The Biggest Threat To Dollar Dominance

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – November 12, 2018) Russian oil exporters are pressuring Western commodity traders to pay for Russian crude in euros and not dollars as Washington prepares more sanctions for the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Moscow, Reuters reported last week, citing as many as seven industry sources. While it may have come as a surprise to the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia clashes with Western oil buyers over new deals as sanctions loom” – Reuters

Oil Well file photo

“Russian energy majors are putting pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as Moscow seeks protection against possible new U.S. sanctions. … Western oil majors and trading houses have clashed with Russia’s third and fourth biggest producers, Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz, over 2019 oil sales contract terms during […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The tenth city: Rostov-on-Don; We move to Russia in our series on Europe’s second-tier cities; Ancient trading traditions have survived Bolshevism and war” – The Economist

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… [Rostov-on-Don has] roots as a trading hub …. Russia’s gdp growth is slow at around 1.5% … [yet] the Rostov region is … at twice that … powered by booming farming, retooled manufacturing and an active citizenry. … [G]eography, tradition and mild weather make[] Rostov among Russia’s most entrepreneurial cities. … [where] 44% of the workforce is employed in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Sanctions undermine international system, time bomb planted under WTO – Medvedev” – Interfax

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

BEIJING. Nov 7 (Interfax) – International sanctions have planted a time bomb under World Trade Organization (WTO) procedures, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said. “In fact, a time bomb has been planted under the WTO regimes now, which the WTO, World Bank, and IMF managers have talked about. So this is very bad,” Medvedev told journalists on Wednesday. The restrictive […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. overtakes Russia to become the world’s biggest oil producer” – bne Intellinews

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

“The U.S. overtook Russia to become the world’s biggest producer of oil in August …. Russia has been the biggest single producer of oil in terms of barrels produced a day for several years, but the shale oil revolution in the U.S. has seen production there skyrocket …. As average oil prices rose to over $65 in the first quarter […]

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Can Russia Relieve The Iranian Oil Crisis?

Iran Map and Flag

(Oilprice.com – Vanand Meliksetian – October 30, 2018) Charles de Gaulle once said: “no nation has friends, only interests.” Cooperation between Russia and Iran has been increasing over the years. The countries are drifting towards each other due to shared interests over topics such as Syria and opposition to a unipolar world led by the U.S. Although Moscow and Tehran […]

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Let Them East Cheese: Russian Plant Thrives Amid Sanctions

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dmitry Lyubimov, Tony Wesolowsky – Oct. 22, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/let-them-east-cheese-russian-plant-thrives-amid-sanctions-/29557433.html) Sergei Chernych proudly points to the gleaming Western-made stainless-steel machinery at his cheese factory in Mari El, a small republic in Russia’s Volga region. Production at the plant in Sernur, some 90 kilometers east of the […]

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David Malaher: “Re: Oct. 16, 2018 #41: IMF ranks Ukraine as Europe’s poorest country”

International Monetary Fund Logo Over Ukraine Flag

Subject: Oct. 16, 2018 #41: IMF ranks Ukraine as Europe’s poorest country Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2018 From: David Malaher <david@malaher.org> To: David Johnson <davidjohnson@starpower.net> I try to follow Ukraine news through the Johnson List, among other sources. I visited Ukraine in June, touring through nine cities from Liviv to Odessa via a combination automobile and boat (on the Dnieper […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Sanctions Give Russian Economy an Unintended Boost; For months, rising dollar-denominated oil prices, falling ruble have worked to Moscow’s benefit” – Wall Street Journal/ Avantika Chilkoti

