Russia’s Putin Calls for IMF Overhaul, Bigger Role for BRICS

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

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 14, 2013) Russia will use its presidency of the G20 to push for a radical overhaul of the International Monetary Fund and changes to its voting system to give developing economies a stronger voice, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in an interview with RIA Novosti. “The IMF frequently fails to keep up with the rapidly […]

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Khodorkovsky’s son says has no official info on ‘third Yukos case’

Mikhail Khodorkovsky file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) The family of Mikhail Khodorkovsky has no information on the possible third criminal case against the former Yukos CEO. “No charges have been filed, and the Investigations Committee and the prosecutors have not sent anything yet. However, I know what they say about the questioning of experts who stated their opinion on the second […]

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Navalny says his brother’s home searched by detectives

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, founder of Anti-Corruption Foundation, wrote on Twitter on Monday that detectives were currently searching his brother’s apartment. Interfax has been unable to obtain confirmation of Navalny’s words. In December, brothers Alexei and Oleg Navalny were charged with fraud and money laundering. “Alexei Navalny set up a limited liability company […]

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Navalny Defiant in KirovLes Testimony

File Photo of Alexei Navalny Being Grabbed by Police at Protest

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – June 18, 2013) Opposition leader Alexei Navalny took the stand in court on Monday, denying charges that he stole 10,000 cubic meters of timber from KirovLes in 2009 and saying he had tried to fight corruption at the state-owned company. Navalny, who is also a prominent anti-corruption blogger and a lawyer, began […]

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United Popular Front supports economic amnesty

Empty Boardroom

(Interfax – June 18, 2013) Russia’s United Popular Front (ONF) supports the idea of economic amnesty. “We support amnesty for businessmen on economic counts,” Alexander Galushka, co-chairman of the ONF’s central staff and co-chairman of the Business Russia organization said at a press conference at Interfax on Tuesday. “The presumption of guilt” for businessmen must be scrapped and this chapter […]

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Putin’s Front: the end of politics?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Moscow News – Anna Arutunyan, editor and correspondent at themoscownews.com – June 17, 2013) Remember the season finale of “Game of Thrones,” when Daenerys Targaryen liberates thousands of slaves, and then tells them that she didn’t give them their freedom because it’s not hers to give? The people are so struck by her gesture that they physically rally around her, reaching […]

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New Putin-Led Movement Tool for Kremlin, Not Society – Experts

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Alexey Eremenko, RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) ­ Last week President Vladimir Putin took the helm of a quasi-political movement officially meant to help ordinary Russians inform the Kremlin of problems that need solving. But analysts remained skeptical about the organization’s stated aims, wondering why genuine feedback from society should have to go through the president’s office. More […]

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Putin’s Popular Front to replace United Russia?

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking At All-Russia Popular Front Gathering

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, RBTH – June 18, 2013) Vladimir Putin welcomes wary supporters of United Russia to the Russian Popular Front. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party has been taking blow after a blow to its reputation, as several of its high-ranking members have been accused of plagiarizing their postgraduate degree theses; others have been […]

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Aral Sea Stopped Shrinking Says Russian Scientist

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 18, 2013) The Aral Sea, which has been shrinking for almost half a century causing an environmental disaster in Central Asia, has finally stopped drying up, a Russian scientist said on Tuesday. “The sea is currently close to a balance because its surface has shrunk so much that evaporation has gone down too, so that […]

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Interfax: Nemtsov, Tymoshenko, Shushkevich top unpopularity lists – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) Boris Nemtsov, Yulia Tymoshenko and Stanislav Shushkevich top “no confidence” rankings lists compiled after recent opinion polls taken in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Respondents in the polls, conducted by Integratsiya Foundation, were shown lists of opposition politicians in their respective countries and asked whether they trusted any of them, the foundation said in a […]

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Russian Politicians Show Varying Degrees Of Concern About G20 Snooping Story

G20 Logo

(RIA Novosti – June 17, 2013) The revelations about eavesdropping on foreign delegations during a G20 summit in the UK in 2009 could seriously affect international relations, a Russian senator said on 17 June, although another believes they will have only a limited impact. “The Russia-US reset was called in 2009, while at the same time US intelligence was listening […]

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PRISM and SORM: Big Brother is watching

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Kristen Blyth – June 17, 2013) George Orwell’s “1984” was, when it was published, purely a work of fiction. “There was, of course, no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment,” Orwell wrote. “You had to live in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in […]

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Unscheduled inspections trigger push to amend NGO law

