Tag Archives: Trade

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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Russia 2014 Gas Exports Seen Lowest in Decade as Nations Cut Use

Gas Flame file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Mazneva – January 13, 2015) Russia, the world’s biggest natural-gas exporter, probably cut 2014 fuel exports to the lowest in a decade as consumption in Europe and Ukraine declined. OAO Gazprom (GAZP), the state-run gas-pipeline export monopoly, supplied no more than 195 billion cubic meters of fuel from Russia to the European Union, Turkey and […]

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Meet the EEU family (Eurasian Economic Union)

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 5, 2015) Members: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia Prospective member: Armenia Potential members: Kyrgyzstan (likely), Tajikistan (unlikely) Population: 173mn (Russia, including Crimea, 146mn; Kazakhstan, 17mn; Belarus, 10mn) Total GDP: $2.7tn Share of world gas reserves: 20% Share of world oil reserves: 15% On January 1, the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty governing what […]

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What awaits Russia’s economy in 2015 after ruble collapse?

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Konstantin Korishchenko, special to RBTH – December 17, 2014) Konstantin Korishchenko is head of the stock market and financial engineering department at the Finance and Banking Faculty of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and a former deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank. As the Russian ruble plunges […]

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Fears of Capital Controls Grow as Russia’s Economy Goes Haywire

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – December 17, 2014) The possible implementation of capital controls in Russia came a step closer Tuesday as the authorities appeared to be running out of options to stem the country’s dramatic currency collapse. The ruble defied an emergency interest rate rise of 6.5 percentage points announced overnight, falling 20 percent to above […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by the President at the Business Roundtable [excerpt re: Russia]

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

The White House Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release December 03, 2014 Remarks by the President at the Business Roundtable [excerpt re Russia] Business Roundtable Headquarters The President: So I think we have to be cautious and clear-eyed about our relationship with China, but there’s no reason why we should not be able to manage that relationship in […]

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Crash Course: The Ruble’s Volatile Two Decades

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Carl Schreck – December 02, 2014) The Russian ruble’s sharp plunge this week, which saw it fall below 50 to the U.S. dollar, has revived the specter of the kind of currency crisis that Russians have suffered through repeatedly over the past 25 years. The ruble on December 1 took its steepest dive in intraday trading […]

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Interfax: U.S. Department of Agriculture raises Russian grain harvest forecast to 102 mln tonnes

Field of Grain file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 1 (Interfax) – the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service raised its forecast for Russia’s grain harvest in the current farm year (July 2014-June 2015) by 1 million tonnes to in November to 102 million tonnes. It raised its estimate for grain exports by 1.5 million tonnes of 29.5 million tonnes. The USDA boosted its forecast for […]

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

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

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

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

EU Map

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

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Beijing and Brisbane meetings see Russia boost economic ties with BRICS

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, Gevorg Mirzayan, RBTH – November 24, 2014) The recent APEC and G20 summits yielded important dialogue between Moscow and the West on the Ukrainian crisis and a further strengthening of ties between Russia and its BRICS partners, though relations with West remain strained, as global media were keen to emphasize. Russian […]

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Russian Oil-Output Cuts to Support OPEC Seen as Unlikely

Oil Well file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva – November 26, 2014) Each time oil takes a dive, the idea of Russia allying with OPEC to shore up prices gets an airing. It happened in the months after 9/11 and again during the 2008 financial crisis. Now it’s back on the agenda. Russia’s top two oil officials are in Vienna […]

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Unnecessary Sacrifice

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Alexander Podrabinek – November 24, 2014) Prominent Russian journalist, writer and human rights activist. His articles appeared in Novaya Gazeta, Ezhenedelny Journal (Ej.Ru), Grani.Ru, et al. He is a regular guest at Ekho Moskvy radio station. Podrabinek is also a well-known Soviet dissident and former political prisoner. In 1977, he published a book […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year

Anton Siluanov file photo

[“Russia puts losses from sanctions, cheaper oil at up to $140 billion/year” – Reuters – Nov. 24, 2014] Reuters reports on Russia’s claims about the extent to which Western sanctions and lower oil prices are impacting the Russian economy. The assertions were made by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at a Monday press conference. Lower oil prices and Western financial sanctions […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Text of Ambassador Pyatt’s Panel Comments at the Kyiv Post Tiger Conference WEF Panel