Oil Well file photo

“U.S. sanctions have driven the price of oil and the ruble apart – leaving Russia with expensive crude and a cheaper currency … helping its economy. The price of oil, Russia’s main export, has risen almost 14% since mid-August. … largely because of the coming resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, choking off the supply of crude from that country. […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Euronews TV channel” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – October 18, 2018 – government.ru/en/news/34370/) The Russian Prime Minister answers questions of TV host Tesa Arcilla ahead of the 12th ASEM Summit, which is to take place on 18-19 October in Brussels. Tesa Arcilla: Joining us on the programme is Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Thank you very much, Mister Medvedev, for joining us on the programme. Earlier […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Climbs in Global Competitiveness Index” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 17, 2018) The Russian economy has climbed two spots in an annual rating of the world’s most competitive economies published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Russia returned to a growth rate of 1.5 percent in 2017 after two years of decline and is projected to grow a further 1.7 percent this year and […]

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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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The ‘Who, What, When’ of Russia Sanctions: A Cheat Sheet for Laymen

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Alexey Eremenko – September 26, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/who-what-when-russia-sanctions-cheat-sheet-laymen) Alexey Eremenko is a Moscow-based analyst with Control Risks, a global business-risks consultancy. Russia watchers are still debating whether or not current tensions between Moscow and the U.S. are a new Cold War, but whatever the conflict gets called in the history books, all will agree that […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Via arms and trade, Russia plots long-term Syrian future” – AP

Syria Map

“… A longtime client of Russian weapons manufacturers since well before the war, Syria also was a reliable trading partner. And Moscow is furthering that relationship by rebuilding roads, pipes and skyscrapers wiped out by seven years of war – including destruction wrought by Russia’s own weapons. … Russian companies are seeking a diverse trade base, with food, farming and […]

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Russian Infrastructure to Support Northern Sea Route Won’t Be Ready for at Least Another Decade, Experts Say

Arctic Map

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 12, 2018) The Washington Post reported four days ago that global warming is opening the Northern Sea Route to more shipping sooner than expected, but officials and experts in the North say that Russia won’t have the necessary infrastructure in place to support trade on that route for at least another […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s war is transforming Ukraine” – Washington Post/Anne Applebaum

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

“… [I]ntegration of … Donetsk refugees into schools and communities in the central and western parts of the country is … part of a broader story: the integration of the war into the consciousness of Ukrainians. … the Russian-Ukrainian war continues. One of the Russian-backed separatist leaders was killed in a bomb attack in August. Skirmishes take place most days, […]

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Oil Production Jumps to a New Post-Soviet Record” – Bloomberg/Elena Mazneva

Oil Well file photo

“Russia’s crude production has jumped to a new post-Soviet record, boosting … budget revenue as it prepares for talks with OPEC+ on further cooperation, according to a [Russian] government official. … currently fluctuating between 1.54 million and 1.55 million tons a day — driven mainly … Rosneft … 11.29 million to 11.36 million barrels a day, beating the previous record […]

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The U.S. Calls On Russia To Cap Soaring Oil Prices

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tim Daiss – September 15, 2018 – oilprice.com/Geopolitics/International/The-US-Calls-On-Russia-To-Cap-Soaring-Oil-Prices.html) As crucial mid-term congressional elections in November draw near, the Trump administration is feeling the heat over higher oil prices. London-traded global oil benchmark Brent breached the $80 per barrel price point on Wednesday, its highest level since May 2. NYMEX-traded U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI) reached […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Hungarian PM reaches agreement on gas deliveries from Russia to 2020” – bne Intellinews

Gas Flame file photo

“Hungary has reached an agreement on gas deliveries from Russia for both 2019 and 2020, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said at a joint press conference with … Putin … [Orban] has built strong ties with Putin over the years, defying his EU partners. The Russian president has become his main ally since he announced his plans to build an illiberal […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia-China trade turnover up 25.7% in January-August 2018” – bne Intellinews

Asia Map

“… The two countries set a target to hit $100bn of trade turnover a few years ago …. if trade continues to expand at the same pace as over the first eight months of this year trade turnover should top $100bn by the end of this year. … The EU remains Russia’s biggest trading partner with a turnover of €231bn […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Serious’ rivalry still drives China-Russia relations despite improving ties” – CNBC/Nyshka Chandran