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – June 18, 2013) The Law on Nongovernmental Organizations will be adjusted and its provisions dealing with unscheduled inspections will be amended, the Russian government said on its website citing its resolution of June 17. Article 32 will be amended and it will list the following reasons for ordering unscheduled inspections on nonprofit organizations: expiration of the deadline for […]

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Young G20 entrepreneurs discuss future at Skolkovo

Skolkovo File Photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com  – Nathan Gray – June 17, 2013) As the 2008 economic crisis took hold worldwide, the impact began to spur a change in the direction of economic policy. The most notable change was the replacement in 2009 of the G8 in the field of economic development by the G20, a more diverse organization that reflected a […]

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Moscow to host Russia-U.S. summit on Sept 3-4

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Interfax – LOUGH ERNE, UK, June 18, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama have agreed to hold a Russia-U.S. summit in Moscow on September 3-4. “In order to nail down a constructive nature of our relations we are going to uphold regular contacts at the highest level and hold a Russian-U.S. summit in Moscow on […]

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Putin’s Unfunded Mandates Costing Moscow Support East of the Urals

File Photo of People Working on Car Amidst Siberian Woodlands and Meadows

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 17, 2013) Siberia and the Russian Far East are supposed to come up with the money to pay for Vladimir Putin’s promise to develop those regions, an arrangement officials say that in the absence of new revenues they will not be able to do and that is undermining support for Moscow […]

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Things picking up? Rencap-NEC upgrade 2H13 growth forecast

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – June 17, 2013) The great debate in Russia is if growth has stalled or if the economy is only going through a soft patch at the moment. GDP growth fell to 1.6% in the first quarter (revised up from the initial estimate of 1.1%). But that is still not very good. Industrial production growth […]

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Russian Orphans Receive ‘Oscars’ for Filmmaking

File Photo of Russian Orphans with Mr. and Mrs. Dmitry Medvedev

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Simone Peek – June 14, 2013) International news and changing regulations around orphaned children have been in a whirlwind since January’s Dima Yakovlev law: the ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans. Amidst the political turmoil are, of course, the orphans themselves. Charity organization “Krilya” (Wings) decided to give children living in orphanages […]

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Russian Clans’ Ongoing Feud

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – June 13, 2013) The fundamental driver of Russian elite politics is the clan: a network of personal contacts that cuts across facile divisions between “state” and “oligarchs,” liberals” and “conservatives,” and “reformers” and “siloviki.” According to Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the […]

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State Duma’s internet piracy bill stirs public outcry

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexandra Guzeva, RBTH – June 14, 2013) Attempts to toughen Russia’s piracy laws were met with hostility among bloggers and advocates, resulting in a softer version in parliament. A draft bill to fight Internet piracy is moving forward in the Duma after a more punitive version provoked a firestorm of criticism. Attempts to […]

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Russia Welcomes Winner of Iran’s Presidential Elections

Map of Iran with Stylized Radar Sweep and Radiation Symbol Background Image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 17 ,2013) President Vladimir Putin reached out to congratulate Hassan Rouhani on his victory in Iran’s presidential election on Sunday, voicing his readiness for bilateral cooperation in various spheres to “ensure international stability.” As Iranians took to the streets to celebrate the victory of the election’s most moderate candidate after two […]

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Obama, Putin will try to come closer on Syria but unlikely to succeed – pundits

Syria Map

(Interfax – June 17, 2013) Analysts believe that the leaders of Russia and the United States at their bilateral meeting in the framework of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland are likely to pay most of their attention to the Syrian conflict and preparations for the Geneva conference on Syria. “I believe with a probability of 60 percent or even […]

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Monitoring Medvedev’s Calls Easy for US Spies – Ex-FSB Head

File Photo of Barack Hussein Obama and Dmitry Medvedev with Flags, Shaking Hands

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) ­ There would have been few technical difficulties for US spies wanting to listen to the secret communications of then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during the 2009 G20 summit in London, a former head of Russia’s security services said Monday. A report detailing the surveillance of Medvedev by British and US intelligence organizations was […]

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Moscow expresses indignation on alleged U.S. phone tapping at G20 summit

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax, combined report – June 17, 2013) The Russian Federal Protective Service is taking necessary measures to ensure confidentiality of communication between state leaders, the service told Interfax. “The Federal Protective Service is taking every necessary measure to provide the appropriate level of confidentiality of information for top-ranking officials of the country,” service spokesman Sergei Devyatov said on Monday. “Protection […]

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Amid Turkey’s unrest, Russians torn by conflicting emotions

