Russian unemployment spans from 1.1% in St. Petersburg to 46.9% in Ingushetia

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. March 26 (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 40-fold, the Federal State Statistics Service Rosstat said in a report on employment and unemployment in February. The lowest level of unemployment, in accordance with ILO criteria, was in the […]

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Russia Open for New Investment Projects – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

DURBAN, March 27 (RIA Novosti) ­ President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday played up Russia’s potential as an investment destination as he tried to reassure investors at a summit of the world’s leading emerging market economies that the country was open for new business projects. “Let me emphasize that Russia and its economy are open for new trade and investment projects. […]

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Morgan Stanley optimistic about Russian equities

Cash, Calculator, Pen

MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) – Russia’s stock market has very strong potential for growth, Morgan Stanley analysts believe. Russian equities are currently the lowest priced among emerging markets and there are a number of reasons to expect that the discount at which they are traded will decrease, the investment bank’s analysts said in a report. Even the Russian oil and […]

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Russia Readying Help for Companies With Funds Ensnared in Cyprus

Cyprus Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov & Vladimir Kuznetsov – March 27, 2013) Russia is among the biggest losers of the crisis in Cyprus and may use its development bank to aid companies with funds trapped behind capital controls in place on the cash-strapped island, the head of the state lender said. “We are prepared to consider proposals and ideas, […]

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Kremlin Backs Cyprus Bailout Deal

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – March 26, 2013) A deal between Cyprus and European lenders was backed by the Kremlin on Monday even as top Russian officials unleashed a storm of angry rhetoric about a compulsory levy on local bank accounts included in the rescue package. President Vladimir Putin “decided to support” the agreement between Cyprus and […]

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BRICS summit to discuss global economic recovery

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

(Interfax – MOSCOW, March 26, 2013) – Proposals for global economic recovery dominate the agenda for a planned summit of BRICS on Tuesday and Wednesday. President Vladimir Putin will represent Russia at what is the fifth summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The meeting will be held in Durban, South Africa. “The pace of growth of the […]

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Russia reveals its strategy for BRICS cooperation

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yuri Paniyev, special to RBTH – March 26, 2013) Russian Foreign Ministry has released an official strategy for Russia’s participation in the BRICS association. The document stresses the need to turn the bloc into a comprehensive institution for daily cooperation on key global issues The Kremlin and Russian Foreign Ministry have released an […]

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Most Russians Suspicious of Wealth, Survey Shows

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 26, 2013) Most Russians find it distasteful when lawmakers and officials are wealthy, a survey published Tuesday said. According to a poll conducted by the Levada Center, 77 percent of Russians believe it’s either “indecent” or “criminal” for government representatives to be flush with money, Kommersant reported. An even greater proportion, 82 percent of […]

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Foreign companies operating in Russia saw little changes in the business environment in 2012

Empty Boardroom

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – March 25, 2013) The survey conducted by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) together with Fleishman-Hillard Vanguard shows that 44% of respondents noticed the improvement of the business environment (34% considers the improvement minor) versus 55% in 2011, RBC daily reported. The improvement in the quality of tax administration is accompanied by […]

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Cyprus Deposit Haircut is ‘Legalized Theft’ Says Russian Businessman

Cyprus Map

NICOSIA, March 25 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Cypriot authorities’ plans to force losses on local account holders to unlock a much-needed bailout from international lenders breach international accords and will be challenged in court, the head of the Association of Russian Businessmen in Cyprus said on Monday. The finance ministers of the 17-nation euro area agreed early on Monday on […]

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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

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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

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(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.

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(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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