Tag Archives: Trade

The Riga summit of disappointment

EU Map

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 21, 2015) Several plucky countries of Emerging Europe have put their necks on the block by defying Russian bullying to join its Customs Union, turning instead to the EU and its promise of a better life. But most of these countries are likely to be disappointed, or could […]

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McCain Nixes Pentagon Plan to Use More Russian Rocket Engines

John McCain at hearing; adapted from defense.gov image

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 15, 2015) The United States will not allow domestic space companies to use more Russian rocket engines despite requests from the Pentagon, news agency Reuters reported, citing a letter written by U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Armed Services Committee John McCain. In a response to a letter from U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter […]

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Currency Crisis Leaves Russian Scientists With No Funds for Foreign Journal Subscriptions

Artist's Conception of Nanotechnology Components

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – May 13, 2015) After scientists across Russia lost access to thousands of academic journals on Tuesday due to the ruble’s sharp devaluation, Education Minister Dmitry Livanov vowed to restore access to academic publishing giant Springer, Russian media reported. Universities and research institutions across the country lost access to Springer due to a […]

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Russia Was Right: Shale in Europe Has Proved a Dud

Europe Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ladka Mortkowitz Bauerova – May 11, 2015) When Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. opened an office in Poland in 2009, it had a reason to be optimistic: the shale boom was transforming the U.S. into the world’s largest producer of natural gas. To the companies rushing to imitate that success in Europe, Poland looked like the next Texas. […]

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Moscow Times: Russia Declared Best of BRICS in Developing Human Capital

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

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – May 14, 2015) Russia on Wednesday claimed 26th place in a global ranking of countries’ ability to foster human capital thanks to its highly educated populace, putting it first among the BRICS group of developing nations. Among BRICS members Russia led by a mile, according to the survey of 124 economies published […]

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NEWSLINK Wall Street Journal: Signs Putin Doesn’t Think He’s Lost the Sanctions Game; any reactions?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Secretary of State John Kerry‘s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday has revived one of Washington’s top guessing games: Is Mr. Putin impressed by Western sanctions? A well-informed Russian friend of mine told me Monday that Mr. Putin will not rethink his Ukraine strategy until he is convinced that Europe and the U.S. are able to make their […]

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EU Says No Visa Liberalization For Ukraine And Georgia

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – May 8, 2015) The EU Commission has said neither Georgia nor Ukraine would obtain visa-free travel to the EU’s Schengen zone at the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit later this month. Speaking in Brussels on May 8 after the EU Commission published its annual visa report on both countries, the spokeswoman for home affairs, Natasha Bertaud, said […]

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Oil’s Rebound Is Here

Oil Wells File Photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – May 6, 2015) As Brent crude oil reached more than $68 per barrel Wednesday, a high for 2015, analysts started to backtrack on earlier predictions of $40-$50 oil. The rebound, however, may not last: Speculators appear to have disrupted Saudi Arabia’s strategic game against U.S. shale oil producers. Predicting oil prices is a […]

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Russian Economy May Be Stumbling Back To Its Feet

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Oilprice.com – Andy Tully – May 3, 2015) The Bank of Russia has cut interest rates for the third time so far this year, reinforcing forecasts by some government ministers that the country’s economic woes are beginning to stabilize. The central bank cut its key rate on April 30 to 12.5 percent, a reduction of 1.5 points, and said it would […]

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EU-Ukraine free trade talks with Russia likely to go nowhere

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – TRADE BLOG: Iana Dreyer in Brussels – April 27, 2015) The likelihood of trilateral talks involving Ukraine, the EU and Russia over Ukraine’s implementation of the deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) embedded in its Association Agreement with the EU – the deal that triggered the Ukraine crisis – is low. The continuing […]

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Poroshenko calls on EU leaders to give Ukraine prospect of EU membership

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KYIV. April 27 (Interfax) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on the European Union to give Ukraine the prospect of EU membership. “I am calling on the EU to admit that Ukraine, like any other European state that respects and is ready to defend common values, can become an EU member in the future, supporting ambitions for European integration […]

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Agriculture eases Ukraine’s economic pain

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv – April 22, 2015) While Ukraine’s steel, heavy engineering and power sectors have been crippled by the war in the east and the economic crisis, agriculture has become the country’s leading source of export revenue and the only sector putting in a positive performance. Even so, farmers are facing difficulties […]

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Russia faces ‘new reality’ as it counts cost of Ukraine crisis, says Medvedev