Turkey map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Elizaveta Maetnaya, special to RBTH – June 17, 2013) Some emigres are considering a return to Russia, while some are actively participating in the protests. Every evening at 8pm, Sophia Khadzhibekirova, 45, comes out on to her balcony and starts banging on a saucepan with a steel spoon. That is how many Turkish […]

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Georgian wine starts flowing across Russian border

Tblisi, Georgia, File Photo with Building with Tower on Hillside and City Buildings in Valley in Distance

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – June 17, 2013) A Georgian vintner exported its first shipment of wine to Russia in seven years on June 14, as the lifting of Moscow’s ban on wine imports from its small southern neighbour is finally sealed. The Dugladze winery announced that it had delivered an initial shipment of 30 bottles, which will be […]

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Rogozin leads Rodina’s militarized party congress

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Natalia Bespalova, special to RBTH – June 14, 2013) Russia is witnessing the revival of Rodina, whose members consider themselves Putin’s “black-ops”. In early June, the conservative party Rodina, whose unofficial leader heads the national defense industry, held a congress at a location outside Moscow. Disbanded in 2006, the party is today enjoying […]

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Prokhorov Doubts Navalny’s Credentials for Mayor

Mikhail Prokohrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 17, 2013) Billionaire politician Mikhail Prokhorov has challenged the candidacy of lawyer Alexei Navalny for the Moscow mayoral election, saying that he wouldn’t be able to cope with the demands of the job, a news report said Monday. The Civil Platform party leader Prokhorov, who last week pulled out of the mayoral race, also […]

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Opposition Candidates Woo Municipal Deputies in Mayoral Race

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov and Natalya Krainova – June 17, 2013) In a preview of what to expect in the fight for post as Moscow mayor, several opposition candidates presented their campaign platforms to municipal deputies on Saturday in an effort to gather the required amount of deputies’ signatures to run in the election set for Sept. […]

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Sobyanin registers to run for Moscow mayor

Sergei Sobyanin file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – June 17, 2013) Acting Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has registered with the Moscow Election Commission as a candidate for the upcoming mayoral elections scheduled for September 8. Sobyanin, who officially resigned from his post earlier this month in order to stand for mayor, will be running as an independent candidate, meaning that […]

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WHO Should Butt Out of Russia’s Cigarette Biz -­ Health Official

No Smoking Symbol

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 13, 2013) ­ The World Health Organization has no right to dictate to Russia how to develop its tobacco pricing policies, Russia’s chief health inspector said Thursday. The head of the WHO office in Russia, Luigi Migliorini, had earlier expressed disappointment in lower than expected increase rates for tobacco excise in the country after 2016. […]

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Setting the Pace for Russia, Moscow Tames Its Excesses

Moscow Traffic file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke – June 10, 2013 – James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR) Last week, an American friend of mine received two mysterious white envelopes in the mail. On opening them, he found that each contained a black and white photo of his car, each taken secretly, in the […]

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Father’s Day: As Tolstoy wrote, all happy families are alike…

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktoria Ushakova, special to RBTH – June 16, 2013) RBTH looks at parenting skills of five great Russian writers. Some writers are so consumed by their art that their families are eclipsed, while other writers manage an enviable closeness with their loved ones. On the occasion of Father’s Day, RBTH recalls what kind […]

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Pentagon Signs New Russian Helicopter Deal

Russian Helicopter file photo

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 17, 2013) ­ Russia and the United States have signed a contract for the delivery of Russian Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan army, a Russian government agency said Monday. The Russian state-owned defense firm Rosoboronexport and the US Department of the Army signed the contract on Sunday in Paris “as part of joint efforts to […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Meeting with representatives of the Civil 20

Vladimir Putin file photo

(kremlin.ru – Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region – June 14, 2013) Vladimir Putin met with representatives of the Civil 20, an international forum for dialogue between civil society organisations, politicians and experts from the G20 countries. Taking part in the meeting were delegates to the Civil 20 summit, taking place in Moscow on June 13-14, from Russia, Mexico, and Australia, the three […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Interview to RIA Novosti News Agency

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Kremlin.ru – June 14, 2013) Ahead of the G8 summit in Great Britain and the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Vladimir Putin answered questions from Russian News & Information Agency. QUESTION: You are going to the G8 summit not only as the head of one of the member states, but also as the leader of the country that currently […]

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Obama and Xi Agree to a Truce

China Map

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, ­ an authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments – June 14, 2013) The meeting between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a desert retreat near Palm Springs, California, last weekend caused hardly a stir […]

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Putin-Obama upcoming meeting unlikely to bring about a breakthrough – analysts

