NEWSLINK: Senate fight coming over Russian human rights bill

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

(Senate fight coming over Russian human rights bill – Foreign Policy – Josh Rogin – Nov. 28, 2012 – click here for full article) ForeignPolicy.com covers the U.S. Senate’s handling of the Magnitsky Act and related trade regulation, and the question of whether to broaden its scope to human rights violators world-wide: The Senate is set to do battle over […]

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NEWSLINK: The Magnitsky Bill

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(The Magnitsky Bill: The Sources of America’s Obsession with Russia – US-Russia.org – featuring Vlad Sobell, Ron Paul, Edward Lozansky, Willism Dunkerley, Alexander Rahr, Alexandre Strokanov, Nicolai Petro,  Mark Nuckols, Patrick Armstrong, and Sergei Roy – Nov. 28, 2012 – click here for full article) US-Russia.org features remarks in Congress by Cong. Ron Paul, as well as commentary by Vlad […]

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NEWSLINK: Georgia eyes double-digit growth, renewed Russia ties

Map of Georgia

(Georgia eyes double-digit growth, renewed Russia ties – Reuters – Margarita Antidze – Nov. 26, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/26/us-georgia-economy-idUSBRE8AP0NE20121126) Reuters covers Georgia’s expressed need for increased economic growth in the face of unemployment and low per capita GDP, with one hope being that trade with Russia will play a part: Georgia’s new economy minister says his country, beset by high unemployment […]

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Medvedev vows both symmetrical and asymmetrical response to Magnitsky Act

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

MOSCOW. Nov 29 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev thinks that the support of the Magnitsky Act by European countries is pointless and vows that Russia will respond to such a decision by the U.S. Congress. “If we speak about this act, it will invoke both symmetrical and asymmetrical reactions on our behalf. We passed all of these in […]

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Russia to Weigh Taxing Individuals on Investments, Deposits

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – Nov. 28, 2012) Russia will consider taxing individuals who earn more than 1 million rubles ($32,200) a year from financial holdings to narrow income inequality, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. “We could collect tax on additional income from wealthy citizens who have larger bank deposits and more investment income using such a mechanism,” […]

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Better Business Climate Gets New Impetus

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Nov. 29, 2012) Business executives are urgently calling on the government to improve conditions for entrepreneurship, which they say remains massively underdeveloped because of stifling bureaucratic and administrative hurdles. If the country’s leaders do not act soon, they might put themselves in jeopardy, participants in a business conference said Wednesday. “Without […]

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Russian deputy PM says democracy depends on innovative economy

Skolkovo File Photo

(Interfax – Skolkovo, 28 November) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov has described innovative work as a priority political task because high technologies contribute to the development of democracy. “I think innovative work is a priority political task. It precedes party building, it precedes elections, it comes before everything else, because there will be no democracy without high technologies and […]

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NEWSLINK: Rostelecom Is Forever in Debt to the Kremlin

Empty Boardroom

(Rostelecom Is Forever in Debt to the Kremlin – Yulia Latynina – Moscow Times – Nov. 28, 2012 – Yulia Latynina hosts a political talk show on Ekho Moskvy radio – http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/rostelecom-is-forever-in-debt-to-the-kremlin/472094.html) Yulia Latynina comments in a Moscow Times op-ed on alleged corruption and repercussions entangling Rostelecom, Marshall Capital and VTB Bank, yet another Russian scandal ending up in the […]

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USRF supporting only business, legal, educational projects in Russia – USRF chief

Map of Russia

(Interfax – November 27, 2012) The U.S. Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and the Rule of Law (USRF), which is a U.S.-registered entity, neither can replace the defunct Russian branch of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) nor has any plans to do so, USRF’s chief executive said on Tuesday. USRF and USAID have completely different missions, Mark Pomar […]

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Russia Threatens EU With ‘Retaliation’ if No Visa Deal by 2014