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – April 22, 2015) Western sanctions and low oil prices caused Russia’s economy to shrink by 2% in the first three months of the year, the first time it contracted since 2009, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in Moscow on April 21 as he presented the government’s annual report to parliament. The country faced […]

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Russian Global Trade Plummets as Economic Crisis Deepens

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – April 21, 2015) Russia’s trade turnover with the outside world plunged 30.1 percent year-on-year in the first two months of 2015 as oil price falls, currency devaluation and tit-for-tat sanctions shook the Russian economy. The value of Russia’s international trade fell to $83.3 billion over January and February, according to data published […]

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NEWSLINK CNBC: Why Russia is more confident: Finance Minister

Anton Siluanov file photo

Russia’s economy has been through a series of seismic shocks in the past year – but there are increasing reasons to be optimistic as the amount of money being pulled out of the country slows, according to the country’s Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov.

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Is Gazprom’s changing export strategy a threat to Europe?

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – James Henderson – April 17, 2015) James Henderson is Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies The visit of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping to Moscow in May to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II could also mark the next stage in Russia’s “pivot to Asia” if, as some […]

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NEWSLINK CNBC: Russia has bigger concerns than oil, ruble: Deputy PM

Arkady Dvorkovich file photo

Faced with the triple whammy of plunging oil prices, currency volatility and Western sanctions, there’s no dearth of challenges for Russia’s ailing economy, but Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said what hurts most is the scarcity of financing for new investments. “The shortness of financing for new investments is where the Russian economy is being hit in the most important […]

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Moody’s: Russian inflation to peak at 17%-18% in Q2 2015, drop below 10% by mid-2016

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. April 15 (Interfax) – Moody’s Investors Service expects Russian inflation to peak at 17%-18% in the second quarter of 2015 and to drop below 10% by mid-2016 as the impact of the ruble’s depreciation fades, Moody’s said in a report on Russia’s banking sector in 2015. “Therefore Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is likely to loosen monetary policy on […]

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Eastern Ukraine returns to the ruble

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv, Mari Bastashevski in Donetsk – April 15, 2015) The Russian ruble is gaining ground against the hryvnia across rebel-held parts of East Ukraine’s Donbas region, 19 years after Kyiv introduced the national currency to end the country’s membership of the ruble zone. As Eastern Ukraine heads towards becoming a frozen […]

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Putin’s Mideast Gains Trump $27 Billion Loss From Iran Agreement

Middle East Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Stephen Bierman – April 14, 2015) As Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, he’s willing to take an economic hit to expand his political influence. He’s taking the same approach with Iran. Lifting sanctions and allowing Iranian oil onto global markets would threaten to deepen the plunge in crude […]

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Moscow Times: Ruble Hits New 2015 Highs in World’s Best Currency Rebound

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 8, 2015) The Russian currency strengthened rapidly Wednesday as a recent rally driven by greater confidence in the ruble and easing international tensions overpowered the downward pressure of a sliding oil price. The ruble jumped over 3 percent in morning trading to 53.4 against the U.S. dollar before weakening slightly to […]

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Will Putin Rescue Greece’s Tsipras?

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 7, 2015) As Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras prepares for talks with President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Moscow beginning on Wednesday, experts, officials and European leaders have been left guessing whether the two men might hammer out an economic deal. The meeting was announced less than a month ago […]

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NEWSLINK New York Times: Greece Should Be Wary of Mr. Putin

Ancient Temple Ruins in Greece with Tourists

The Greek government is facing a series of daunting challenges. It has to come up with money to pay off maturing debts, revive its devastated economy and renegotiate its loan agreements with other countries in the eurozone. Given those difficulties, it might be tempting — though misguided — for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to seek financial or other support from […]

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Russia takes over presidency of BRICS group

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews- April 3, 2015) Founding a $100bn currency reserve pool, launching the New Development Bank, and progress toward the peaceful settlement of world conflicts should be the hallmarks of Russia’s presidency of the BRICS grouping of emerging powers, the country’s leadership pledged after taking the helm on April 1. “The Russian presidency will […]

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Not all EU-Russia trade disputes are about politics

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Iana Dreyer in Brussels – April 2, 2015) It looks like part of the trade war, but it isn’t. The World Trade Organization is about to set up its fourth dispute settlement panel in two years between Brussels and Moscow. One could mistake this as a sign of the growing trade tensions amid the […]

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Putin approves three-month extension of Ukraine’s gas discount

