JRL NEWSWATCH: “Review: The Struggle of Russia’s crony capitalists” [re: Anders Aslund new book]” – Reuters/ Dasha Afanasieva

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Anders Aslund … in ‘Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy‘ … [casts Putin] as a patriarchal overlord … handsomely reward[ing] those loyal …. creat[ing] a new elite of friends, former co-workers and relatives. What’s less clear is what, if anything [can be done about it]. … [A]naly[zing] the last 15 or so years of Putin’s […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Visa and Mastercard May Soon Exit Russia Under Draft Law – Reports” – Moscow Times

File Photo of Stack of Credit Cards, adapted from image at fdic.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 12, 2019) New Russian payment system laws could lead the world’s largest credit and debit card companies Visa and Mastercard to exit the country’s market, the Kommersant business daily reported on Friday. U.S.-based Visa and Mastercard stopped servicing bank cards in annexed Crimea after the United States imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014. Russia […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Michael Calvey Case Revisited: A Corporate Hit, a Bargaining Chip” – Kennan Institute/ Pavel Koshkin

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Pavel Koshkin – wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/michael-calvey-case-revisited-corporate-hit-bargaining-chip) Pavel Koshkin is a research fellow of the Institute of U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISKRAN) and a contributor to Forbes Russia The American investor Michael Calvey, who was detained in February in Moscow on fraud charges, is back in the news again. Calvey, who has […]

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Russia’s National Projects: Economic Reboot or Mucky Bog?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Ben Aris – May 30, 2019) Ben Aris is editor in chief of bne Intellinews. He has been covering Russia as a journalist since 1993. While Moscow has been aggressively advancing its interests on the international stage, Russia’s stagnating economy means the country risks gradually falling behind the rest of the world and possibly facing […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Banking on Politics: How Russia’s Banking Sector Clean-Up Affects Regime Stability” – PONARS Eurasia/ David Szakonyi

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

“Banking has increasingly become nationalized in Russia, raising concerns that all private banks may be forced from the market within 10 or 15 years. In the short run, this consolidation enables the government to continue funding its numerous and expensive commitments and thereby maintain social and political stability. David Szakonyi discusses the political consequences of this creeping nationalization of the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH “Russia ramps up bond sales ahead of possible U.S. sanctions; Moscow’s $1.1bn issuance comes after April fundraising smashed records” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon, Nikou Asgari

File Photo of Facade of Russian Finance Ministry

“… [Russia’s] finance ministry sold Rbs73bn ($1.1bn) in rouble-denominated bonds … Wednesday[,] … part of a plan to raise Rbs600bn in domestic debt this quarter. … [after] a record Rbs400bn in April – four times [Russia’s] monthly average – feeding strong investor appetite for high-yielding emerging market debt. … [Analysts regard the efforts] as a pre-emptive stockpiling … [against] the […]

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Have Sanctions on Russia Changed Putin’s Calculus?

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

Since Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, Western powers have hit Moscow with economic sanctions, hoping to put a stop to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Have they worked? (Council on Foreign Relations – Andrew Chatzky – May 2, 2019 – cfr.org/article/have-sanctions-russia-changed-putins-calculus – Andrew Chatzky covers economics, energy, and geopolitics, and helps edit the Daily News Brief.) The United States and the […]

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Interview: Russia Seeks To ‘Capitalize On Opportunities’ In Libya

File Photo of Ancient Roman Arch in Libya Framing Minaret and Palm Trees, adapted from image at cia.gov

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Tony Wesolowsky – April 10, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/interview-russia-seeks-to-capitalize-on-opportunities-in-libya/29873341.html) The situation is escalating in Libya, where more than 30 people have been killed since fighting broke out on April 4, when forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive against the internationally […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Sanctions against Russian state banks likely to be more of a deterrent measure- Kudrin” – Interfax

Alexei Kudrin file photo

WASHINGTON. April 14 (Interfax) – If the currently discussed U.S. legislation on new anti-Russian sanctions is enacted, its implementation is going to be either delayed or unlikely to affect those banks whose problems could actually change the general economic situation in Russia, Accounts Chamber head Alexei Kudrin said. “I suppose that the framework provisions are going to be adopted, but […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “All About the U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Putin’s Russia” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Laurence Arnold, Olga Tanas, Tony Halpin

