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Tag Archive for EU

Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, Ilya Arkhipov – July 21, 2014) Russia’s richest businessmen are increasingly frantic that President Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine will lead to crippling sanctions and are too scared of reprisal to say so publicly, billionaires and analysts said. If Putin doesn’t move to end the war in

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Says U.S. Sanctions against Moscow Won’t Bust Russian Economy

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LIPETSK, July 18 (RIA Novosti) – US sanctions imposed on Russia are restraints but will not cripple the country’s economy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday. “This is a program of limiting our country, or as is accepted to say, restraining [Russia],” Medvedev told students at a metallurgical plant in Lipetsk. “Sanctions won’t cripple

‘Isolating Russia’ in the Oil and Gas Sector

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(Gordon M. Hahn – gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net – Analyst and Advisory Board Member, Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, Chicago, Ill, geostrategicforecasting.com; Analyst, Rus Strategic Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic; Senior Researcher, Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribis Group, San Jose, Calif.) Since the Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March in the wake of the revolutionary takeover in Kiev in February,

Why Russia won’t start a trade war with Ukraine this time round

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Iana Dreyer of borderlex.eu – July 11, 2014) High-level officials from the EU, Ukraine and Russia are holding a trilateral meeting in Brussels on July 11 to address Russia’s concerns about how the free trade and association pact that Brussels and Kyiv signed in late June might have

RIA Novosti: Russia Hopes for Positive Outcome of Three-Way Talks on Ukraine’s EU Association – Minister

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BRUSSELS, July 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia hopes that a three-party ministerial meeting to discuss Ukraine’s association with the European Union will produce a positive outcome, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday. Ulyukayev, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klymkin and European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht will meet for three-party talks and bilateral

Interfax: Ukraine preparing “Marshall Plan” for 2014-16 – Deputy PM

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BRUSSELS. July 8 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian people have opted to join Europe but is confronted with serious challenges, first of all connected with Russia, said Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman. “Russia’s aggression – not only military – is unprecedented. Add to this information, economic and energy aggression which aims to ruin Ukraine,” he

Moscow To Kyiv, Tbilisi, And Chisinau: EU Deals Will Cost You

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – July 6, 2014) Russia has never hidden how it feels about neighbors forging closer ties with the European Union. So it was no surprise when Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said there would be “grave consequences” for Ukraine when it signed a landmark deal on closer economic ties with Brussels on June

U.S., EU Unlikely to Invest in Ukraine’s Gas System, Analysts Say

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 5, 2014) Ukraine’s move Friday toward attempting to sell nearly 50 percent in its gas pipeline system to EU and U.S. investors does not mean that Western buyers will rush to take up the offer, as the system’s value depends on a steady supply of Russian

How Bulgaria’s Bank Run Affects Ukraine’s European Dream

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ian Wishart, Elizabeth Konstantinova – July 3, 2014) Joining the European Union was meant to give Bulgaria a fresh start. Try telling that to Anna Dimitrova. “Bulgaria didn’t gain from the EU as much as it could have, because it’s mismanaged by corrupt politicians,” said Dimitrova, a law student, in central

Concern in Russia as foreign tourist numbers slump

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Kuzmin, special to RBTH – July 3, 2014) Tourist operators in Russia have expressed alarm at a substantial drop in the number of foreign visitors coming to the country in 2014. Key figures in the tourist industry speculate that the fall in tourist numbers may be a

EU Claims Right to Reverse Flow as Russia Protests

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(The Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com - July 4, 2014) EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger on Thursday asserted European companies’ right to sell Russian gas back to Ukraine, flying in the face of warnings from Russian energy giant Gazprom as tensions continue to build over energy policy. Energy companies in the EU have an “absolute right to

RIA Novosti: USA doesn’t want greater role for EU in Ukraine resolution – Russian diplomat

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(RIA Novosti – July 2, 2014) The USA is not interested in the EU participating more actively in settling the Ukrainian crisis and for this reason, among other things, is pushing Europe towards sanctions against Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin said in an interview to state-controlled rolling news channel Rossiya 24 broadcast on

Russia’s crack pipe to Europe

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nicholas Watson, Ben Aris, Tim Gosling, Rob Whitford – June 30, 2014) The growing confrontation between Russia and the West ranges across many fronts, none more significant than in an area of rural northwest Bulgaria, where in October workers began welding pipes that will feed a natural gas compressor

Ukraine signs off on EU deal at last, but what next?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Marcus Svedberg and Aivaras Abromavicius of East Capital – July 1, 2014) Marcus Svedberg is Chief Economist, and Aivaras Abromavicius is Partner, of East Capital Ukraine signed an Association Agreement (AA) and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU in Brussels on June 27.