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – April 1, 2015) Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a request by Gazprom to supply discounted natural gas to Ukraine for three more months on March 31, saying the arrangement would be reviewed later as oil prices changed. Ukraine in the first quarter of 2015 paid $329 per thousand cubic metres […]

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NEWSWATCH AP: American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia

Eurasia Map

[“American farmer among the winners in sanctions-hit Russia” – AP – James Ellingsworth – Apr. 1, 2015] AP examines the impact of Ukraine-related Western sanctions on Russia, such as increased prices for some farmers, instability in international projects, and evolving energy relations between Russia and China. The impact of sanctions, and a Russian embargo, on agriculture is apparently mixed. Russia’s ‘counter-sanctions’ ban on food imports […]

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Russia forging new acquaintances in Latin America

Latin America Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Yevgeny Bai, special to RBTH – March 27, 2015) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently completed a tour of Latin America that was notable for its focus on countries usually seen to be outside Moscow’s sphere of interest. With traditional ally Venezuela mired in crisis and the leaders of Brazil and Argentina occupied […]

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Russian Souvenirs Make Up to 500% Profit Online Despite Political Faceoff

Russia Nesting Dolls file photo, adapted from image wiesbaden.army.mil with photo credit Anemone Rueger

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Spinella – March 30, 2015) Russia’s relations with the West may have reached lows unparalleled since the Cold War, but the trend for kitschy Russian and Soviet souvenirs abroad appears to be as popular as ever, bringing vendors a pretty penny. Selling souvenirs on online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy can yield a […]

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Sanctions and Regime Survival

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Mark Kramer, Director, Cold War Studies Program, and Senior Fellow, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University – March 11, 2015 – article also appeared at ponarseurasia.org/article/sanctions-and-regime-survival) Some debates never die; they just get replayed. After the Soviet Army invaded Afghanistan in late December 1979, the United States imposed economic sanctions against the USSR. The Russian Federation since […]

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NEWSLINK Christian Science Monitor: Russia heads to ‘America’s backyard’ to find salve for sanctions

Latin America Map

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited several Latin American nations this week to seek trade opportunities that could offset US efforts to puncture Russia’s economy. Russia took its global charm offensive to Latin America this week, as the Kremlin seeks to counter Western sanctions over its policies in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. … http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2015/0326/Russia-heads-to-America-s-backyard-to-find-salve-for-sanctions  

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NEWSLINK Washington Post: A year into a conflict with Russia, are sanctions working?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

When it comes to inflicting economic pain on Russia, the Kremlin may be doing a better job than Western sanctions. Just don’t tell that to the Russian people, who overwhelmingly blame the West for a deepening recession that has parts of central Moscow starting to look like a ghost town. Prices are soaring. The ruble is dropping. And Russian living […]

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Russia needs Ukraine fix as its power hits post-Soviet peak

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 23, 2015) Russia needs a resolution to the conflict with the West over Ukraine now because its power has probably hit its post-Soviet peak. The US can afford to do nothing, and that is probably its best strategy – but it comes at the possible cost of the destruction of […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: U.S. faces meager options for further Russia energy sanctions

Oil Wells File Photo

[“U.S. faces meager options for further Russia energy sanctions” – Reuters – Timothy Gardner – March 23, 2015] Reuters examines Western sanctions on Russia, including some of the remaining options for energy-related sanctions. Energy is the economic lifeblood of Russia, which vies with the United States and Saudi Arabia to be the world’s top oil producer …the sector is the main target of […]

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How to end the Ukraine conflict

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

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – March 19, 2015) March will be a tense month as Russia has decided to poke its finger in Nato’s eye again. Russia’s Armed Forces are holding for the first time Arctic military exercises, which kicked off on March 16 and will last through March 21. The exercises are massive. The […]

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Six steps to return Russia to economic growth. The Russian economy is under pressure: it’s time for an alternative.