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“… Since 2014, the U.S. has imposed travel bans, asset freezes and finance and trade restrictions against hundreds of Russian individuals and companies … a multinational effort …. 1. What U.S. sanctions are in place against Russia? More than 700 Russian people and companies have been targeted …. 2. Why were the sanctions imposed? … starting in 2014 after Russia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s New Gold Rush Could Shake Up the International Monetary System; Russia and China might be considering a gold-backed digital currency.” – Moscow Times/ Bruno Macaes

File Photo of Gold Bars with U.S. Government Engravings, adapted from image at fbi.govA

“Russia is buying … [a] lot of gold … quadrupl[ing] reserves [within a decade]. Gold buying last year exceeded mine supply for the first time … Russia is about to become a net importer …. Are the Russian authorities preparing for a renewed clash with the United States … attempting to reduce … vulnerability to … sanctions? Or do they […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia backs global use of its alternative SWIFT system” – Reuters

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

“Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed the international use of a Russian alternative system for the global financial messaging network SWIFT designed by Moscow to eliminate the risk of Western sanctions. Russia has held talks with China, India, Iran and Turkey about joint use of Russia’s financial messaging system …. Russia started developing an alternative to the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Chaotic’ sanctions against Russia have failed, says Navalny’ Putin critic claims they miss target and US and UK avoid tackling dirty money” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“… Navalny said western sanctions against Moscow missed the target and were not working, and that the U.S. and UK had no real interest in tackling ‘dirty money.’ … Navalny labelled existing economic curbs ‘chaotic’ and ‘incomprehensible’ and said attempts to rein in Russia should refocus to target properly the powerful oligarchs with close links to … Putin. … argu[ing] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia sanctions: Myths and lessons” – The Hill/ Nigel Gould-Davies

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“… First, sanctions now directly target economic elites and major private assets, not only state officials and companies. Second, the United States is deploying some of the most potent weapons in its sanctions arsenal … hitherto used against terrorist groups, transnational crime and ‘rogue states.’ Third, sanctions have become an accepted, not exceptional, instrument for dealing with Russia. … 1. … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia faces sharp outflow of private investment; More than $67bn shifted out of the country’s economy last year” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“More private money left Russia in 2018 than … since the Crimean crisis and oil market rout of 2014 …. Over $67bn … according to the … central bank …. some … attributed to fears over … U.S. sanctions and threats of more actions from Washington …. [ING’s] Dmitry Dolgin … [indicated that when] Russia’s central bank suspended foreign exchange […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Push to Dump Dollar Proves Hard Sell With Russia Inc.” – Bloomberg/ Natasha Doff, Evgenia Pismennaya, Anna Andrianova, Annmarie Hordern, Andrey Biryukov, Anna Baraulina, Ilya Arkhipov, Yuliya Fedorinova

File Photo of Assorted U.S. Cash, adapted from image at tsa.gov

“Russia’s central bank dumped $101 billion last year in its biggest-ever shift away from the U.S. currency amid fears of new sanctions. But the Kremlin’s drive to wean the rest of the economy off the greenback has been slower going. Despite … Putin’s regular public exhortations to accelerate ‘de-dollarization,’ even the country’s state-owned companies are sticking to the currency. Shifting […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin can’t afford to ditch the dollar” – Reuters/ Steven E. Halliwell

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Paul Manafort, while managing Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, is accused of passing private polling data to his Russia business partner, a man with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. … revealed in an unsealed court filing … likely to stoke the case in Congress for increased sanctions …. [T]he reverberations will be felt in Moscow, where anger and frustration over […]

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RUSSIALINK: “To Be Effective, Russia Sanctions Have to Be Removable; The U.S. must decide whether its economic restrictions against Oleg Deripaska are a permanent punishment or an incentive for change” – Bloomberg / Leonid Bershidsky

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“The congressional Democrats’ opposition to a proposal to lift U.S. sanctions against the companies founded by the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska raises an important question: Is the punitive policy designed to achieve specific goals or primarily to make a statement? The sanctions against United Co. Rusal, En+ Group Plc and EuroSibEnergo JSC will expire on Jan. 19 unless Congress takes […]

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World-Renowned Scientific University Quietly Untangles Itself From Russian Billionaire