Putin lambasts West as violence escalates in Ukraine

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – July 2, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin lambasted the West in a speech to assembled diplomats call on July 1, although he stopped short of making new military threats against Ukraine as Kyiv resumed its antiterrorism operation in the east of the country. The

Russians Suffer from Three Misconceptions about Western Sanctions over Ukraine, Analyst Says

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 27, 2014) Russians must recognize that sanctions are “the new economic and political reality” in which they live and overcome three widespread and government-promoted misconceptions about such sanctions if the country is going to be able to cope with them as well as possible, according to

EU Association Agreements Not Seen as Threat to Russian Economy

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 27, 2014) With Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova set to sign the economic sections of association agreements with the European Union on Friday, analysts say the deals will have minimal impact on the Russian economy but will further broaden the political schism between Russia and its neighbors.

Ukraine, EU sign free trade and association deal in Brussels

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Tim Ash of Standard Chartered – June 27, 2014) This is a landmark agreement for Ukraine, and will be transformational. Poroshenko has indicated that Ukraine aims for EU membership, but this is a long run goal – likely 10-15 years away, if then. Ukraine is realistic, and understanding

RIA Novosti: Candidate Status for Ukraine Difficult to Predict – EU Commissioner

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BRUSSELS, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s chances of attaining candidate status for membership in the European Union are hard to predict, Stefan Fuele, EU Commissioner for Enlargement said. “We are not at the stage when we could even speculate about the candidate status. We just signed the association agreement, it needs to be ratified,

NEWSLINK: Ukraine Signs Trade Agreement With European Union

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["Ukraine Signs Trade Agreement With European Union" - New York Times - ANDREW HIGGINS and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN - June 27, 2014] The New York Times reports on Ukraine and the European Union reaching a sweeping trade deal, one that had been the original impetus for protests effectively upending the earlier Ukrainian regime of Viktor Yanukovych. Meanwhile, Russia

RIA Novosti: Ukraine, Moldova to Lose Billions over EU Association Deals

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MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine and Moldova’s struggling economies could face multi-billion-dollar losses after signing association agreements with the European Union, Russian experts warn. “Countries that sign this association [deal] agree to fall in line with all EU directives, standards and technical regulations – and this is at their own expense. Even if

NEWSLINK: Russian lawmakers revoke right to send troops into Ukraine

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["Russian lawmakers revoke right to send troops into Ukraine" - Reuters - June 25, 2014] Reuters covers a vote by Russia’s Parliament to formerly rescind a past authorization of military intervention in Ukraine.  The legislators acted in response to a directive from Russian President Vladimir Putin.  The authorization of force could be reinstated in short order if

NEWSLINK: Ukraine’s Ancient Hatreds

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["Ukraine's Ancient Hatreds" - The National Interest - Nikolas K. Gvosdev - June 25, 2014] The National Interest examines the Western response to the crisis in Ukraine, as well as various historical contexts for Russia, Ukraine and the region. Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced a “triune people/one people” concept disputed by outsiders, even as it impacts Kremlin policy.

RIA Novosti: Russia-EU Gas Transit Through Ukraine Compliant With Contract – Gazprom

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MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s EU-bound gas flows through Ukraine comply with transit contraparameters, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Monday. “The transit of Russian gas through Ukraine is flowing according to contract parameters with a volume over the last 24 hours of around 205 million cubic meters,” Kupriyanov said. Earlier on Monday, reports

RIA Novosti: Russia to Contest West’s Unilateral Economic Sanctions in WTO

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ST. PETERSBURG, June 20 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow intends to refer the issue of unilateral economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the West to the World Trade Organization, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday. “When the United States imposed on Russia sanctions that create negative consequences for foreign trade, we decided to challenge them