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(opendemocracy.net – Kirill Rodionov – March 9, 2015) Kirill Rodionov is an independent journalist. From 2008 to 2013, he was a Research Fellow at the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, Moscow. Follow him on Twitter: @k_rodionov In late January 2015, the Russian government adopted an anti-crisis programme. The plan includes a number of measures intended to provide sustainable development of […]

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NEWSLINK Moscow Times: Oil Crash Is Crushing Russia

Oil Wells File Photo

The impact of oil prices on the Russian economy is well known. After crude fell 50 percent last fall, the Ministry of Economic Development forecast a 3 percent GDP contraction this year, along with 12 percent inflation. The crash in oil prices will not only test President Vladimir Putin’s domestic support. It will upend Russian foreign policy, challenging the modernization of the country’s armed forces while diminishing its influence in Asia […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Middle Eastern oil players lose out to Russia in Asia

Oil Wells File Photo

As Russian oil supplies increase, Gulf states are forced to drop prices to remain competitive (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Kuchma, RBTH – March 12, 2015) Russia boosted oil supplies to China, Japan and South Korea by 10 million tons in 2014, increasing the proportion of oil exports to Asia from 7.2 percent to 8.7 percent. The […]

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Botched Law Could Close Hundreds of Foreign Firms’ Rep Offices in Russia

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – March 11, 2015) Representative and branch offices of foreign companies working in Russia are in a race against time to re-register with the authorities or lose their license to operate in the country. The re-registration was intended to streamline bureaucracy for foreign firms, but organizational failures and lack of proper warning have […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia may ease Ukraine’s gas terms, but Kiev must settle its bills

Gas Flame file photo

Russia may ease the terms of its gas supplies to Ukraine, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Reuters, but he said that sooner or later Kiev would have to pay for the gas Moscow is supplying to rebel-held areas of east Ukraine. …

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WHITE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE: Notice – Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release March 03, 2015 Notice — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Ukraine On March 6, 2014, by Executive Order 13660, I declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national […]

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Russia’s dependence on oil prices may threaten national security – official

Nikolay Patrushev file photo

(Interfax – February 25, 2015) Moscow, 25 February: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev thinks that the aim of the Western sanctions is to put pressure on the development of Russia’s mineral resource base, while Russia’s dependence on oil and gas prices may pose a threat to its national security. “The aim of the sanctions is to put pressure on the […]

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Ukraine Risks Losing IMF Support for Aid If War Escalates

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Andrew Mayeda – February 26, 2015) Ukraine risks losing support from IMF member countries for a proposed $17.5 billion bailout if the conflict in the former Soviet republic continues to escalate, according to two people familiar with the matter. The new four-year loan program is awaiting approval by the International Monetary Fund’s executive board, which represents […]

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Interfax: Russia sees risk of global economic slowdown due to low oil prices – minister

Oil Well file photo

ISTANBUL. Feb 10 (Interfax) – Russia warned G20 finance ministers meeting in Istanbul about the risks of a slowdown of global economic growth as a result of the drop in oil prices and called for a deeper analysis of the impact that the drop in prices has had on the economies of various countries, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said […]

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Business New Europe: Russian coal keeps UK household lights on as winter grips

Russian Coal Mine file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.ru – Nick Kochan in London – February 5, 2015) As winter grips the UK, a group of Russian coal companies with leaders closely linked to President Vladimir Putin are enabling British power companies to keep the country’s lights on – a precarious position as the sanctions rhetoric rises once again. Three Russian firms, SUEK, KRU […]

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Russia To Face Same Old Questions at Davos In Chillier Atmosphere

File Photo of "World Economic Forum" Display at Davos from Past Session

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – January 21, 2015) As the World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss alpine town of Davos on Wednesday, Moscow’s delegates will be working hard to convince participants that Russia is still a sound investment despite tensions over Ukraine and a faltering economy. Speaking at a curtain-raising news conference last week, Klaus […]

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Ambassador John F. Tefft Speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia

John Tefft file photo

(US Embassy Moscow – January 20, 2015) Thank you for that introduction, Alex. I am grateful for this opportunity to speak to members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia. I am sure you already know them and work closely with them, but let me start by introducing my team. First, there is Deputy Chief of Mission Lynne Tracy […]

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EU split on maintaining Russian sanctions

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 16, 2015) With European growth faltering, and mounting fears of a total meltdown of the Russian economy that no-one wants, the European Union’s commitment to sanctions on Russia is wavering. At least eight EU countries are reported to be against renewing EU economic and financial sanctions when they […]

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Ukraine’s Effort to Cut Russian-Gas Reliance Sees Explorers Exit

Gas Flame file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ladka Bauerova – January 12, 2015) Ukraine’s ambition to wean itself off gas supplies from a hostile Russia has never seemed so distant. Foreign explorers that are key to Ukraine’s future energy independence are fleeing the nation as a war against pro-Moscow insurgents in eastern regions sends the economy into freefall. Even government measures aimed at shrinking […]

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