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Tag Archive for EU

STRATFOR: Viewing Russia From the Inside

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – December 16, 2014) Last week I flew into Moscow, arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. It gets dark in Moscow around that time, and the sun doesn’t rise until about 10 a.m. at this time of the year – the so-called Black Days versus White Nights. For anyone used

Business New Europe: What price European values when economic collapse is imminent?

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – KYIV BLOG: Ben Aris in Moscow – December 15, 2014) Ukraine needs about $15bn now or it will collapse, possibly in the next few weeks. Ukraine’s prime minister, Arseniy Yatseniuk, called on Western donors to come up with a $15bn rescue package to stave off collapse on December 11

Interfax: Medvedev: Russia is part of Europe but also eyeing Asia

Eurasia Map

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has disagreed with the opinion that Russia is not part of European civilization. “There is no doubt that Russia is part of Europe and European civilization and there is nothing to add here. I have always said so and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has said so

Almost half of Russians feel international isolation – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Interfax – December 8, 2014) Russians differ on whether Russia is currently in international isolation: 47 percent of the respondents surveyed by the Levada Center said they believe Russia is now in international isolation and 45 percent believe it is not. The poll, which surveys 1,600 respondents, was conducted in 134 populated areas of Russia

Interfax: EU membership Ukrainian government ultimate goal – PM

EU Map

KYIV. Dec 9 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s membership in the European Union is the Ukrainian government’s final goal, said Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. “Our ultimate goal is membership in the European Union. If it is to be attained Ukraine will have to go through serious trials, implement radical reforms, change Ukraine and make it a European

Russia does not mind not getting Mistral but it wants its money back – Putin

Mistral Class Ship

(Interfax – Moscow, December 6, 2014) Russia proceeds from the fact that the contract to supply Mistral helicopter carriers will be carried out by the French side, otherwise it expects the money that has been paid to be returned, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “There is a contract, and it is a legal document.

Putin’s Luck Runs Out

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Seated at Desk

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – December 3, 2014) Vladimir Putin has been on quite a roll for about a year now. But December 1, 2014, just might turn out to be the day the tide finally turned against him. Ever since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March sparked the worst East-West showdown since

End Of South Stream: Winners & Losers

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – December 02, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin rarely makes an uncalculated gesture or concedes defeat. So his announcement on December 1 that Russian energy giant Gazprom was pulling out of plans to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to southeastern Europe took many by surprise. Russia had

Questions appear as Russia drops controversial South Stream pipeline

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – December 2, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia is calling off the South Stream project to construct a gas pipeline to Europe via the Black Sea. According to Russian experts, the recent dramatic increase in the project’s cost could have had

Interfax: EU, NATO currently don’t see Ukraine as their member – Kuchma

Leonid Kuchma file photo

(Interfax – December 3, 2014) Ukrainian former President Leonid Kuchma believes Ukraine should be realistic about its capabilities and should come close to meeting the standards of the EU and NATO before speaking about membership in these structures. “We can head anywhere. We have indeed taken the course in the direction to the EU and

Interfax: Russia’s decision not to build South Stream increases Ukrainian gas transport system’s role – Ukrainian minister

Gas Flame file photo

(Interfax – December 3, 2014) The Ukrainian gas transport system’s role has grown with Russia’s decision to stop the construction of the South Stream pipeline, says Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan. “Surely, if there is no South Stream, our gas transport system’s role is increasing,” Prodan told journalists in Kiev on Tuesday.

Western sanctions could cost Russia up to $170 billion, say analysts

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – December 1, 2014) Russia’s overall losses due to Western sanctions over Ukraine amount to $40 billion, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has said. A further $90-100 billion will be lost because of the 30-percent drop in oil prices. According to Russian experts, rising inflation

Interfax: Russia will wait patiently for EU to come out of “sanctions spiral” – Russian Foreign Ministry

EU Map

ANOSINO (Moscow region). Dec 1 (Interfax) – Russia remains the main energy partner of the European Union and will wait for the EU to come out of the sanctions spiral, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Nebenzya said. “We are working on the assumption that there is no real alternative to mutual and equal cooperation between