New Ukraine Foreign Minister Seen Bringing Sober Style To Kyiv Diplomacy

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(RFE/RL - Carl Schreck – June 20, 2014) One day after then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych unexpectedly scuttled plans to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union at a Vilnius summit, his envoy in Berlin took to German radio to explain Kyiv’s decision. But Pavlo Klimkin also seized the moment to express his personal frustration with

Why This Russian-Ukrainian ‘Gas War’ Is Different From The Others

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(RFE/RL – Claire Bigg – June 17, 2014) Russia has halted gas supplies to Ukraine — a major escalation of a dispute in which Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom is demanding that Kyiv settle its huge gas debt. But in many ways, what many have dubbed the third “gas war” between the two countries is

Ukrainian ‘Black Hole’ Weighs Heavy On European Business in Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – June 18, 2014) Politics took front stage at the flagship conference of the Association of European Business, or AEB, on Tuesday, where foreign companies with committed interests in Russia grappled with the economic fallout of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Business as something relatively immune to political

Gazprom’s EU customers not at risk for now

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(Business New Europe – bne.ru – Teneo Intelligence – June 17, 2014) Following the failure of negotiations on natural gas pricing and debt between Russia and Ukraine last weekend, Russian company Gazprom reduced supply volumes to Ukraine, the main transit country for gas delivered to Gazprom’s EU customers. However, Gazprom continues to deliver contracted amounts

Russia accuses West of “protecting” Ukraine at gas talks

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(Interfax – Moscow, June 15, 2014) Moscow believes that there may be a third power behind Ukraine’s intransigent position in its talks with Russia over gas. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Russian journalists on Sunday [15 June] that the Ukrainian authorities are making use of “impunity because they are being protected by our Western

RIA Novosti: Europe Ready to Consider Opal Pipeline For Future Gas Supplies – Gazprom

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MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) – If Ukraine disrupts Russian gas transit via its territory, the European Commission is ready to negotiate increased deliveries through the Opal pipeline, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Monday. “We have discussed this issue with the European Commission. It is now as follows: if we record problems with transit via

Borderlands: The View Beyond Ukraine

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(Stratfor.com - George Friedman - June 10, 2014)  Editor’s Note: This is the final installment in George Friedman’s recent series written during his journey from the Baltics, through Central and Eastern Europe and then east to Turkey and Azerbaijan. I traveled between Poland and Azerbaijan during a rare period when the forces that shape Europe appear to

NEWSLINK: Russian gas keeps flowing to Ukraine as deadline passes

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["Russian gas keeps flowing to Ukraine as deadline passes" - Reuters - June 10, 2014] Reuters reports that Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the EU have remained stable, despite the passing of a deadline over disputed Ukrainian gas bills.  Meanwhile, the European Commission continues to broker related negotiations. Natural gas supplies to Ukraine and the European Union

Russia Sees Underhanded Sanctions in Bulgaria’s Suspension of South Stream

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 10, 2014) Bulgaria’s decision to suspend construction of the Russia-led South Stream pipeline project on its territory, undermining Russia’s efforts to diversify its gas transportation infrastructure to Europe away from Ukraine, is an underhanded economic sanction thrust on Russia by the West, a top Russian diplomat

Moscow Times: Putin to Take Center Stage Among Western Leaders in Normandy

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 5, 2014) As diplomatic tensions reached a boiling point over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, President Vladimir Putin was rejected in March as host of the Group of Eight summit in Sochi, while his country was excluded altogether from the group of leading industrialized nations. But Putin’s

Leaders Start Two Days of Ukraine Diplomacy With Putin

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – James G. Neuger, Thomas Penny, Kateryna Choursina – June 5, 2014) The U.S. and its allies embarked on two days of contacts with Russian leaders in a bid to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, giving the Kremlin another chance to cut support to pro-Moscow rebels seeking to break up the country.