EU Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – November 28, 2012) The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday threatened the European Union with “retaliation” if visa-free travel is not introduced in time for the Sochi Olympics in February 2014. Anvar Azimov, the ministry’s point man on visa negotiations with the EU, said Tuesday that Moscow wants to see a breakthrough by […]

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Medvedev Assures France on WTO Behavior

WTO Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – November 28, 2012) Russia and France signed an agreement Tuesday on creating a council to develop economic cooperation amid growing criticism from the European Union of some measures Moscow has introduced to support local manufacturers following accession to the World Trade Organization. A protocol to establish the Business Cooperation Council was signed […]

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Putin to deliver video address Dec 1 on Russia’s presidency in G20 – newspaper

Vladimir Putin file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 27 (Interfax) – President Vladimir Putin’s video address on December 1 will highlight Russia’s priorities as the G20’s coordinator, the daily Kommersant wrote on Tuesday. “Putin’s special video address will highlight the strategy of Russia’s presidency in this organization,” the newspaper writes. Also, a Web site will be launched on December 1 to cover Russia’s G20 presidency, it […]

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Rosy poverty picture comes under fire: Critics are questioning new estimates of the size of Russia’s middle class

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anastasia Matveyeva, Moskovskiye Novosti – November 26, 2012) Over the 2000-2012 period, the income of Russians has grown by 2.5 times. This has radically changed the country’s social structure, say two academics who presented a report at a Gaidar Readings conference in Moscow on Nov. 13: such conditions as poverty have practically disappeared and the […]

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A moveable riot: The saga of Pussy Riot has one source

File Photo of Pussy Riot Members in Courtroom Enclosure, With Man Showing Papers to One While Female Guard Looks On

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – November 26, 2012 – Anna Arutunyan is the politics editor of The Moscow News) I’m going to tell you a story about three pretty girls who defied the patriarchy ­ no, wait, scratch that. This is a story of deceit, betrayal and revolution. No, scratch that, too. Here’s a tale of greed, […]

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Roadmap to reform

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Ben Aris in Moscow – Business New Europe – www.bne.eu – November 27, 2012 – Ben Aris is the editor/publisher of Business New Europe) The Kremlin is scared. As the Russian economy emerges from the 2008 crisis, it is sliding smoothly and quickly into stagnation. In response, President Vladimir Putin challenged his government to implement 22 roadmaps to finally address […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gives an interview to France Presse and Le Figaro

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(premier.gov.ru – November 26, 2012) Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon. Question: Good afternoon. Mr Prime Minister, you plan to visit France soon, next week. We know that you had good relations with Nicolas Sarkozy. How would you assess your cooperation with the new President of France, Francois Hollande? Do you expect any changes? Dmitry Medvedev: I believe that our relations with […]

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Likelihood of external shocks that would put Russia into crisis similar to 2008 is low – MinFin

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) The likelihood of external shocks, which would threaten the Russian economy with a crisis similar to that of 2008 is low but Russia cannot control such risks and needs to be prepared for this possibility, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev told journalists on Wednesday. “We believe that the likelihood of such an external shock is very […]

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Far East Development Hinges on Branding and Diversity

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

(Howard Amos – Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 21, 2012) Despite the establishment of a Far East Development Ministry in May, the area from Siberia to the Pacific coast lacks an effective administrative body to coordinate investment projects, according to Alexander Bazhenov, head of the Far East Development Fund. Decaying infrastructure, extreme weather conditions, a decreasing population and the […]

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Russian MPs Mull Potential Response To USA’s Magnitskiy Law

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(RIA Novosti – November 20, 2012) Russian MPs have put forward various proposals for how Russia should respond to the USA’s “Magnitskiy list”, such as compiling a similar list of US officials or stepping up cooperation with the USA’s opponents, state news agency RIA Novosti reported on 20 November. The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved the “Magnitskiy […]

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Making of Magnitsky List a Murky Affair