Viktor Vekselberg file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

(Article ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Jan. 14, 2019 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/mit-quietly-untangles-itself-from-russian-billionaire/29708417.html) Nine years ago, Russian tycoon Viktor Vekselberg was welcomed with open arms by U.S. companies, universities, and even the government. Washington’s relations with Moscow were being reset, and Vekselberg was heading a Kremlin-backed initiative called Skolkovo to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to resume forex purchases after sanctions hiatus; Moscow will spend Rbs265.8bn between next Tuesday and early February” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s finance ministry said it is resuming foreign currency purchases on open markets after fears over U.S. sanctions saw it halt them last year to head off a slide in the rouble rate. … Rbs265.8bn … next Tuesday and February 6, the ministry said in a statement on Friday. … the first since the central bank … stopped them in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian inflation, growth to remain low in 2019 says World Bank” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russian inflation is in focus for 2019 as prices began to rise at the end of 2018 and ended the year slightly above the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) target rate of 4%. … the World Bank says that inflation will remain low this year and growth will be 1.5%, the same as in 2018 …. The U.S. government has […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How to Hit Russia Where It Hurts; A Long-Term Strategy to Ramp Up Economic Pressure” – Foreign Affairs Magazine/ Peter Harrell

“… [S]anctions have done little to change Moscow’s ways. … Any economic pressure … has to starve the country’s military-industrial complex. The United States and Europe know this: they adopted export controls against Russian defense industries … and … Congress passed a law sanctioning foreign companies and governments … [for] ‘significant transactions’ with the Russian defense sector. These sanctions threaten […]

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How Well Are Russia Sanctions Working?

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nick Butler – December 21, 2018) Nick Butler is an energy commentator for the Financial Times and a visiting professor and chair of the Kings Policy Institute at Kings College London. He spent 29 years with BP, including five years as group vice president for policy and strategy development. [russiamatters.org/analysis/how-well-are-russia-sanctions-working] Tracking sanctions against Russia has […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Russia Calling! Investment Forum (excerpt/with Q&A)” – KremlinRu

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Kremlin.ru – November 28, 2018) [Full text en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/59216] Vladimir Putin took part in the annual Russia Calling! Investment Forum hosted by VTB Capital. The plenary session is entitled “Building Partnerships. Bridging Differences.” Russia Calling! Forum is a leading platform for drawing capital to the Russian economy, improving the investment climate and promoting the country’s international economic and business ties. President […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Capital flight from Russia triples y/y to $42.2bn in January-October” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“The net outflow of capital from Russia in January-October 2018 was up to $42.2bn, a three-fold increase from the $14bn that left Russia in the same period a year earlier, according to preliminary estimates from Central Bank of Russia (CBR) …. Approximately half of this amount is accounted for by operations of banks to repay external liabilities[;] the other half […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Sanctions Unlikely to Pass Congress Before November” – Bloomberg/ Arit John, Anna Edgerton, Natasha Doff (Sept. 27, 2018)

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… Congress is unlikely to pass any new sanctions on Russia, including proposals that would affect its sovereign debt and energy projects, until after … November elections. The House is likely to go on recess … and not return until after Nov. 6 balloting, according to a Republican aide and a lawmaker. No bills on sanctions against Russia are scheduled […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “[Re: Sanctions]”- Andrew Kuchins

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Andrew Kuchins, Senior Fellow, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES), Georgetown University – Facebook – September 21, 2018) [embedded live feed of post should load below; text and link also posted further down in case loading is delayed] “There are so many things wrong about sanctions, and Doug Bandow captures many here. The biggest problem is their […]

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More U.S. Sanctions On Russia Would Be Counter Productive

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Oilprice.com – Nicholas Trickett – September 20, 2018 – oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/More-US-Sanctions-On-Russia-Would-Be-Counter-Productive.html) Hoping to push back against Russia and prevent president Trump from changing current policy, the Senate has produced two new sanctions bills: the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act and the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKAA). Both would create a new set of harsh […]

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NEWSLINK: “Aiming at Putin With Sanctions, U.S. May Hit Emerging World” – Bloomberg/Olga Tanas, Anna Andrianova, Alexandra Stratton, Gregory White, Alec McCabe

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“… What was scaring investors was happening down the street from the IMF lecture, in a Senate hearing where legislators were debating new sanctions on Russia. One of the proposals under consideration has been dubbed the ‘bill from hell,’ in part because it includes a ban on buying new sovereign debt. …”