Asia Map

“The strategic partnership between China and Russia, long marred by mutual suspicion, has risen to new heights with recent news of joint projects of more than $100 billion and large-scale army drills. But such cooperation belies the rivalry that defines the relationship between Chinese President Xi Jinping and … Putin …. Beijing’s economic and commercial activities in Moscow’s backyard – […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin invites foreign partners to develop Northern Sea Route” – Interfax

Arctic Satellite Image and Map

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 12 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited foreign partners to develop the Northern Sea Route. “We are inviting all interested partners to develop this promising route, and we know that our partners are interested in doing so,” Putin said at a plenary meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum on Wednesday. The logistic potential of the Russian […]

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Russia Looks To Boost Gas Sales In Tighter European Markets

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – September 8, 2018) Western Europe will need more flexibility in natural gas supplies in the coming winter season. The European market has been tight amid higher demand in the summer’s heat wave, while natural gas stockpiles are lower than usual after one of the coldest winters in the past decade. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is […]

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Senate Testimony of Ambassador Michael McFaul;Outside Perspectives on Russian Sanctions: Current Effectiveness and Potential for Next Steps [Excerpt]

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

Testimony of Ambassador Michael McFaul [Excerpt] Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor of Political Science, and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow at Stanford University U.S. Senate Committee on Banking Outside Perspectives on Russian Sanctions: Current Effectiveness and Potential for Next Steps September 6, 2018 [PDF Full text here: https://www.banking.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/McFaul%20Testimony%209-6-18.pdf] In the last several years, the Russian government has taken […]

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Russia Losing Out to U.S. in Central Asia, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ Says

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 31, 2018) “The situation in Central Asia and Kazakhstan where Moscow’s position has always been considered fixed is changing before our eyes,” the editors of Moscow’s Nezavisimaya gazeta say, and “the region is being transformed into a successful American place des armes.” That reflects the success of the Five Plus One […]

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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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NEWSLINK: “China – Not Russia – Elected Trump; China’s economic attack on America caused U.S. voters to turn to Trump” – The National Interest/James Walker

Asia Map

“… attention should be sharply focused instead on the role of China in electing Trump. It is that concern that should inform American action today. China’s long-standing predatory trading policies have eaten America’s lunch, impacting most severely those who carry lunch buckets to work in America’s heartland. …”    

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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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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Busting Nord Stream 2 myths” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

Gas Flame file photo

“The proposed expansion of the capacity of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in Europe’s north, running from Russia’s Yamal gas fields to the German coast, has split Europe …. detractors claim it will make Europe more dependent on Russian gas and give the Kremlin a bigger club … to bully the rest of Europe. … supporters say it will diversify […]

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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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U.S. Sanctions Wreak Havoc On Russia’s Oil Industry

Oil Well file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – August 23, 2018) [Text with links: oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/US-Sanctions-Wreak-Havoc-On-Russias-Oil-Industry.html] The U.S. sanctions on Russia have affected investment in Russian oil and gas exploration projects, U.S. officials say, while Congress is considering further sanctions on the energy and banking sectors to punish Moscow for the threat it poses to the United States. At Senate hearings on Tuesday, a […]

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Analysts: Russia’s Oil Industry Won’t Crumble Under U.S. ‘Bill From Hell’

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

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – August 17, 2018) The ‘bill from hell’ of hard-hitting sanctions against Russia that U.S. Senators introduced earlier this month is unlikely to have a wide-ranging impact on Russia’s oil industry, analysts and economists tell Reuters. Since the United States slapped sanctions on Russia in 2014 over the Crimea annexation, Russian oil firms have drastically cut […]

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RUSSIALINK: “The Russian Sanctions Bill Proposed by Congress, Explained” – Moscow Times

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

The latest U.S. sanctions bill announced earlier this month was published on the website of Congress on Tuesday and includes sweeping restrictions on investment in new Russian sovereign debt and bank operations. [congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/3336/text?r=12#toc-id10F125618FBE42A2826B31DE3B988FE0] News of the bill sent the ruble tumbling to two-year lows and sparked a wider asset sell-off. Less than a month after the first Russian-U.S. presidential summit […]