U.S. Capitol at Twilight With Washington Monument, National Mall, Washington, D.C., Environs and Sunset in Background

WASHINGTON, November 21 (By Carl Schreck for RIA Novosti) – With the Magnitsky Act moving through the US Congress, American lawmakers are making clear their intent to punish Russian officials deemed by Washington to be responsible for human rights abuses. Less clear is who will end up on this blacklist­and how. The Magnitsky bill passed Friday by the US House […]

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Rogozin Warns of New Defense Corruption Purge

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin warned on Tuesday of a new clean-out of corruption and crooked officials in the country’s arms industry, following a series of high-profile scandals in the sector. “A clean-out is inevitable,” the deputy prime minister, who is in charge of the defense industry, told Kommersant. “The pitcher goes often […]

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Capital Outflow May Hit $70 Bln Says Minister

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s capital outflow may reach $70 billion in 2012, more than the previous forecast of $60-65 billion, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said on Tuesday. “We’ll specify the figure by December. Perhaps, it will be slightly larger [than the Central Bank’s estimate of $67 billion] at $70 billion, or may be less” Klepach […]

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Poll Reveals Savings and Wealth Trends

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  November 20, 2012) The material well-being of Russians has improved over the past 10 years, and there are fewer people who barely make ends meet, according to a recent study by the Levada Center pollster. The survey polled 1,600 people in October and showed that since 2002 the number of Russians easily capable of purchasing […]

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Russia to Stay Raw Materials Based to 2030 ­- Survey

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, November 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s economy will remain primarily based on raw materials production until 2030, along with the remnants of high technologies like the nuclear and space industries inherited from the Soviet era, Rosiiskaya Gazeta reported on Tuesday, citing the latest forecast by Russian economists. The Global Strategic Survey 2030 was prepared by the Institute of World […]

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Russia’s highest-paid top managers work in state companies – Forbes

Empty Boardroom

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Evgeniya Chaykovskaya – November 19, 2012) Russian state companies have the highest-paid top managers, according to a list published by Forbes magazine. The magazine put VTB’s chairman of the board, Andrei Kostin, on the top spot with earnings of $30 million in 2011, with $194 million spent on payments to all key managers. He is […]

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Magnitsky Act ‘Law by New Year’

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – November 19, 2012) U.S. President Barack Obama could sign the Magnitsky act into law by the end of this year, backers of the bill have said. The landmark legislation was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday. The bill would allow permanent normal trade relations with Russia and at the […]

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Moscow forestalled U.S. Magnitsky Act by its own law on NGO as foreign agents – analyst

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) – Moscow forestalled the adoption of the so-called Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act in the U.S. by enacting the law on NGOs acting as foreign agents, which is quite painful for Washington, but it should be prepared to see a number of European Union countries considering bills analogous to the one just passed by […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia warns U.S. over human rights bill

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Russia warns U.S. over human rights bill – Reuters – Thomas Grove – November 16, 2012 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/16/us-usa-russia-idUSBRE8AF0RA20121116) Reuters covers Russian attempts to pressure the u.S. Congress over human rights legislation before it, being addresses in connection with trade legislation: Russia increased pressure on the U.S. Congress on Friday not to pass legislation that would punish Russian officials for human […]

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With Anti-Corruption Drive, Kremlin Adopts Navalny Tactic

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – November 16, 2012) When President Vladimir Putin was asked in an interview last month about anti-corruption lawyer Alexei Navalny, he indicated that he thought opposition leaders had achieved little of substance. “I’m not repudiating anyone, and I don’t want to cheapen the merits of any of the possible leaders of the opposition,” […]

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Social well-being indicators show a positive trend in Russia – poll

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – November 14, 2012) Most indicators of social well-being show a positive trend in Russia, Interfax news agency reported on 14 November, quoting sociologists from the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM). According to their information, over the last month people’s perception of their financial situation has increased by two points (from 64 to 66), due to an increase […]

