Stealing a Peek at Russian Economic Uptick Before It Happens

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrey Biryukov – August 11, 2016) Prone to false starts since a crisis peaked last year, Russia’s economy is riding momentum that has it on the cusp of exiting the longest recession in two decades. As business sentiment perks up, leading indicators from demand for electricity to rail cargoes and container transport show the pulse of […]

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Putin: We will break any blockade

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Interfax – May 11, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin said the power blockade of Crimea was broken within a short period of time and any other blockade against Russia will be broken in the same way. “The newest technologies were used here, the work, intensive work was done. As a result, the power blockade of Crimea was broken within a […]

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What Do Russians Really Think? The Truth Behind the Polls

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Eva Hartog – February 4, 2016) [Charts here http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/what-do-russians-really-think-the-truth-behind-the-polls/558537.html] The champagne corks were already popping for New Year’s Eve celebrations when several thousand Crimeans received an unexpected phone call. The voice on the end of the phone was a pollster from the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM). The pollster had just two questions:”Do you […]

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Will Crimea’s ‘energy bridge’ save it from dependency on Ukraine?

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

Electricity in Crimea has been partially restored: On Dec. 2 an underwater cable linked the peninsula’s electricity system with a Russian electrical grid. RBTH finds out why the Russian authorities were unprepared for the peninsula’s electricity being cut off by Ukrainian activists and asks whether the energy bridge will save Crimean residents from other infrastructure failures in the future. (Russia […]

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Crimeans Putting On Brave Faces, But Frustration Mounting Over Blackout

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Pavel Novikov, Claire Bigg – November 25, 2015) As Russian authorities in Crimea scramble to restore power after a massive blackout over the weekend, residents are learning to live with thawing fridges, pitch-dark highways, and shuttered schools. The outage, caused by attacks that brought down power transmission towers in Ukraine’s Kherson region, near the isthmus linking […]

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NEWSWATCH Deutsche Welle: “Dark days on Crimea: Russia and Ukraine rattle sabers. Electricity cables cut, no trade between Ukraine proper and the Crimean Peninsula, no gas supply: Once again Ukraine and Russia seem headed for confrontation. The US and Europe fear for the future of the Minsk Protocol”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Deutsche Welle covers unfolding events in occupied Crimea, including a power outage. Crimea has recently experienced its darkest hours in memory – literally. The peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, was left in a state of emergency, deprived since November 22 of electricity from the Ukrainian mainland after persons unknown blew up a number of electricity pylons in southern Ukraine. […]

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NEWSWATCH New York Times: “Months After Russian Annexation, Hopes Start to Dim in Crimea”

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The New York Times covers unfolding events in occupied Crimea, including a power outage. No one is quite sure how long the blackout might last. The Ukrainian government has said the lines should be fixed but made no move to remove the protesters blocking repair crews. Although the Kremlin has voiced concern, it has not tried to force a solution. […]

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Ukraine Bids for Attention With Crimea Blackout

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – November 23, 2015) Even if Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to end his country’s conflict with Ukraine so he could build an alliance with Western powers to beat Islamic State — and it’s not clear at all that he does — Ukrainians wouldn’t let him. In the last minutes of Nov. 21, someone […]

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Ukrainian energy minister plans to prolong electricity contract with Russia

Electrical Yard file photo

(Interfax – October 20, 2015) Ukrainian Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn is planning to prolong the electricity import contract with Russia that expires on 31 December 2015, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported on 20 October. “We are planning to prolong the contract. Everything depends on further talks and contract conditions,” he said. Ukraine will need Russian electricity to meet peak demand […]

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Electric Yerevan and the end of apathy; Electric Yerevan may not have been an Armenian Maidan but activists hope and analysts believe it marks the end of the country’s era of apathy

Armenia Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Monica Ellena in Yerevan – July 27, 2015) The intricate mandala that Lidia painted no longer adorns the boiling tarmac in Marshal Baghramyan Avenue. The whirling white-chalked pattern got washed away as the Armenian police dismantled a nearby makeshift barricade of rubbish bins and pushed away a few hard-core demonstrators, who were camping a […]

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Power to the people; As Electric Yerevan showed, governments throughout Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia will face the risk of social and political unrest when they move to compel their citizens to pay market rates for electricity.

Electrical Yard file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow and Nick Allen in Berlin – July 27, 2015) The Electric Yerevan protests in Armenia burned brightly before police finally quashed them in early July. But the issue of electricity tariffs that sparked the protests will not go away: nearly half the countries in Emerging Europe also face a similarly […]

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Interfax: Medvedev calls agreements on electricity shipments to Ukraine and Crimea mutually beneficial

Electrical Yard file photo

GORKI. Jan 20 (Interfax) – Agreements to ship electricity to Crimea and Ukraine are beneficial to both parties, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting with Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) CEO Alexei Miller. He also said that work must continue in this area. “I think that this is a form of support, in this […]

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Business New Europe: Ukraine seeks power and coal from Russia and rebel-held east

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – December 5, 2014) Kyiv has started talks with Russia as well as with Russian-backed rebels in East Ukraine in order to source electric power and coal, as Ukraine’s national grid faces a critical shortage of fuel, Ukraine’s new energy minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said on December 4. Demchyshyn said that Ukraine is […]

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Back to the 90s – Russia to freeze energy tariffs

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – September 10, 2013) In the face of persistently high inflation and capital outflows, the Russian government has decided to freeze energy tariffs, which will give the economy a short-term boost, but will also stymie the long-term development of the economy. Times are tough in Russia after economic growth dropped […]

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Proposed Freeze on Utility Prices Seen as Politically Motivated

Electrical Yard file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – September 9, 2013) On the eve of elections, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave the government three days to prepare a feasibility study on how a possible freeze on natural monopolies’ prices next year might affect economic growth and business in general. The Cabinet on Friday was ordered to evaluate by Monday the […]

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Lavrov: problems between Russia, EU over Third Energy Package ‘artificial’

EU Map

(Interfax – BUDAPEST, May 2, 2013) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described problems between Russia and the European Union stemming from the EU’s Third Energy Package as “artificial” and expressed confidence they will be solved. “We anticipate that the problems with the Third Energy Package that some of our partners are artificially trying to create will be resolved, and […]

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Electricity sector between a rock and a hard place: Year in Review

Electrical Yard file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 9 (Interfax) – Russia’s electricity sector in 2012 became a kind of blanket that was pulled in opposite directions by two opposing forces, which were personified by the government’s former and current tsars of the sector, Igor Sechin and Arkady Dvorkovich. They pulled on two, very large, corners – RusHydro and the combination of Federal Grid Company (FGC) […]

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