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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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Moscow has Made ‘Unforgivable Mistake’ of Setting West against Russia for the Long Term, Shevtsova Says

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 15, 2018) The Russian regime has made “the unforgivable mistake” of acting against the West in ways that have made Russia a key part of the domestic politics of the U.S. and European countries and guaranteed that the West will continue its sanctions regime against Moscow for a long time to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia to increase oil production to new record highs in 2019” – bne Intellinews

File Photo of Rosneft and Russian Flags Next to Rosneft Banner

“… [According to OPEC,] Russian oil production has increased recently to a record 11.2mn barrels a day …. Russian state-owned oil producer Rosneft has already earned more profit in the first quarter of this year than in all of 2017 … ma[king] it the most valuable company in the country. The Russia’s energy ministry has raised its forecast for oil […]

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Nigel Gould-Davies: “BOFIT Policy Brief: Assessing Western Sanctions”

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Subject: BOFIT Policy Brief: Assessing Western sanctions Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2018 From: Nigel Gould-Davies <nigelgd.office@gmail.com In case of interest to JRL, my policy brief for the Bank of Finland’s Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT) on “Economic effects and political impacts: Assessing Western sanctions on Russia”, just published: helda.helsinki.fi/bof/bitstream/handle/123456789/15832/bpb0818.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y Abstract: This brief assesses the effectiveness of Western sanctions on […]

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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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RUSSIALINK: “Experts discuss Russian responses to new U.S. sanctions” – Bear Market Brief

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

“… On Friday, PM Dmitry Medvedev called potential new US sanctions ‘economic war,’ noting that Russia must respond with economic, political, and if necessary, other methods. Today, Russian … [commentators] discuss Moscow’s options. …”

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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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RUSSLIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] News conference following BRICS summit” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – July 27, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/58119) Vladimir Putin made a statement for the press and answered questions from Russian media following a two-day BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. I would like to brief you on what we did during these two days and on the results of our work. First of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “7 Key Bills of the Russian Duma’s Spring Session” – Moscow Times

Russian State Duma Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 27, 2018) Friday marks the last day of the Russian State Duma’s spring session, in which lawmakers in the lower house of parliament considered a total of 900 bills, of which 343 bills were passed. Here is a list of the most resonant bills that lawmakers approved in the spring session. Counter-sanctions The Kremlin […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Remarks at an expanded BRICS Summit meeting” – KremlinRu

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

(Kremlin.ru – July 26, 2018) President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President Ramaphosa, Friends, President Xi Jinping, President Temer, Prime Minister Modi, Colleagues, Meeting in a narrow format, we have just noted – and I would like to recall this now again at the beginning – that during these days we are jointly marking the 100th birth anniversary of South […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Western Sanctions on Russia’s Oil and Gas Sector: a Damage Assessment” – Carnegie Moscow/Tatiana Mitrova

Oil Well file photo

“Don’t be misled by Western sanctions’ limited impact on Russia. In reality, they operate with an accumulating effect: the more time passes, the greater the potential technological backlog, financing gap, and negative consequences will be. In the long run, sanctions may jeopardize Russia’s oil and gas production volumes and the development of pipeline infrastructure, gradually squeezing the country out of […]

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RUSSIALINK: “BRICS leaders to discuss expansion at summit in S. Africa – Kremlin aide” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) – The leaders of the BRICS member states will discuss the prospects of this association’s expansion but will not make a decision on the matter at the upcoming summit in South Africa, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said. “The BRICS leaders will meet on July 27 to consider the association’s development and address strategic partnership priorities,” Ushakov […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Surprise, Maryland – your election contractor has ties to Russia” – Washington Post Editorial

Baltimore Inner Harbor and Skline file photo, adapted from image at epa.gov by Steven C. Welsh, www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“… an Internet technology company with which [Maryland] contracts to hold electronic voting information is connected to a Russian oligarch … ‘very close’ to … Putin. Maryland leaders did not know about the connection until the FBI told them. Maryland[] … chose a company to keep electronic information on voter registration, election results and other … data. … [a] company […]

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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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