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NEWSLINK: Three cheers for the Magnitsky Act and American values

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Three cheers for the Magnitsky Act and American values- AEIdeas – www.aei.org – Leon Aron – November 15, 2012 – Leon Aron is Resident Scholar and Director of Russian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute – http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/11/three-cheers-for-the-magnitsky-act-and-american-values/) Leon Aron of the American Enterprise Institute addresses the Magnitsky Act legislation currently before Congress: In the next few days, the House and […]

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NEWSLINK: Top senator eager to clear Russia trade bill

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(The Hill –  Vicki Needham – November 15, 2012 – http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/1005-trade/268385-top-senator-eager-to-clear-russia-trade-bill) The Hill covers Congressional action on legislation normalizing U.S. trade relations with Russia and imposing sanctions on human rights violators.  One lawmaker wants to expand the human rights sanctions to make them global: A top Senate Democrat said he is determined to jump the final hurdle and clear a […]

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Putin Health Confusion Sparks Investor Concern

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer and Jason Corcoran – November 16, 2012) Russian government reticence to discuss President Vladimir Putin’s health issues is adding to investor concern about the lack of transparency in a country that’s losing $80 billion a year in capital flight. The Russian leader canceled or postponed five foreign trips over more than a month, including […]

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Two opposing lobbies behind proposed US Congress bill – senior Russian MP

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Interfax – Moscow, 14 November) Head of the State Duma Committee for International Affairs Aleksey Pushkov is convinced that the US Congressmen’s intention to pass the so-called Magnitskiy list law’ on Friday (16 November) and to abolish the Jackson-Vanik amendment at the same time shows that two different lobbying groups, one political and one economic, are involved. “By now, one […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia threatens tough response if U.S. back rights bill

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Russia threatens tough response if US back rights bill – Reuters – Steve Gutterman – November 15 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/15/russia-usa-idUSL5E8MFA6K20121115) Leading up to House consideration of Congressional legislation impacting trade relations with Russia, and sanctions over human rights issues, Reuters covers Russian warnings: Russia warned the United States on Thursday to expect a tough response if Congress passes “unfriendly and provocative” […]

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Russia Traders Lose to Cows as Winter Hits Moscow Market

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ksenia Galouchko and Michael Patterson – November 15, 2012) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s efforts to give his citizens a better night’s sleep and ease stress for the nation’s farm animals are undermining his push to make Moscow a global financial center. Trading of Micex Index (INDEXCF) stocks has dropped 15 percent in Moscow since Oct. […]

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Putin Misses Business Group’s Forum

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Rachel Nielsen – November 15, 2012) At Wednesday’s congress of a major business lobbying group, the president of the country pulled a no-show, the first deputy prime minister told the group to avoid politics and a State Duma deputy personally fielded business complaints. The congress was the 10th annual gathering for Opora, a nationwide group […]

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Putin dissatisfied with share of SMEs in Russian GDP

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Nov 15 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks it necessary to raise the contribution that small and medium businesses make to Russia’s GDP. “The number of our small and medium enterprises is growing, but this level is still far from where it should be, given that in countries with a developed market economy the contribution of small and […]

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Russia Lowest BRICS in Economic Dynamism – Survey

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, November 15 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia ranked lowest among the BRICS nations in the Global Dynamism Index (GDI) published by the advisory firm Grant Thornton International on Thursday. Russia ranked just 43rd in the Index of 50 leading economies on their dynamism in five key areas ­ business operating environment, economics and growth, science and technology, labor and human […]

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Kremlin Silent as Magnitsky Bill Heads to House

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova and Anatoly Medetsky – November 15, 2012) The Kremlin remained silent Wednesday after U.S. lawmakers moved to advance a bill to punish Russian officials for human rights violations. A decision Tuesday by the House Rules Committee will bring the bill, which aroused strong opposition in Moscow, up for a vote by the full […]

