan & Olga Tanas – March 22, 1013) Russia’s central bank may change its monetary policy even as its new leadership focuses on continuity, said Elvira Nabiullina, President Vladimir Putin’s nominee to take over as Bank Rossii chairman in June. “Policy continuity should be maintained, because the credibility factor is very important in the banking […]

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POLICY STATEMENT: Vladimir Putin approved Policy Concept on Russia’s participation in BRICS

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

(Kremlin.ru – March 21, 2013) The document defines the role of BRICS members in today’s international system and outlines the prospects for developing the association. The Policy Concept sets forth the fundamental principles and contents of Russia’s foreign policy towards BRICS nations. Russia considers its work within BRICS one of its strategically important foreign policy priorities. The document also outlines […]

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EU, Cyprus Act ‘Like Bull in China Shop’ – Russian PM

Cyprus Map

GORKI (Moscow Region), March 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday slammed the European Union and Cyprus for what he described as their dismal management of the island nation’s debt woes. Medvedev told journalists from European media outlets in an interview that the mishandling of the crisis had undermined confidence in financial institutions, in Cyprus and […]

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Interview: Russian Economist Discusses Moscow’s Stance On Cyprus Crisis

Cyprus Map

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – March 20, 2013) As the financial crisis deepens in Cyprus, attention is focusing on Russia’s role in preventing the Mediterranean island nation from going bankrupt and exiting the eurozone. RFE/RL’s Claire Bigg spoke to Natalya Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank. RFE/RL: Michael Sarris, the Cypriot finance minister, was in Moscow this week to discuss the […]

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Cyprus Loan Request Spurned by Russia in Moscow, Sarris Says

Cyprus Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer & Ilya Arkhipov – March 21, 2013) Russia rebuffed Cyprus’s request for a bailout loan as the euro-area nation sought to salvage talks in Moscow by wooing investment in its energy reserves. Russia is unable to provide loans and will instead consider making investments in the Cypriot energy industry, the island nation’s Finance Minister […]

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Contraction of Russia’s Smaller Cities Creating Serious Social, Economic and Political Problems

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 21, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-contraction-of.html) The death of Russian villages is already an old if very sad story, but that country’s economic decline is now leading to the contraction of the population of many small and mid-sized cities, a development that has received little attention but that entails enormous social, economic and […]

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BRICS format is non-military – top Russian diplomat

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

MOSCOW. March 21 (Interfax) – The BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will not form a military alliance and will center its efforts on tackling economic and social issues, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “I would like to reiterate once again that BRICS is not a bloc directed against third states. This principle was firmly […]

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Putin Nominates Economic Aide as Head of Central Bank

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ President Vladimir Putin has submitted to the State Duma the candidacy of his economic advisor, Elvira Nabiullina, for the head of Russia’s Central Bank, the Kremlin said on Wednesday. Putin first proposed Nabiullina’s candidacy on March 12 at a meeting with incumbent Central Bank chief Sergei Ignatyev, who has served three successive terms and […]

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Capital outflow from Russia slows to $6 bln in Feb – Klepach

Hands Opening Envelope Containing Cash

MOSCOW. March 20 (Interfax) – Capital outflow from Russia was approximately $6 billion in February, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach told reporters. “Our estimate so far is about $6 billion,” Klepach said. In other words, outflow slowed in February but outflow for the first two months of the year was still above the official forecast for the whole year. […]

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Capital Outflow Exceeded Annual Forecast In Just 2 Months

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 20, 2013) Net capital outflow from the Russian economy has already exceeded the official forecast for the whole of 2013, despite slowing down moderately in February, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said Wednesday. According to the ministry’s estimate, capital outflow in February was about $6 billion, whereas in January the Russian economy leaked […]

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Four BRICS Deals Expected When Putin Visits Africa

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Rajeev Sharma – March 20, 2013) NEW DELHI ­ At least four deals will be reached at a BRICS summit that President Vladimir Putin will attend in South Africa next week, including the establishment of a business council and a consortium of think tanks from BRICS countries, a senior Indian official said. Also high on […]

