World Bank lowers Russia GDP growth forecast to 3.5% in 2012, 3.6% in 2013

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MOSCOW. Oct 8 (Interfax) – The World Bank has lowered its 2012 GDP growth forecast for Russia to 3.5%, from the 3.8% it was predicting in June, the World Bank said in its latest Russian Economic Report. The 3.5% growth is the same as the World Bank forecast back in March. The World Bank also lowered its 2013 growth forecast […]

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Altai and Chechnya “Greenest Economies” in New Integrated Index

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Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – October 4, 2012 The Altai republic and Chechnya have the cleanest economies in Russia, according to a new index released Tuesday. The index, put together by WWF Russia and state-owned news agency RIA-Novosti with the support of the Russian Geographic Society, is one of the first attempts to combine environmental threat factors, […]

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Foreign Ministry Plays Down U.S. Smuggling Arrests

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Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – October 5, 2012 The Foreign Ministry on Thursday complained that it had not been properly informed by United States authorities that a group of Russian citizens had been arrested on charges of smuggling microelectronics, raising “serious concerns” for Russia. “A lot is unclear in this story. It raises serious concerns, and we […]

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Facebook Flirts With Local Geeks in Battle for Russia

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Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Marie Mawad and Ilya Khrennikov – October 5, 2012 Looking for a public bathroom in Moscow? Facebook Inc. (FB) has you covered. Still a dwarf in Russia, the world’s largest social network is courting local geeks to build apps tailor-made for their home market. Its goal is to win over users in Europe’s most populous country […]

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Not Possible to Support Social Protections, Large Army, Many State Properties Simultaneously – Dvorkovich

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MOSCOW. Oct 3 (Interfax) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has called it impossible for Russia to simultaneously have a high level of social protection, a large army, and a lot of state properties. “We cannot allow ourselves to simultaneously have a very high level of social protection in a system built on paternalistic principles, at the same time […]

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Zuckerberg Visit Sparks Brain-Drain Debate in Russia

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Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – October 3, 2012 – Leonid Bershidsky, an editor and novelist, is Moscow and Kiev correspondent for World View. For Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to Moscow was a great photo opportunity. Some of Russia’s technology entrepreneurs, though, saw it as the latest salvo in a global battle for the […]

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Putin Targets Corruption at Gazprom

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Moscow Times –  themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos and Irina Filatova –  October 3, 2012 Signaling the start a long-awaited overhaul at Gazprom, President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called for corruption to be eliminated at the state-controlled gas giant and said its business model should be improved. Gazprom has been criticized for years by minority investors who believe their lucrative shares […]

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TRANSCRIPT: VTB Capital RUSSIA CALLING! Investment Forum [Putin Remarks with Q&A]

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Kremlin.ru – October 2, 2012 – Moscow The Forum is taking place in Moscow on October 2-4, 2012. Among the main topics for discussion are the strategic priorities of the country’s development in terms of changes in global economic markets, the creation of the Common Economic Space and Russia’s accession to the WTO. The RUSSIA CALLING! Forum has been held […]

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The Tao of Mark Zuckerberg

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RIA Novosti – Natalia Antonova – October 1, 2012 Natalia Antonova is the deputy editor of The Moscow News. I never thought that there would come a day when I would unabashedly cheer on Mark Zuckerberg. After all, even among hardcore Facebook users such as myself, it is much more fashionable to poke fun at the guy, gently or otherwise. […]

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USAID Stops Operations in Russia

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MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti)-The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which has funded Russian non-governmental organizations, stops its operations in Russia from Monday. Russia said in September that USAID, which provided financing for pro-democracy and human rights groups that have irked the Kremlin, would have to close its offices in the country by October 1. President Vladimir Putin […]

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Russia is running out of cash

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Dmitri Travin – www.opendemocracy.net – September 28, 2012 Dmitry Travin is Research Director at the European University in St. Petersburg’s Centre of Modernization Studies As the Russian government tries to put together its budget plan for 2013-2015, it is clear that it cannot possibly meet all its pre-election promises. Dmitry Travin looks at the financial crisis facing the country. The […]

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NEWSLINK: Kremlin oil control drive could backfire

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Kremlin oil control drive could backfire – Reuters – By Dmitry Zhdannikov – September 27, 2012 –  click here for original article Reuters reports on the Russian government’s efforts to bring more oil assets under state control.  Critics charge that growing state control could cripple industry, strain budget resources and even cause social unrest. Some observers warn that paradoxically the […]

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NEWSLINK: USAID ACTIVITIES IN RUSSIA WILL BE CONTINUED BY NDI AND THE FORD FOUNDATION

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USAID ACTIVITIES IN RUSSIA WILL BE CONTINUED BY NDI AND THE FORD FOUNDATION – The U.S. Agency for international development (USAID) will continue to carry out its programs with the help of its partners – Izvestia – Anton Lednev – September 28, 2012 [no link available to English-language version of article] Izvestia reports that, while the U.S. Agency for international […]

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NEWSLINK: Facebook’s Zuckerberg to meet Russian PM

Facebook’s Zuckerberg to meet Russian PM – AFP – September 28, 2012 click here to read original article AFP covers plans for Facebook social network founder Mark Zuckerberg to visit Russia and meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.  Facebook is holding an event in Moscow, and already has ties to Russian IT. “Zuckerberg will be visiting Russia at a […]

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Putin Confirms Russia’s Adherence to WTO Rules

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MOSCOW. Sept 25 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will follow the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) despite the fact that he did not sign the protocol of Russia’s accession to WTO. “Regarding my signing of the WTO accession protocol: I did not sign anything. I worked for Russia’s accession, indeed, we all worked on it, […]

