NEWSLINK: Russia is on the verge of change, say Valdai Club experts

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(Russia is on the verge of change, say Valdai Club experts – Valdai Discussion Club – November 8, 2012 – http://valdaiclub.com/event/51120.html) The Valdai Club announces that a “survey of the Valdai Club international experts point to conflicting trends in the development of Russian institutions and society.” Click here to read the full article: http://valdaiclub.com/event/51120.html “The text of the report both […]

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McFaul to Focus on Economic Ties

Ambassador Michael McFaul file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jonathan Earle – November 8, 2012) “I got a little bit of sleep, but I was up pretty early,” U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul said Wednesday afternoon, shortly after his boss, President Barack Obama, declared election victory. Fatigue at first appeared to blunt his characteristic cheerfulness, but as the conversation turned to what Obama’s second term […]

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Kudrin Does Not See Way Back to Govt For Now

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 6 (Interfax) – Former Russian finance minister and current head of the Civil Initiatives Committee, Alexei Kudrin, is not upset with Dmitry Medvedev, who sacked him when he was president, and does not regret quitting the government. “I will say that at the moment I do not see the conditions for my return,” Kudrin said in an interview […]

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Putin Faces Anti-Migrant Tide as Opponents Tap Resentment

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer – November 7, 2012) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opponents are looking to take advantage of a dip in his approval rating by latching on to rising anti-immigration sentiment. With the share of Russians wanting tighter immigration rules at the highest in at least a decade, Alexey Navalny, the country’s most-popular opposition […]

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Is the Kremlin Writing off Middle-Aged Russians?

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Paul Goble – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 9, Issue 201 – November 2, 2012) The Kremlin has created a new “agitation and propaganda” (agitprop) administration, which will focus on the elderly, whom the regime hopes to influence or at least keep in its corner now, and the young whom it can only hope to affect […]

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Russians slightly less confident about long-term future than before – poll

File Photo of Russian Crowd, with Russian Flag Being Waved

(Interfax – Moscow, 1 November) The majority of Russians are trying to plan their lives (60 per cent), but mainly over the short term (43 per cent), and 39 per cent of those polled are not inclined to plan for the future, sociologists have found. Among the groups most likely to try to plan for the future are young Russians […]

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Ranking Shows No Progress on Financial System

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – November 1, 2012) Russia placed 39th on a list of global financial systems compiled by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, with no improvement on last year’s position and three places lower than 2008. The goal of turning Moscow into an international financial center and making the ruble a reserve currency has […]

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Two-thirds of Russians approve of Putin’s work as president – poll

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Interfax – Moscow, 31 October) According to sociological surveys, Russians support the president, emphasize the need for reforms in the country and believe that there will be improvements in the political and economic life in the near future. Vladimir Putin’s work as president is currently approved of by 67 per cent of those surveyed, a third of citizens (32 per […]

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Report: No WTO Gains Visible Yet

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – October 29, 2012) WTO director-general Pascal Lamy and the Russian negotiation team leader Maxim Medvedkov celebrating Russia’s entry into the global trade rules club in August 2012. Accession to the World Trade Organization is generating minimal short-term economic gains for Russia, and the long-term benefits are exaggerated, ING Bank said. Russia’s entry […]

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Business Group Pushes Its Own Pension Reform

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Rachel Nielsen – October 29, 2012) As the government looks to announce another proposal next month to change the country’s pension system, business lobbying group Delovaya Rossia is stepping up its campaign against the currently proposed reforms and promoting its own. In a one-page position paper, the group flatly states that it doesn’t support the […]

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Putin Squares Off with Valdai Experts on Economy, Pussy Riot

Putin Descending a Staircase file photo

(RIA Novosti – Andrei Zolotov, Jr. – October 26, 2012) If there had been any expectations among Russia watchers of “a new Putin” coming back to the presidential office after the elections, they must have been finally put to rest after the Russian president’s meeting on Thursday with a group of political scientists and economic experts known as the Valdai […]

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[TRANSCRIPT: Putin] Meeting with Valdai International Discussion Club participants

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(Kremlin.ru – Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region – October 25, 2012) During his meeting with members of the Valdai International Discussion Club, Vladimir Putin talked about the current state of the Russian economy and scenarios for Russia’s economic development. The ninth annual conference of the Valdai International Discussion Club on The Future Is Being Made Today: Scenarios for Russia’s Economic Development is […]

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EBRD Predicts Russian Economic Slowdown in 2012-2013

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LONDON, October 26 (RIA Novosti)-The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said in a revised forecast that the Russian economy will grow more slowly than it previously projected reflecting weaker internal and external demand and growing capital outflow. “On current trends, GDP growth is expected to slow to 3.2 percent in 2012 and pick up slightly to 3.3 percent […]

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Economy Is Focal Point for Putin’s Foreign Expert Club

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – October 26, 2012) OVO-OGARYOVO ­ President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Thursday that he had to make a difficult choice when he approved the purchase of TNK-BP by state behemoth Rosneft, as the decision contradicts the government’s policy to reduce its presence in the economy. But he made it clear that the government had […]