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Morgan Stanley Reduces Russia’s Growth Forecast

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow  Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – March 19, 2013) Morgan Stanley joined the ranks of those predicting a sluggish period for the Russian economy Monday as it cut its 2013 growth forecast to below 3 percent. The New York-based investment bank lowered its expectations for this year’s growth to 2.9 percent, down from the 3.1 percent it predicted […]

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Only 1.45% of Russians say ready to invest in stock market

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – March 19, 2013) Only 1.45% of Russians or 13% of the economically active population, are ready to invest in the stock market, a situation that has remained unchanged in the past five years, Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) Director Lyudmila Presnyakova said, citing research done for the Moscow Exchange. “The financial literacy of the population […]

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Russian Lenders Face Billions in Losses Due to Cypriot Levy

Cyprus Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – March 19, 2013) The proposal by the Cypriot authorities to introduce a levy on the country’s bank deposits as part of a plan to bail out its economy drew harsh criticism from Moscow on Monday, with the largest Russian lenders facing multibillion-dollar losses as a result of the measure. President Vladimir Putin […]

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First Locally Generated Rating Ups Russia, Downs U.S.

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 18, 2013) Russia has begun to publish its own sovereign debt ratings in a move that is widely seen as a challenge to the grade given by U.S. rating agencies, which the Kremlin has said is not completely fair. Domestic rating agency Expert RA issued its first sovereign debt ratingsthis week, with Russia getting […]

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Can Russia Repeat Last Year’s GDP Growth?

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Viktor Kuzmin, special to RBTH – March 18, 2013) Russia led the G-8 and ranked second among BRICS countries in terms of economic growth rates in 2012. Experts make guesses whether Moscow will be able to replicate its performance in 2013. Russians have always had an appetite for risk ­ something the year […]

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Credit, not oil, to fuel Russia’s growth, says prognosis

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anastasia Matveyeva, Moskovskiye Novosti – March 18, 2013) Over the next few years, stagnation awaits the Russian economy, competitiveness of Russian producers will decline and the growth of incomes will slow down. This is the judgment of the consensus-prognosis for 2013-2014, published by the Center for Development at the Higher School of Economics. The economy […]

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Experts Raise Eyebrows on New Central Bank Chief

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Marina Maximova, special to RBTH – March 18, 2013) The appointment of new Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiulina sparked debates about the future of Russia’s monetary policy and banking system. While some experts are sceptical about Nabiullina’s competence others remain optimistic. After Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Russia’s former economic minister Elvira Nabiullina […]

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New Central Bank Chief likely to Focus on Growth

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tim Wall, RBTH – March 15, 2013) Elvira Nabiullina will probably increase Kremlin control over the regulator, but have to balance conflicting demands for looser monetary policy and lower inflation. While President Vladimir Putin’s nomination of Elvira Nabiullina, a former economy minister, as Russia’s new Central Bank chief, has been hailed as a […]

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Nabiullina Likely to Pursue Dovish Policy, Yield to Political Pressure

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – March 14, 2013) Asked to end speculation about the identity of the next chairman of Russia’s Central Bank, President Vladimir Putin promised an “unexpected” candidate who would be well received. When it did come, the announcement that presidential adviser and former Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina would fill the post was a […]

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Without an Inspiring Project, Russia Will Disintegrate, Moscow Scholar Says

Map of Russia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 14, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-without-inspiring.html) Unless Russia’s “ruling class” comes up with a sufficiently grandiose project capable to inspire the population and give it a new “passionate impulse,” there is little chance that the country will remain “a unified state,” according to a scholar at the Presidential Academy of Economics and State […]

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Siluanov Predicts Start of Major Privatizations in H2

Anton Siluanov file photo

GORKI. March 12 (Interfax) – Russia’s first major privatizations will begin in the second half of this year, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. “We have not considered the timing, but I think that in any event the start will be in the second half,” Siluanov responded when asked when the first major privatizations would begin during a meeting conducted […]

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Kremlin Embarks on Personnel Intervention at Central Bank