Interfax: Point of no return in Russia-NATO relations has not been passed – Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Interfax – December 1, 2014) Russia does not believe the point of no return has been passed in its relations with NATO and is ready to work with the alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “The point of no return has not been passed. I think it’s in the interests of both sides not to

Far-Right Europe Has a Crush on Moscow

Europe Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 26, 2014) International headlines have been rife with speculation about Russia’s ties to Europe’s far right in recent days, since news broke that France’s right-wing National Front party had borrowed 9 million euros ($11.2 million) from the Moscow-based First Czech-Russian Bank. Disillusioned with the EU, European

VIDEO: Is Putin intentionally provoking the West?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

PBS News Hour interviews Russia scholar Kimberly Marten about Russia’s unfolding relations with the West. [click here for transcript] Said Marten: I think part of what’s going on is that Putin is trying to take attention off of the problems that the Russian economy is facing.  The sanctions are working much better than … predicted … they’re having real impact

Time for change – G20

G20 Australia 2014

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne/IntelliNews – November 17, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of the western world at the weekend at the G20 summit, the first face-to-face meeting of all the world’s leaders since the Russian annexation of Crimea in March. “At the closing of the evening program of

Putin’s Early Departure From G20 Summit a ‘Mistake’

G20 Australia 2014

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 17, 2014) President Vladimir Putin made an early departure Sunday from the two-day G20 Summit in Australia, after fielding an abundance of criticism from Western leaders over Russia’s allegedly aggressive role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, a move some observers say will inevitably be interpreted

Interfax: Former Deputy PM Arbuzov: Ukrainians misled about European integration

Ukraine Map and Flag

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 13 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian authorities are adamant to integrate with the European Union at any cost and do not wish to think about possible consequences, according to former Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov. “Western regions have always adhered to European integration because they are attracted to EU member countries culturally

Russia, Ukraine and EU sign gas deal

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe –  bne.eu – October 31, 2014) Russia, Ukraine and the EU have signed a trilateral gas agreement securing the resumption of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine from November. The deal followed a total of 30 hours in talks continuing into the night of October 30, when the sides announced an agreement. Russian Energy Minister

Russia offers EU a backdoor out of gas war

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2014) Russia’s Gazprom said on October 29 that it will seek to open talks with the new European Commission on expanding its access to the Opal pipeline, which carries gas from Germany to the heart of Central Europe. The move serves as a reminder to member states

RIA Novosti: EU-Russia Sanctions: No One Wants to Show They are Giving in First

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – The anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union will not be scaled back or rescinded in the immediate future. They’re likely to be in effect until mid-March of next year, an EU diplomatic source told RIA Novosti. But as Nigel Kushner, the CEO of W Legal, an international law

Business New Europe: Russia calls on EU to show money for Ukraine gas

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 29, 2014) Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov called on the EU to show Russia it has the money to pay for Ukrainian gas, before Russia renews gas supplies to Ukraine, which were cut after a dispute over pricing and arrears. The EU is set to disburse

NEWSLINK: Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia

Rada File Photo

[“Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia” – Reuters – Richard Balmforth and Timothy Heritage – KIEV, Oct 27, 2014]  Reuters covers Ukrainian legislative elections that favored West-leaning Ukrainian Presidenti Petro Poroshenko: Pro-Western parties will dominate Ukraine’s parliament after an election handed President Petro Poroshenko a mandate to end a separatist conflict and

Business New Europe: Ukrainians elect pro-European parliament

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Slack in Kyiv – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have elected a pro-European parliament in snap elections on October 26, according to preliminary results. The results show pro-European parties headed by President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk respectively are neck-and-neck for first place, with 20% of votes

Ukraine, the Euromaidan and the EU-A Net Assessment of Kyiv’s Course Toward Europe Since the Start of 2014

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 185 – Vladimir Socor – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – October 20, 2014) Western powers lost control and, to some extent, lost comprehension of the situation in Ukraine during the Euromaidan mass protest movement and its aftermath. They then trailed behind the events throughout Russia’s war against Ukraine to date.