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NEWSLINK: Hand-wringing at dinner with Putin

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Hand-wringing at dinner with Putin – Financial Times – Neil Buckley – October 25, 2012 – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ced25a3a-1deb-11e2-901e-00144feabdc0.html The Financial Times examines growing limitations on Russian economic prospects, and the resulting impact on the latest “Valdai Discussion Club” dinner: … the event, and the context, has changed a lot. In Valdai’s early years, Russia was growing at 7 per cent a […]

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Russian Economy Will Struggle to Grow 3% Per Year, Ruble to Weaken – HSBC

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – Russian GDP will grow 3% in 2012 and 2.5% in 2013, but that is as good as it will get until structural changes are implemented, Alexander Morozov, chief economist for Russia and the CIS at HSBC, said at a meeting with reporters. The ruble will continue to weaken, falling to 32.27 rubles/$1 by the end […]

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Kremlin Disagrees With Russian Think Tank’s ‘Apocalyptic’ Scenarios

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Interfax – Novo-Ogarevo – 24 October) The report issued by the Centre for Strategic Research contains unduly pessimistic scenarios for the country’s development, which can not be accepted, the Russian president’s press secretary Dmitriy Peskov has said. “The report is quite extensive, and gives an expert point of view, of which there are many. Of course, it will take us […]

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Senior Lawmaker Slams Think Tank’s Grim Forecast For Russia

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MOSCOW. Oct 24 (Interfax) – One of the leaders of the ruling United Russia party and a deputy chairman of the State Duma has given lie to a pessimistic economic forecast in a report by Russia’s Strategic Projects Center released on Wednesday, a paper that blamed the country’s alleged degradation on its leaders. “The report itself has been done not […]

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Russia’s Rising Red Dawn

Kremlin and St. Basil's

MOSCOW, October 23 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti) – The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 appeared to have sounded the death knell for the ideas of Marx and Lenin in Russia, but just over two decades on, a new wave of young and increasingly visible socialist activists are eager to hoist the red flag over the Kremlin once more. […]

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Russian Unemployment Spans From 0.6% in Moscow to 47.3% in Ingushetia

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MOSCOW. Oct 19 (Interfax) – Differentiation between the levels of unemployment in Russia’s federal districts remains strong – the gap in the districts can surpass four-fold and in the regions 80-fold, the Federal State Statistics Service Rosstat said in a report on employment and unemployment in September. The lowest level of unemployment, in accordance with ILO criteria, was in the […]

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Russian Middle Class to Number 74 Million by 2050, HSBC Predicts

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – October 15, 2012) Russia’s middle class will double to 60 percent of the population by 2050, benefiting hotels and restaurants, according to a report by HSBC Holdings Plc. (HSBA) By that time, about 74 million Russians will earn between $3,000 and $15,000 a year, making them part of the middle class, according to […]

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Kudrin Criticizes Prevalence of Social, Military Spending in Budget

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 15 (Interfax) – International Expert Council for Russia Chairman Alexei Kudrin said at a World Economic Forum session, attended by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, that the prevalence of social and military spending in the Russian budget had its shortcomings. “It was noted (during discussions on Sunday) that the structure of the budget was weak and that there […]

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Capital Outflow From Russia Will Save Economy From Overheat – Moiseyev

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

TOKYO. Oct 12 (Interfax) – The capital outflow to which Russia has fallen victim over the last several months will protect the country’s economy from a possible overheat, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev said in conversation with the press on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Tokyo. “My […]

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Utilities Russia’s Worst Nightmare – Poll

File Photo of Electrical Yard with Fence and Warning Sign

MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) – The critical situation in the housing and utilities sector is Russia’s most pressing problem with inflation only coming second, a pollster said on Monday. Over 55 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion on Social and Economic Issues said housing and utilities tariffs were […]

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Global Economic Situation Remains Uncertain, IMF Says

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TOKYO. Oct 15 (Interfax) – The ongoing uncertainty in the economic policies of developed nations is restraining investment in these countries and slowing global growth, while a decline in activity in emerging markets is making it more difficult to achieve balance in the global economy, the IMF said in a communique following a meeting of its International Monetary and Finance […]

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Pundits argue that Putin became a symbol of stability, but his policy should be adjusted to future challenges

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

(Interfax – October 7, 2012) President Vladimir Putin, who has turned 60 on Oct. 7, has gone down in history already as a statesman, who has put Russia back on the path of stability. However, demand has been growing in Russia for “a new Putin,” strong enough to accomplish fresh breakthroughs, political analysts say. “Russia approached the 21st century on […]

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Kudrin Offered Mega-Regulator Job

Alexei Kudrin file photo

STRASBOURG, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has been offered the post of head of Russia’s new financial mega-regulator, he disclosed on Monday. “Yes, I have received the offer but I’m not ready so far to discuss it in detail,” Kudrin said on the sidelines of the global forum for democracy in Strasbourg. First Deputy […]