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

MOSCOW. March 13 (Interfax) – One of the most suspenseful appointment decisions of the past year has come to an unexpected expected conclusion. On one hand, Kremlin adviser Elvira Nabiullina only recently emerged as a potential candidate to replace Sergei Ignatyev as chairman of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR). On the other, after President Vladimir Putin said that he […]

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Experts Shed Light on Russia’s Capital Flight

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Ben Aris, special to RBTH – March 11, 2013) Some $350 billion has fled Russia since the 2008 global crisis. But things aren’t as bad as they seem. Genuine capital flight is only half the official figure, according to a new study by Ernst & Young, together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund […]

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Fund chief finds mixed messages on Russia’s pensions

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – March 11, 2013) It would be hard to find expats in Moscow who deny that life has become more comfortable here since 2000 – more expensive, but more comfortable. Yet some people, such as Alexander Lorenz, do look back with nostalgia, The chairman of the Raiffeisen Pension Fund, he arrived in Moscow […]

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Hatreds of Deeply Divided Russian Population ‘Saving’ Putin, Commentator Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 11, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/03/window-on-eurasia-hatreds-of-deeply.html) The hatreds Russians feel toward others past and present domestic and foreign are an important reason why Vladimir Putin has been able to maintain himself in power even at a time when polls show that an increasing number of the citizens of his country do not actively […]

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Why Russians are sobering up

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Ben Aris, special to RBTH – March 11, 2013) Russians’ legendary capacity for hard drinking is finally being challenged ­ by a changing work ethic and a Kremlin crackdown. Faced with Russia’s alarming demographic decline, the government is getting serious about tackling the country’s legendary love of strong liquor. This January, stiff new […]

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A champion for businessmen’ rights uses influence against raiders

Boris Titov file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Tim Wall, RBTH – March 11, 2013) Russian Presidential Commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights Boris Titov gives an insight he is helping businessmen successfully deal with pressure from officials through the courts. Boris Titov, Russia’s foremost producer of sparkling wines, knows all too well what it’s like to face pressure from officials. But now, […]

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300,000 Self-Employed Russians Quit Over Tax Hikes

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW, March 11 (RIA Novosti) ­ – Almost 300,000 self-employed Russians have quit business in Russia in the past three months due to social tax hikes, an Economics Ministry official said on Monday. From January 1, 2013, the Russian government doubled the annual fixed-sum social security tax for individual entrepreneurs to 36,000 rubles ($1,200), in a move that directly affected […]

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Russian president explains falling output with market conditions

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – Vologda, 7 March, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised that the nomination of the new head of the central bank will be a surprise for everyone. “It will be unexpected and you will like it,” Putin said when answering questions from journalists in Vologda. When answering a question about the reasons for the fall in output in […]

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Putin Pipeline to Send 25% of Russia’s Oil Exports East

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jake Rudnitsky – March 7, 2013) Russia is on course to send an unprecedented 25 percent of its crude exports to eastern markets by 2015 as rising demand from China and other Asian consumers attracts sales at the expense of Europe. The country sent 1.1 million barrels a day east in February, or 22 percent of […]

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Putin Allies Climb Up Forbes List

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – March 4, 2013) The personal fortunes of businessmen rumored to enjoy close relationships with President Vladimir Putin jumped sharply in a new Forbes ranking Monday as Facebook investor Alisher Usmanov retained the title of Russia’s richest man. The wealth of Gennady Timchenko, owner of oil trader Gunvor and a large stakeholder in […]

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Russia Will React If U.S.-EU Trade Deal Harms, Fund Says

EU Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Joseph de Weck – February 7, 2013) Russia may pivot to Asia should the proposed U.S.-European Union free-trade agreement hurt its businesses, said Kirill Dmitriev, the Chief Executive Officer of the $10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund. “Any attempt to use the liberal language of free trade to create something that excludes other countries and puts […]

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Russia Eyes Efficient Management of State-Controlled Assets

Empty Boardroom

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 39 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Sergei Blagov – March 1, 2013) The Russian government pledged to manage $3.3 trillion worth of its state-controlled assets more efficiently, including through the continued privatization of state-owned companies. However, the authorities have to prove that the latest privatization efforts could fare better than earlier attempts to […]