Playing its own game: Belarus as a peacemaker between Russia and the West

Belarus Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Iskandaryan, special to RBTH – October 20, 2014) Alexander Iskandaryan is a political scientist and director of the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. The leadership in Minsk seems to be taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine to improve its image Relations between the West and Belarus

RIA Novosti: EU Has Misconceptions About the Origin of Ukrainian Conflict

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RIA Novosti – Alexander Mercouris – LONDON, October 21, 2014) Alexander Mercouris is a London-based lawyer The ASEM summit in Milan cruelly exposed the illusions EU leaders hold about the Ukrainian conflict, and not for the first time Ever since the February coup in Ukraine, the EU’s leaders have held to two assumptions: First, that

Success of Russia-Ukraine Gas Deal Depends on EU’s Willingness to Pay

Gas Flame file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 21, 2014) As the Russian and Ukrainian Energy Ministers sit down with European Commission chaperones to resolve their intractable natural gas dispute on Tuesday, the ball will be in the EU’s court, which is expected to finance both Ukraine’s and its own energy security. With the

RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Western Sanctions’ Goal is to Change Russia, Not to Settle Ukrainian Crisis

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) – The goal of Western sanctions is to force to change the position of the Russian Federation on the key and fundamental issues, and not to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “Our partners, who actually imposed the sanctions, do not hide the fact that

Russia Sanctions Update series

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Paul Backer, an American attorney based in Moscow, recently has offered the following original contributions to the JRL on the subject of sanctions and the response by business and legal counsel. Backer, pbacker@skalalaw.com, is with Skalaw Law, online at skalalaw.com. Part I: Russia sanctions: implementing client sanctions policies – Sept. 26, 2014 Part II: Russian companies’ failures

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Demands Gas Transit Contract With Europe, Refuses to Guarantee Safe Transit

Gas Flame file photo

KIEV, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine will not guarantee uninterrupted transit of Russian gas to Europe via its territory unless it signs a gas transit contract with EU partners, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday. “Ukraine declares that we are a state that guarantees uninterrupted transit of natural gas, but in order to guarantee

Interfax: Russia remains open to free trade zone with EU, Lavrov says

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, October 14, 2014) There is no alternative to improving relations between Russia and the EU and Russia is ready to discuss the creation of a free trade zone with the EU, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “I believe that no clear-headed person in Europe will argue with the fact that

Poroshenko Seeks Merkel’s Support as Russia Bristles

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Tony Czuczka, Kateryna Choursina- October 16, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed the Kremlin for continuing to stoke the Ukraine conflict as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that he won’t be blackmailed over the crisis. “Russia must make the decisive contribution to de-escalation,” Merkel told parliament in Berlin today. “The situation

Most Russians Think Western Sanctions Will Boost Nation’s Economy

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – October 16, 2014) Despite an economic slump and rising inflation, the majority of Russians believe that Western sanctions and Russia’s retaliatory ban on food imports will actually help the economy, a poll published Thursday showed. Only 25 percent of respondents expect sanctions to damage the Russian economy,

Moscow Times: Ex-Soviet President Gorbachev Says ‘Disunity’ With Russia Weakens Europe

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2014) Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev has called on Russia and the West to put an end to their war of words and retaliatory sanctions over Ukraine and discuss a practical solution to the crisis. “How can you conduct a dialogue if you ‘punish’ the people in power

Russia Can’t Be Blackmailed Over Ukraine, Putin Says

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – October 15, 2014) It’s futile for the U.S. and its allies to “blackmail” Russia over the Ukraine crisis, President Vladimir Putin said in a newspaper interview. Russia’s partners should remember the risks involved in disputes between nuclear powers, Putin said. He accused Barack Obama of adopting a “hostile” approach in naming

Interfax: Russia will protect itself from Western sanctions by long-term measures, says Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – October 14, 2014) Russia will use long-term measures to protect itself from Western sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said. “We will certainly adopt all the measures needed to protect ourselves from unlawful restrictions. You are aware of the resources that are being allocated for these purposes. Beyond any doubt, it will

Interfax: EU will review Russia sanctions in late October – head of EU Delegation