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Russian Food-Store Tsar Rings Up Billions as Wal-Mart Wavers

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Ilya Khrennikov – Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – September 7, 2012 One by one, from the southeastern corner of the continent, Sergey Galitskiy is beating the biggest supermarket chains in Europe. In February, the Russian retailer he founded near the Black Sea, OAO Magnit (MGNT), surged past Metro AG (MEO) of Germany in market value, then overtook Royal Ahold NV of […]

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Senior MP Says USAID Knew Russia Was Unhappy With It

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(Interfax Moscow, 20 September) As early as two years ago Russia warned the USA about its grievances over the Agency for International Development (USAID), head of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Aleksey Pushkov has said. “We warned the US side a long time ago – I think this story is already two years old – that we were not […]

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Battle between liberals, Siloviki heats up over Rosneftegaz cash

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(Business New Europe – September 21, 2012) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered his cabinet to draw up urgent plans to “seize” 95% of the RUB130bn (€3.2bn) sitting on Rosneftegaz’s accounts to meet President Vladimir Putin’s demands to increase spending on state salaries and infrastructure investment. The move would emasculate Rosneftegaz CEO and Kremlin insider Igor Sechin’s plans to […]

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Russian Finance Minister Answers Putin’s Criticism Of Three-Year Federal Budget

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(Interfax – Moscow, 19 September)  The Russian president’s decrees of 7 May, which reflect (Vladimir Putin’s) election campaign ideas, are a priority, and R1,145bn (36.7bn dollars) is to be spent on their implementation over the next three years, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists. “The implementation of the decrees is a priority. For all the ministries and agencies, this […]

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Russian Deputy Finance Minister Denies Abnormal Capital Flight From Country

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(Interfax – Bishkek, 20 September) The leadership of the (Russian) Ministry of Finance is sceptical about pessimistic takes and forecasts on the outflow of capital from Russia and believes that there are no grounds for this – that this is ordinary banking practice. “I see no indication of there being a withdrawal of funds from Russia. What people are calling […]

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Russian Analysts, Rights Activists, Opposition Comment On USAID Closure

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RIA Novosti – September 19, 2012 The Russian authorities’ decision to bring to an end the work of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been widely commented by Russian political analysts, opposition politicians and human rights activists. Analysts The closure of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) operation in Russia is a disturbing signal which indicates that […]

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Top Official Unfazed By Russia’s Standing In ‘Subjective’ Corruption Ratings

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(Interfax – September 19, 2012) The head of the Russian presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, has said there is no need “to make a tragedy out” of the fact that Russia holds the top position in various international corruption ratings, Interfax news agency reported on 19 September. “There is no need to feel outraged or to make a tragedy out of […]

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Russia Puts Renewed Hope in Repatriation Program

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By Natalya Krainova – Moscow Times – September 19, 2012 President Vladimir Putin has revised the state’s repatriation program, simplifying the process for former compatriots to move back to Russia and bring relatives along with them. But analysts doubt that the changes will significantly alter migration flows. Earlier this year, the president said that if the demographic decline is not […]

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USAID Sums Up Outcomes of Its Activities in Russia Before Closure

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WASHINGTON. Sept 19 (Interfax) – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided financial support in drafting the Russian Constitution and a number of federal codes over the 20 years of its work in Russia, USAID said in a statement posted on its website. “USAID-funded Rule of Law implementers helped draft the Russian Constitution, Part I of the Russian […]

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‘Russia’s Tibet’ Opens to the Outside World

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By James Brooke –  Voice of America – September 18, 2012 James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR. Word of the killings of four American diplomats in Libya took 24 hours to reach me last week. That was fitting as I was contemplating the silence of cedar forests, the grace of wild horses cantering […]

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Europe-Western China Corridor to Become Shortcut Between Europe, Asia-Pacific – Putin

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PAVLODAR. Sept 19 (Interfax) – Innovations will help make transportation systems more reliable and effective, said Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The introduction of innovations will help significantly enhance the reliability and effectiveness of transportation systems, first of all under the project to build a transportation corridor between Europe and Western China. It will run from St. Petersburg to the border […]

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Bureaucrats Smile in Special Economic Zone

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By Anatoly Medetsky –  Moscow Times – September 17, 2012 – JRL 2012-165 Even customs officers received praise Monday when foreign investors heaped accolades on the Alabuga special economic zone. In terms of attracted investment, Alabuga, in Tatarstan’s Yelabuga region, is the biggest of the 16 zones in the country where the federal government and regional counterparts have created favorable […]

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NEWSLINK: Russia reveals shiny state secret: It’s awash in diamonds; Trillions of carats’ lie below a 35-million-year-old, 62-mile diameter asteroid crater in eastern Siberia known as Popigai Astroblem. The Russians have known about the site since the 1970s.

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Russia reveals shiny state secret: It’s awash in diamonds; Trillions of carats’ lie below a 35-million-year-old, 62-mile diameter asteroid crater in eastern Siberia known as Popigai Astroblem. The Russians have known about the site since the 1970s. – Christian Science Monitor – September 17, 2012 – By Fred Weir, Correspondent – JRL 2012-165 click here to read orginal article Russia […]

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Search at factory of Navalny’s parents underway in Kirovles case

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Search at factory of Navalny’s parents underway in Kirovles case – Itar-Tass – August 28 click here to read the orginal article Russian source Itar-Tass reports that authorities pursuing an investigation of Alexei Navalny have now conducted a search of his parents’ willow-weaving factory in the Moscow region.  [Navalny is an opposition leader and anti-corruption lawyer-blogger.] The factory was first […]

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