Negative attitude to U.S., EU reaches its maximum in Russia – poll

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(Interfax – June 5, 2014) The attitude of Russians towards the United States, the European Union and Ukraine is cooling amid the Western sanctions, and Belarus and China are liked much more, Levada Center told Interfax, quoting May poll statistics. Only 18 percent of Russians speak well of the United States now. The numbers stood

Gazprom Says U.S. Can’t Prevent European Reliance on Russian Gas

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Mazneva – June 3, 2014) OAO Gazprom (OGZD), Russia’s gas-export monopoly, said U.S. pressure won’t stop it from supplying fuel to Europe and increasing market share in the region. “We understand that the U.S., sitting high on a hill and independent of economic cooperation with us, is pushing Europe to

Ukraine still harbours doubts about benefits of EU deal

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Iana Dreyer of borderlex.eu- June 4, 2014) Ukraine and the EU are adamant both sides will sign the long-planned free trade and association deal. Yet President-elect Petro Poroshenko sowed confusion soon after his election May 25 when he asked for more time before putting pen to paper, highlighting

Russia getting support from European Commission in Ukraine gas talks – Novak

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(Interfax – June 2, 2014) The European Commission has effectively supported the Russian position in the second and third round of talks on payment of Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television. “I consider that the European Commission has behaved quite constructively at these and

RIA Novosti: Opinion: Eurasian Union’s Economic Integration Stronger than EU’s

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WASHINGTON, May 30 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – The Eurasian Economic Union is a better, more realistic step towards economic integration than the European Union, and will be more productive, said Andrew McKillop, a former chief policy analyst at the European Commission Directorate General for Energy. “It is the right decision at the right time,”

Survey Sees Less Risk of Future Economic Sanctions Against Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 30, 2014) The risk that the U.S. and European Union will slap further sanctions on Russia over Ukraine is subsiding, but the threat of a recession still looms over Russia, a Bloomberg poll of economists found. Half of the 32 economists questioned for the poll, released on Tuesday, said

Gazprom’s Miller says Ukraine will owe $5.2 billion by June 7

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Tim Ash, Standard Bank – May 29, 2014) I guess that is the $2.5bn for the period to the end of March, another $1bn for April/May, and then $1.7bn in pre-payment for June, as previously demanded by Moscow. EU officials have suggested though that $4bn is owed to date,

EU proposed to repay to Gazprom half of Ukraine’s debt for April-May gas supplies as payment deadline nears

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – May 29, 2014) Gazprom, which earlier sent a prepayment bill to Ukraine, will limit gas supplies on June 3 if Kiev does not pay the advance bill for June, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Wednesday at a meeting of President Vladimir Putin with the government, Prime reported. According to

Russia tests waters of WTO dispute settlement with EU complaints

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Jennifer Freedman of Borderlex – May 17, 2014) Less than two years after becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia has filed two complaints with the dispute settlement body in Geneva that target the EU, Russia’s main trading partner. These complaints concern antidumping duties and

VIDEO: FEEM Lecture by Anatol Lieven, King’s College London: “The Ukraine Debacle”

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Anatol Lieven, Chair of International Relations in the War Studies Department of King’s College London, and senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., addresses recent developments in the Ukrainian crisis, and a series of long-neglected problems impacting unfolding events.  The presentation took place in Milan, Italy, on May 14, 2014 under the auspices of the

Interfax: Putin claims he would sue West over sanctions

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ST. PETERSBURG. May 23 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Western sanctions imposed over Crimea so far concern the people from his close entourage, and that he would have started a legal action if he were in their shoes. “But for now all these sanctions boil down to picking someone close to me

RIA Novosti: Opinion: West Should Think Twice Before Imposing New Sanctions Against Russia

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MOSCOW, May 23 (RIA Novosti) – The West should not rush to impose further sanctions against Russia as they could have an extremely negative effect on the global financial system, Chair of the Government Department at Harvard University Timothy Colton told RIA Novosti. “The West should think twice, think very carefully about extending the sanctions,

Welcome to a multipolar world

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(Business New Europe, MOSCOW BLOG – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 19, 2014) The shouting match between west and east continues, but the Russian stock market was surging on May 19, a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin was due to arrive in China, where he is expected to sign a string

RIA Novosti: Opinion: EU-Russia Economic Ties Too Important For Threats to Continue

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MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – The EU-Russia economic relationship is far too important for the sides to continue talking in the language of sanctions, so the EU is scaling back its rhetoric, Chris Weafer, a founding partner of Macro Advisory, told RIA Novosti Monday. “The bottom line is that the economic relationship

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