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 15, 2013) A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of an upcoming G8 summit in Northern Ireland should reduce the level of anti-Russian attitudes in the U.S. establishment, says Sergei Karaganov, a member of the Russian presidential Human Rights Council. “I think it will be efficient to the […]

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Putin to have several bilateral meetings on sidelines of G8 summit – aide

G8 Foreign Ministers Group File Photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. June 14, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the upcoming G8 summit, presidential aide Yury Ushakov said. On Monday, June 17, before the official start of the summit, Putin is expected to meet with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, he said. “They plan to discuss a schedule […]

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Russia Keeps Freeze on S-300 Contract with Syria – Kremlin

Syria Map

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 14, 2013) ­ Russia is not planning to deliver S-300 air defense systems to Syria, despite the announcement by the US administration on Thursday of its intention to supply the Syrian opposition with weaponry, a presidential aide said on Friday. “The issue has not been raised yet,” aide Yury Ushakov told reporters in Moscow in […]

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Interest of Russians in opposition protests on decline – poll

Moscow Protest file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. June 13, 2013) Protest activity is on decline in Russia, and an increasing number of citizens are unaware of the goals of protest actions. A sixth of the respondents in a poll held in 45 regions on May 23-27 even claim the opposition wants to topple the authorities. Massive protest actions of the opposition (For Fair Election, […]

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Consumer Confidence Stable

File Photo of Older Russian Woman Shopping in Grocery Store

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 14, 2013) The consumer confidence level of Ivan Ivanov, the typical Russian modeled in the latest bi-monthly report by Sberbank CIB issued Friday, has, like inflation and unemployment, remained stable over the last two months. While the headline consumer confidence figure remains at the March level of -8 percent ­ down from -4 percent […]

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Some Surprising Answers on Who Goes to Church in Moscow and What They Think

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 14, 2013) An admittedly unrepresentative poll of Russians attending Orthodox services on Palm Sunday conducted by the Sreda Sociological Service, the results of which were released this week, found that many of the most widespread assumptions about who goes to church in Russia and why are not justified. The sociologists asked […]

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Activists Fear Repercussions of ‘Blasphemy Bill’

File Photo of Russian Orthodox Cathedral with Man in Religious Garb in Foreground

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – June 14, 2013) The bill protecting “believers’ feelings,” which rights activists and analysts have called a “step back” for Russia, a legal “Pandora’s Box” and a return to the Dark Ages, looks set to take effect in July after sailing through the State Duma with a unanimous vote on Wednesday. The so-called […]

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Russia Won’t Embrace Europe’s Inefficient Welfare Model – Putin

EU Map

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 14, 2013) ­ President Vladimir Putin on Thursday described the main difference he sees between social welfare in Russia and in European countries, which he criticized for losing control of their economies and allowing the rise of a “dependency mentality,” according to an interview with RIA Novosti. Europe’s problem is not the welfare state as […]

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Presidential Library opens access to declassified materials on World War II

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. June 13 (Interfax) – The Presidential Library named after Yeltsin has opened access to declassified and little known documents coming to its fund. “We began digitizing declassified materials almost three years ago. We work with the archive of the defense ministry and other official archives. Documents are declassified, we digitize them, put them in our funds and wide […]

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Guriev’s Exile Is a Huge Loss for Russia

Sergei Guriev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Michael Bohm, opinion page editor of The Moscow Times – June 14, 2013) When the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum opens next week, a traditional fixture of the event will be conspicuously absent: renowned economist Sergei Guriev. During the forum, Russian officials will undoubtedly repeat the usual lines about the country’s untapped potential, its attractiveness […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] 2014­-2016 Budget Policy Address

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Kremlin.ru – The Kremlin, Moscow – June 13, 2013) Vladimir Putin announced the signing of the 2014­-2016 Budget Policy Address at a meeting with members of the Government Cabinet, heads of both houses of the Federal Assembly and the Presidential Executive Office. The address outlines the basic budget policy objectives over the next three years. The Government will use the […]

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UN Global Warming Talks Blocked by Russia Set Back Six Months

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Alessandro Vitelli & Stefan Nicola – June 14, 2013) The United Nations global warming talks have been set back by six months after Russia and its allies blocked progress at a group charged with implementing decisions of the 190 nations involved in the discussions. The Subsidiary Body for Implementation at the UN talks failed to complete […]

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Russia at risk of recession but can avoid it – minister

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 13, 2013) Russia runs the risk of a recession, but there are opportunities to avoid it, Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov said at a Thursday press conference in Moscow dedicated to the upcoming St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). “The risk of a recession does exist, but we aren’t in a state of recession, and we […]

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