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World Bank lowers Russia GDP growth forecast to 3.5% in 2012, 3.6% in 2013

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Oct 8 (Interfax) – The World Bank has lowered its 2012 GDP growth forecast for Russia to 3.5%, from the 3.8% it was predicting in June, the World Bank said in its latest Russian Economic Report. The 3.5% growth is the same as the World Bank forecast back in March. The World Bank also lowered its 2013 growth forecast […]

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Altai and Chechnya “Greenest Economies” in New Integrated Index

File Photo of Grozny, Looking out of Building Through Damaged Wall

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – October 4, 2012 The Altai republic and Chechnya have the cleanest economies in Russia, according to a new index released Tuesday. The index, put together by WWF Russia and state-owned news agency RIA-Novosti with the support of the Russian Geographic Society, is one of the first attempts to combine environmental threat factors, […]

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Not Possible to Support Social Protections, Large Army, Many State Properties Simultaneously – Dvorkovich

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

MOSCOW. Oct 3 (Interfax) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has called it impossible for Russia to simultaneously have a high level of social protection, a large army, and a lot of state properties. “We cannot allow ourselves to simultaneously have a very high level of social protection in a system built on paternalistic principles, at the same time […]

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TRANSCRIPT: VTB Capital RUSSIA CALLING! Investment Forum [Putin Remarks with Q&A]

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Kremlin.ru – October 2, 2012 – Moscow The Forum is taking place in Moscow on October 2-4, 2012. Among the main topics for discussion are the strategic priorities of the country’s development in terms of changes in global economic markets, the creation of the Common Economic Space and Russia’s accession to the WTO. The RUSSIA CALLING! Forum has been held […]

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The Tao of Mark Zuckerberg

File Photo of Mark Zuckerberg Gesturing

RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova – October 1, 2012 Natalia Antonova is the deputy editor of The Moscow News. I never thought that there would come a day when I would unabashedly cheer on Mark Zuckerberg. After all, even among hardcore Facebook users such as myself, it is much more fashionable to poke fun at the guy, gently or otherwise. […]

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Russia is running out of cash

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

Dmitri Travin – www.opendemocracy.net – September 28, 2012 Dmitry Travin is Research Director at the European University in St. Petersburg’s Centre of Modernization Studies As the Russian government tries to put together its budget plan for 2013-2015, it is clear that it cannot possibly meet all its pre-election promises. Dmitry Travin looks at the financial crisis facing the country. The […]

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Putin Confirms Russia’s Adherence to WTO Rules

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MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will follow the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) despite the fact that he did not sign the protocol of Russia’s accession to WTO. “Regarding my signing of the WTO accession protocol: I did not sign anything. I worked for Russia’s accession, indeed, we all worked on it, […]

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Senior MP Says USAID Knew Russia Was Unhappy With It

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(Interfax Moscow, 20 September) As early as two years ago Russia warned the USA about its grievances over the Agency for International Development (USAID), head of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Aleksey Pushkov has said. “We warned the US side a long time ago – I think this story is already two years old – that we were not […]

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Russian Finance Minister Answers Putin’s Criticism Of Three-Year Federal Budget

Anton Siluanov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, 19 September)  The Russian president’s decrees of 7 May, which reflect (Vladimir Putin’s) election campaign ideas, are a priority, and R1,145bn (36.7bn dollars) is to be spent on their implementation over the next three years, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists. “The implementation of the decrees is a priority. For all the ministries and agencies, this […]

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Russian Deputy Finance Minister Denies Abnormal Capital Flight From Country

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(Interfax – Bishkek, 20 September) The leadership of the (Russian) Ministry of Finance is sceptical about pessimistic takes and forecasts on the outflow of capital from Russia and believes that there are no grounds for this – that this is ordinary banking practice. “I see no indication of there being a withdrawal of funds from Russia. What people are calling […]

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Bureaucrats Smile in Special Economic Zone

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By Anatoly Medetsky –  Moscow Times – September 17, 2012 – JRL 2012-165 Even customs officers received praise Monday when foreign investors heaped accolades on the Alabuga special economic zone. In terms of attracted investment, Alabuga, in Tatarstan’s Yelabuga region, is the biggest of the 16 zones in the country where the federal government and regional counterparts have created favorable […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia reveals shiny state secret: It’s awash in diamonds; Trillions of carats’ lie below a 35-million-year-old, 62-mile diameter asteroid crater in eastern Siberia known as Popigai Astroblem. The Russians have known about the site since the 1970s.

Diamonds generic file photo

Russia reveals shiny state secret: It’s awash in diamonds; Trillions of carats’ lie below a 35-million-year-old, 62-mile diameter asteroid crater in eastern Siberia known as Popigai Astroblem. The Russians have known about the site since the 1970s. – Christian Science Monitor – September 17, 2012 – By Fred Weir, Correspondent – JRL 2012-165 click here to read orginal article Russia […]

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