Geoffrey R. Pyatt file photo

(US Embassy Ukraine – November 19, 2014) I think with government servants like Hanna Hopko and Dmytro (Shymkiv), you get a sense of Ukraine’s direction. I think the greatest single risk factor is business as usual. It’s the assumption in some circles that Ukraine can keep doing as it had been doing in the past. I think that attitude is […]

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McDonald’s Moscow Restaurant Reopens After 3-Month Shutdown

File Photo of Russian McDbnald's Crew with U.S. Diplomat

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leslie Patton, Ilya Khrennikov – November 19, 2014) McDonald’s Corp.’s (MCD) largest restaurant in Russia reopened after local officials shuttered the location for three months, an optimistic sign for a company trying to return to business as usual in the country. The outlet, situated in Moscow’s Pushkin Square, resumed business today, said Svetlana Polyakova, a spokeswoman […]

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Profile: Elvira Nabiullina, Woman at Center of Russia’s Ruble Collapse

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – November 15, 2014) Reaching the climax of a personal attack on Russia’s Central Bank chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina in a debate in the State Duma early last week, Communist deputy Vyacheslav Tetyokin did not hold back. Nabiullina, he said, was “the most expensive woman in the history of our country.” Tetyokin was incensed […]

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Time for change – G20

G20 Australia 2014

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

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

G20 Australia 2014

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

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Low oil prices hurt Russia and the West

Oil Well file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Bryan MacDonald, special to RBTH – November 12, 2014) Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist who focusses on Russia and international geopolitics. Are Western and Gulf oil interests ganging up to break Russia? Is the country hopelessly addicted to black gold? Bryan McDonald find the truth is a bit more prosaic. The last […]

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

Ukraine Map and Flag

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

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Russian oil could go into self-destruction mode on price fall

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 11, 2014) Russia’s oil industry runs the risk of repeating the death spiral of the Soviet oil industry, should prices stay below $90, according to research by brokerage Renaissance Capital. If the oil price were to stay well below $90 for long, Russia’s mostly state-owned oil industry could enter self-destruction mode, as it […]

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Interfax: Moscow says Silk Road route may go via Russia

China Map

BEIJING. Nov 10 (Interfax) – Some sections of the Silk Road route pass through Russia, according to Russian Direct Investment Fund head Kirill Dmitriyev. “The route is being chosen, and Russia should hold a very active position in this respect. The Russian president said earlier today that we had plenty of infrastructural capacity for building a part of that route […]

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Oil falls below $80 but floating ruble seen mitigating pain for Russia

Oil Well file photo

(Business New Europe – November 7, 2014) Oil prices fell below $80 for the first time in four years on November 5 after Saudi Arabia and other Opec members refused to cut production. But economists say despite the large movements in the oil price, the de facto freely floating ruble will mitigate much of the economic pain to Russia. “The […]

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Russia, Ukraine and EU sign gas deal

Gas Flame file photo

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

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

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

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

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RIA Novosti: Who and What Is Causing the Decline in Oil Prices, and Where Will It Lead?

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – With oil hovering around the $80-85 per barrel mark, down nearly 30 percent from a high of over $115 in mid-June, media and expert analysis about the causes and consequences of the price decline has been extensive. We present another, Russia-informed perspective. Saudi Machinations Against US Shale and the Drive for Market Share Among […]

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How Slumping Oil Prices Hit Russia’s Sanctions-Struck Oil Industry

Oil Well file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 29, 2014) Three screws are tightening on Russia’s oil industry. International banks are calling in multibillion-dollar loans and refusing new ones due to sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. Western oil companies are barred from handing over advanced drilling technology, also due to sanctions. And, unexpectedly, the oil price has slumped from […]

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Blowing $24 Billion on Ruble Spurs Free-Float Bet

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Vladimir Kuznetsov – October 29, 2014) The ruble’s persistent weakening in the face of $24 billion of interventions is stoking speculation the Bank of Russia will accelerate its switch to a free float. The currency fell to a record for a sixth day today, losing 0.6 percent to 42.7410 per dollar and bringing this month’s drop […]

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