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China’s quiet splash in the post-Soviet space

File Photo fo Chinese Military Parade

(opendemocracy.net – Michael Cecire – February 25, 2013) Michael Hikari Cecire is a Black Sea-Eurasia regional analyst and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, where he contributes to the Project on Democratic Transitions. China’s steadily growing economic expansion throughout the world is a cause of concern for many governments. Eastern Europe and Central Eurasia are no longer […]

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Putin’s War on Three Fronts

Duma Session file photo

(Institute of Modern Russia – www.imrussia.org – Tatiana Stanovaya – February 25, 2013 – click here for original posting of article) Two important tendencies have marked Russian political life during the past few months. The first is the Kremlin’s attempt to control officials’ and lawmakers’ foreign accounts and real estate holdings. The second is the growing activity of independent bloggers […]

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Blind Lawmaker Praises New Law Requiring Firms to Hire the Disabled

File Photo of Back of Wheelchari with Line of Persons in Business Dress in Background

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – February 26, 2013) Oleg Smolin, a State Duma deputy with the Communist Party, praised a law that entered into force Monday and requires companies to hire disabled people or face fines of up to 10,000 rubles ($330). “We supported this legislation because it looks like a first step forward,” Smolin, who is […]

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US Fast Food Chains Banking on Russian Bellies

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

WASHINGTON, February 25 (By Sasha Horne for RIA Novosti) ­ The Kremlin has moved aggressively in recent months to stifle US influence on its domestic politics, but America’s fast-food footprint continues to grow across Russia’s nine time zones. Iconic US eatery McDonald’s has announced it could widen its presence from Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad to eastern Siberia in a […]

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Finance reform is key for Russia’s G20 presidency

G20 Logo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Alexander Yakovenko, special to RBTH – February 26, 2013) Alexander Yakovenko is Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom. He was previously Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The first meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors under Russia’s G20 presidency was held in Moscow […]

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10% of Russian Companies Dodged Taxes in 2012 – Central Bank

Empty Boardroom

MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) ­ Every tenth Russian company making settlements through the Central Bank’s payment system dodged tax payments in 2012, according to data posted on the regulator’s website on Tuesday. Central Bank figures show 242,000 companies or about 11 percent of the 2.2 million businesses surveyed by the regulator made zero tax payments last year, despite conducting […]

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West Vastly Underestimating Size of Illegal Capital Flight from Russia, Moscow Expert Says

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 22, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-west-vastly.html) A report by the Washington Center for International Policy’s Global Financial Integrity program suggests that illegal capital flight from the Russian Federation over the last 17 years has been “stupifyingly” large, but in fact, a Russian economic analyst says, the report’s figures understate the size and implications […]

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Russian Unemployment Hit Record Low Last Year, Revised Data Show

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Scott Rose & Olga Tanas – February 26, 2012) Russian unemployment fell to a record low of 5 percent in August and September last year, less than the initially reported 5.2 percent, revised data released by the Federal Statistics Service show. Last month’s reading of 6 percent was unchanged, the Moscow-based service said in a report […]

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Russian economy still has challenges to face, Medvedev says

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – February 25, 2013) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that in order to develop the Russian economy it is necessary to increase the share of revenues from high-tech sectors and raise the standard of living in the country. Developing high-tech sectors “There are a number of challenges in the Russian economy to which we have not yet responded. First […]

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Kremlin Writes Off Most of Cuba’s $30Bln Debt

Map of Cuba and Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – February 25, 2013) Russia has agreed to cancel most of Cuba’s $30 billion Soviet-era debt ­ the country’s biggest debt cancellation in years, according to an agreement reached during Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to the Caribbean island late last week. Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, who accompanied Medvedev during his […]

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Russia Faces Same Macro-Economic Problems USSR Did 40 Years Ago, Moscow Economist Says

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 21, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/02/window-on-eurasia-russia-faces-same.html) The Russian economy today despite some very positive numbers over the last year suffers from four macro-economic problems that not only will be difficult to correct but also resemble those the Soviet leadership faced in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the rector of the Presidential Academy […]

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