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US Firms Eye Big Dollars from Normalized Trade With Russia

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

WASHINGTON, November 15 (By Maria Young for RIA Novosti) The Louisiana Caviar Company in the southern US coastal city of New Orleans produces a unique fish delicacy that is wildly popular in Russia. But owner John Burke says his company could profit much more if US lawmakers would approve permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia­a move expected to be […]

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Putin Backs Russian Pension Revamp Opposed by Finance Ministry

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ilya Arkhipov and Olga Tanas – November 14, 2012) Russian President Vladimir Putin backed a planned pension overhaul opposed by the Finance Ministry, Economy Ministry and asset managers, who warn it would curb economic growth. The Labor Ministry plan would divert taxes from future retirement plans to meet current pension payments and narrow the state system’s […]

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‘Adaptation Center’ to Help Migrants Integrate

Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  Natalya Krainova – November 13, 2012) Russia’s largest association of migrants opened an “adaptation center” in Moscow on Monday that will help workers from other countries learn Russian, obtain professional training and get medical insurance and bank loans. The center will help to fulfill goals set by President Vladimir Putin in late August to “secure […]

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U.S. to Be World’s Biggest Oil Producer, Overtaking Russia, Saudi Arabia By 2020 – IEA

Oil Well file photo

LONDON. Nov 12 (Interfax) – The boom in shale production will turn the United States into the world’s biggest oil producer by 2020, overtaking current leaders Russia and Saudi Arabia, the International Energy Agency said in its latest World Energy Outlook. Only a year ago the IEA was saying that Russia and Saudi Arabia would be the only candidates for […]

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Billionaire Businessman Says Putin Sent “From God”

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Desk

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 13, 2012) Gazprom contractor and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg, 60, has said that his childhood friend President Vladimir Putin was sent to Russia “from God.” Rotenberg, a longtime judo sparring partner of Putin’s who has investments in the construction and finance industries, is ranked as Russia’s 94th wealthiest man by Forbes with a personal fortune […]

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Russia’s Q3 GDP Growth Slowest Since 2010 – Rosstat

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s third-quarter GDP expanded at the slowest rate since the country began recovering from the global financial and economic meltdown in early 2010, according to figures released by the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat) on Monday. Russia’s economy grew by just 2.9 percent in July-September 2012 compared with the same period last year, Rosstat said. […]

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Moscow’s New English-Language Radio Station Starts Broadcasting

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) ­ Moscow’s first 24-hour English-language radio station, Moscow FM, started broadcasting on Monday. The radio station is the brainchild of the city government’s Moscow Media holding, hopes to become a must-listen-to resource on events in the capital. “Today we are opening the first English-language radio station in Moscow. I hope that this station will open […]

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Fewer Russians count on becoming rich fast – poll

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Interfax – November 11, 2012) Russians think that the greatest chance of getting rich fast today is to get an inheritance (23%). The share of people holding this opinion has grown over the years (from 17% in 2005), judging by a poll taken by Romir think-tank. In the years since the time of a similar study the number of pessimists […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia is on the verge of change, say Valdai Club experts

Map of Russia

(Russia is on the verge of change, say Valdai Club experts – Valdai Discussion Club – November 8, 2012 – http://valdaiclub.com/event/51120.html) The Valdai Club announces that a “survey of the Valdai Club international experts point to conflicting trends in the development of Russian institutions and society.” Click here to read the full article: http://valdaiclub.com/event/51120.html “The text of the report both […]

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Russian opposition leader targets corruption, mismanagement in utilities

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Interfax – November 8, 2012) Moscow, 8 November: Opposition figure and blogger Aleksey Navalnyy has announced the launch of a new project, called RosZhKKh, for fighting corruption and shortcomings in the work of utilities and municipal services companies. “It is common knowledge that ZhKKh (Russian abbreviation for utilities and municipal services) in Russia is a black hole that sucks in […]

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