EU Map

MOSCOW. Oct 14 (Interfax) – The European Union plans to review its sanctions against Russia at the end of October, the Head of the EU Delegation to Russia, Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas, said when answering a question from Interfax on the sidelines of the European Business Association forum in Moscow on Tuesday. The results of such

Russia Plans Giant State Oil Services Company to Replace Western Firms

Oil Worker file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin- October 14, 2014) President Vladimir Putin has approved the creation of a state-owned oil exploration drilling corporation that will replace Western oil service companies forced to reduce operations in Russia by sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine, a news report said Monday. In a time of “sharply escalating international

RIA Novosti: Lavrov: Moscow Opposes Following ‘Primitive Scenario’ of Confrontation With West

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow opposes confrontation with the West as a joint international effort is required to counter threats to global stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. “Despite the hostile behavior of the Western partners, we still oppose sliding into the primitive scenario of a direct confrontation between Russia and

Russia’s Oil Field Actions to Take Edge Off U.S. Sanctions

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva – October 10, 2014) U.S. and European Union moves to pressure Russia by threatening its oil output overlook one detail: a mass of conventional resources across Siberia, according to Natural Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi. Russia will distribute more oil and gas deposits found in traditional areas during

Interfax: Putin hopes for adjustment of Ukraine’s association agreement with EU

EU Map

MINSK. Oct 10 (Interfax) – The delay in the enforcement of the economic bloc of Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU makes it possible to adjust the provisions of the document whose implementation could considerably harm the economy of the Customs Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “Kyiv and Brussels heeded our arguments and decided

RIA Novosti: “Less Than Half of Europeans Favor EU Involvement in Ukraine Crisis Settlement: Poll”

EU Map

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Less than half of the population of the United Kingdom, France and Germany think that the European Union should participate in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis while supporting humanitarian aid deliveries and a peacekeeping mission, with some also suggesting the provision of financial aid for the Kiev government,

RIA Novosti: Lavrov on Western Sanctions: Lifting Them Is Up to Those Who Imposed Them

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Speaking about the possible removal of sanctions against Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the matter was for Western states to decide. “Sanctions is the business of our western colleagues, the business of the countries that decided to use this illegal instrument for some reason, possibly

Business New Europe: Ukraine fails to gain from EU free trade over six months

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 8, 2014) A report by Ukraine’s Alfa Bank argues that Ukraine has failed to gain from unilateral free trade with the European Union over the first six months. Exports have indeed grown but this has little to do with the free trade zone, says the report. In April

Interfax: Poroshenko Administration: Ukraine to apply for EU membership in 2020

File photo of Barack Obama and Petro Poroshenko facing one another, with Obama gesturing

KYIV. Oct 8 (Interfax) – The Reform Strategy 2020 put forward by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko envisages Ukraine’s application for European Union membership in 2020, first deputy head of the Ukrainian Presidential Administration Hennadiy Zubko said. Zubko made the statement at a meeting with Zhytomyr region officials as he was presenting the reform program, the

Russian companies’ failures to adopt effective sanctions policies worsen sanctions’ impact

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

Subject: Sanctions, Part 2. Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2014 From: Paul Backer <pauljbacker@gmail.com> Part 2. Russian companies’ failures to adopt effective sanctions policies worsen sanctions’ impact. Russian companies failed to address key aspects of sanctions: 1. Large law firm incentives are against giving operationally useful sanctions advice and 2. Nature and enforcement of sanctions differ

EU mulls tougher sanctions on Russia as Donbass rebels advance

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 3, 2014) The EU is considering expanding sanctions against Russia if rebels in Eastern Ukraine move to capture Donetsk airport or the port city of Mariupol. Bloomberg cited a source close to the German government on October 2 discussing the option of expanding sanctions against Russia if Donetsk

RIA Novosti: Biden Says US Forced EU Countries to Impose Sanctions Against Russia

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – The United States and US President Barack Obama personally forced the European Union members to introduce sanctions against Russian over its stance on the Ukrainian crisis, US Vice President Joe Biden announced. Washington rallied “the world’s most developed countries to impose real cost on Russia” and introduce restrictive measures

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