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Medvedev at] Moscow Financial Forum” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – September 6, 2018 – government.ru/en/news/33893/) Dmitry Medvedev gave a speech at the plenary session of the forum titled “Finances for Development: A New Platform for Stable and Balanced Relationships” The Moscow Financial Forum is a unique platform for the professional discussion of Russia’s financial policy. The mission of the Forum is to search for solutions that will make […]

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Russia is in a Stalemate Today But Can’t Stay There for Long, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 31, 2018) Russia is in a stalemate today because the Kremlin “cannot accept the sanction-backed demands of the West without losing face,” but it also cannot act as if it is indifferent to the sanctions because they are undermining Russia’s ability to remain a great power, Liliya Shevtsova says. As a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A thickening web; America’s escalating Russian sanctions; Despite Donald Trump, Russia is being hit harder and harder” – The Economist

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… In August alone, America has slapped penalties on Russian shipping firms accused of trading oil with North Korea; imposed restrictions on the arms trade in connection with the poisoning of … Skripal …; and begun congressional hearings on … legislation designed to punish Russia for its interference in elections. Further Skripal-linked measures may follow in three months’ …. Markets […]

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Introduction of Personal Credit Scores in Russia Seen Helping Banks and Consumers

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 28, 2018) In the first quarter of 2018, Russian banks turned down 48 percent of applicants for loans and charged those who did get them higher rates than they otherwise might because the banks had no good way to ensure that they were only offering loans to those who would repay […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Moody’s says effect of recent sanctions will be limited” – Bear Market Brief BMB Russia

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“A new Moody’s report says … U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia … in response to the Skripal poisoning will have little effect [on] the economy. New sanctions to come in the fall, however, could aggravate the structural limitations of Russian growth and lead to problems with bank financing. … Loose monetary policy will likely to be the first casualty, with […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin’s wedding trip seals marriage of convenience with Merkel; Meeting in Berlin could signal a switch in strategy for Germany when it comes to the US dollar and energy security” – Asia Times/Pepe Escobar

Map of Germany

“… Berlin is now engaged in a wobbly ‘bend-not-break’ strategy. …”

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RUSSIALINK: “Inflation on the Rise for Russians” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 27, 2018) The cost of money is rising for Russians well ahead of any potential central bank move to lift interest rates for the first time in almost four years amid concern the U.S. may impose fresh sanctions. State-run Sberbank PJSC, which holds almost half of all Russian savings, is increasing rates for ruble […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Turkey Shifts Toward Russia as Sanctions Sour U.S. Relations; Foreign ministers slam Western sanctions, as Erdogan plans boycott of U.S. electronic goods” – Wall Street Journal/David Gauthier-Villars

Turkey and Environs Satellite Image

“… Erdogan … stepped up his attacks on the U.S. … Tuesday, calling for a boycott of Apple … iPhones and other U.S. electronic goods … his foreign minister joined his Russian counterpart … criticizing Western sanctions. Turkey, a longtime [NATO] ally, has been caught between the West and Russia. This week, officials in Ankara were leaning decidedly toward Moscow. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Newest U.S. Sanctions Against Russia Hit an Economic Nerve” – AP

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… The Trump administration announcement of export restrictions in response to accusations Moscow used a nerve agent to poison a former Russian spy in Britain sent the ruble tumbling to a two-year low and drew a stern warning from [Medvedev]. While the initial sanctions may have a limited impact, a second batch expected within months could hit the Russian economy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Administration Gets Tough on Russia – Despite Trump; The president holds chummy meetings with Vladimir Putin, while his administration imposes new sanctions.” – New York Times Editorial

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… [N]ew sanctions imposed on Russia … [feature] a ban on export of anything with a potential military use, announced by the State Department …. Putin’s Russia is asking for punishment when his agents use a chemical weapon against a double agent, brazenly meddle in Western elections, cheat in international sports, ruthlessly ravage Ukrainian territory or violate human rights. … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Can Weather Any New U.S. Sanctions, Says Moody’s” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 7, 2018) Russia will be able to weather new sanctions from the United States following a series of steps it took to reduce its vulnerability to future penalties, said Moody’s analyst Kristin Lindow. The U.S. levied sanctions against businesses held by Kremlin-linked oligarchs in April as punishment for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. to impose ‘crushing’ set of sanctions on Russia’s debt and oil” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“A proposed ‘crushing’ bipartisan bill introduced by the … Senate … will not be debated until … autumn and many … harsh terms could be considerably watered down, Luis Saenz, … co-head of equities at BCS Global Markets said …. [The] bill … targets Russian debt and energy companies, designed to punish Russia for interfering in the U.S. presidential election, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia dumped 84% of its American debt. What that means” – CNN/Matt Egan

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“… Between March and May, Russia’s holdings of US Treasury bonds plummeted by $81 billion, representing 84% of its total US debt holdings. … Maybe Russia just wanted to diversify its portfolio, as the central bank stated. Or perhaps Russia was seeking revenge for Washington’s crippling sanctions on aluminum maker Rusal. …. Even at Russia’s recent peak of $105.7 billion in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Large Russian Companies Are Turning Inward; The mobile operator Megafon’s plan to delist in London is the latest sign that the West is becoming inhospitable” – Leonid Bershidsky/Bloomberg

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

“The planned delisting of Megafon PJSC, Russia’s second-biggest mobile operator, from the London Stock Exchange is no ordinary event. The company is one of the most liquid Russian stocks trading overseas, and its exit is further evidence that the country’s businesses are turning inward as exposure to the West becomes increasingly problematic. In 2011, almost 70 Russian companies’ depositary receipts […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Provision on criminal liability for complying with Western sanctions on Russian territory may be removed from bill – Volodin” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. July 10 (Interfax) – Russian MPs may remove the provision criminalizing compliance with Western anti-Russian sanctions in the country from a draft bill that is currently under consideration in the lower house of the Russian parliament, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said. “Everyone, including the business community, experts and deputies, have reached consensus on the second part of the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Rating Agency Says More Sanctions Are Key Economic Risk” – Moscow Times

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 10, 2017) The possibility of more Western sanctions against Moscow is the key risk for the Russian economy, as much of 21 percent of which has already felt the impact of existing sanctions, Russia’s Analytical Credit Ratings Agency said in a report on Tuesday. Western sanctions are expected to weigh on Russia’s oil-dependent economy […]

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Russia’s Oil Sector Is Facing A Massive Tax Overhaul

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – June 11, 2018) A major tax overhaul in Russia’s oil industry is about to start pressuring the earnings of major oil companies. Refiners will be hit hardest as the overhaul will increase the tax burden on downstream operations while the upstream sector will see taxes shift from production-based to profit-based. Last week, the Finance and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Londongrad oligarchs are being forced back to Russia’s embrace; As sanctions bite, tycoons feel hemmed in by Vladimir Putin’s power” – Financial Times/Max Seddon

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“…. once ideal go-betweens between Russia and the west. … [s]uddenly, oligarchs are too Russian for a west eager to clean up its act and too western for a Russia hunting for ‘enemies of the people.’ … the nature of oligarchy … has changed dramatically …. Putin shifted the power dynamic …. under an unwritten rule: they were allowed to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “American Businesses in Russia Are Struggling After U.S. Sanctions, Survey Says” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

U.S. sanctions have created new difficulties for American businesses working in Russia, a recent survey of companies has said. Last month, the United States sanctioned several Russian companies and businessmen for alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other “malign activities.” Russia vowed to inflict “precise and painful” damage to the U.S. in response, this week passing a bill […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s finance minister promises no new taxes, but hints at ‘adjustments'” – Meduza

Anton Siluanov file photo

“… Siluanov says Russia has no plans to change its tax system in the next six years, but there will be ‘adjustments.’ … the government is once again considering measures to simplify the tax code, in order to encourage more businesspeople to stop working in the economy’s ‘gray sector’ …. Russian media has repeatedly said the government is discussing major […]

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Putin vs. Pensions: Will His Reelection Finally Free Him To Tackle Looming Crisis?

File Photo of Elders Walking in Russia

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – May 16, 2018 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-vs-pensions-will-his-reelection-finally-free-him-to-tackle-looming-crisis-/29229857.html) It’s been the third rail of Russian politics for years, if not decades, but now an increasingly fragile economy appears to have forced the Kremlin to finally reckon with the country’s pension crisis. Russia’s pension system — […]

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