Trial of Putin Foe Shows No Russian Investors Are Safe

Alexander Lebedev file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – February 5, 2013) “Are you totally out of your mind?” Russian newspaper tycoon Alexander Lebedev exclaimed as he jumped to his feet. He stared combatively at property developer Sergei Polonsky, who had taunted Lebedev for ridiculing his claim to be a major charity donor. As tempers flared during the recording of a TV […]

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CORRUPTION WATCH: Putin calls for public oversight of power sector

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Business New Europe – bne.com – February 5, 2013) After dubbing it the most corrupt sector in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved again to crack down on graft in the utilities sector by calling for public oversight of the sector. Public councils are to be set up to oversee the sector and Putin said this will be done […]

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Russia Hires Goldman as Corporate Broker to Boost Image

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Jason Corcoran – February 4, 2013) Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (G) has been hired by the Russian government to burnish the nation’s image overseas and attract more institutional investors. The bank has signed a three-year agreement with the Economy Ministry and the Russian Direct Investment Fund to advise on issues such as communicating government decisions and […]

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Russia’s 5% GDP growth – fat chance, Mr Putin

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – www.bne.eu – Moscow Blog – February 5, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called on the government to pick up the pace of economic growth and raise it to 5% in the near future, which might “require some changes in the budget policy.” The battle lines are being drawn for probably one of the most important […]

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Sochi Olympics Most Expensive in History

File Photo of Sochi Olympics Banner Near Highway in Warm Weather with Vehicle and Cyclicsts Nearby

(Moscow Times – moscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel and Irina Filatova – Februry 4, 2013) One year before they kick off, the Sochi Winter Olympics have already bagged a world record. They will go down as the most expensive games in history. The cost will top 1.5 trillion rubles ($50 billion) in state and private investment, and three-quarters of that […]

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Life goes on in Russian ghost towns

Map of Russia

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Daria Gonzales – February 5, 2013) Today, the provocative label of “dead town” smothers a thousand human tales of departure, relocation, and long waits in the hopes of a flat in a new city. Yet, not all residents of these nearly uninhabited places have the desire to leave. RBTH explores the lives of […]

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Officials Call for Budget Discipline

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com –  Irina Filatova – February 1, 2013) Finance Ministry and Central Bank officials on Thursday called for strict adherence to existing budget policy, saying the measure is critical to achievement of the high rates of economic growth set by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Attaining an annual 5 percent increase in gross domestic product is “very ambitious,” […]

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Medvedev Outlines Economic Program

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – February 1, 2013) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took the floor in the Kremlin on Thursday to outline a wide range of goals for his Cabinet, in a move seen as a show of unwavering support for him from President Vladimir Putin. Most of the goals, such as improving the conditions for business, […]

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Main risks for Russia are internal, not external – Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – The main risks that Russia faces are not external, but internal, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at an expanded government session on Thursday. “And all the main risks are not external, but internal. I’m referring to the forecast reductions in the working-age population, the low quality of state management, the far-from-ideal investment climate, the […]

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Titov Laments Status of Small Businesses

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – January 31, 2013) More then 40 percent of Russian businessmen have moved into the shadows since the government increased social taxes in 2011, business ombudsman Boris Titov said. Titov, the government envoy for protecting the rights of small and medium-size businesses, said the introduction of a 34 percent social tax in 2011 […]

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Russia Must Tap Investment Potential – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Russian government must turn the country’s enormous investment potential into a real flow of foreign capital, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday. Putin was addressing a government meeting discussing Russia’s economic development to 2018, including measures to boost the country’s economic growth and reduce its dependence on raw material exports. Russia has fundamental […]

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NEWSLINK: Russian ex-finance minister tipped to be premier before long

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Russian ex-finance minister tipped to be premier before long – BBC Monitoring/Ekho Moskvy Radio – January 30, 2013) BBC Monitoring reports on Ekho Moskvy and Argumenty Nedeli covered of alleged systematic down-grading of how state-controlled Russian television presents Dmitry Medvedev to the viewing public: Russia’s national TV channels have been told to reduce their coverage of Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev, […]

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Russia takes wary assessment of EU’s anti-crisis efforts

EU Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Yulia Ponomareva, Combined report – January 30, 2013) Though optimistic about the eurozone’s future, Russia is not planning to buy European debt anytime soon. Instead, according to Prime Minister Medvedev, Russia should look at options for swapping part of its euro reserves and reducing dependence on hydrocarbon exports. Experts agree, believing Russia should […]

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Bad Roads, Drinking, Utilities – Russians’ Chief Concerns

Moscow Traffic file photo

MOSCOW, January 30 (RIA Novosti) – Bad roads, the spread of alcoholism and the critical situation in the housing maintenance and utilities sector are Russia’s most pressing problems, followed by poor healthcare services and drug addiction, the Federal Statistics Service (FSS) said on Wednesday. Last September, the FSS conducted a survey covering 10,000 households in all parts of Russia and […]

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Russia Hires Goldman Sachs to Polish Investment Image

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia has hired U.S. banking giant Goldman Sachs in a $500,000 deal to polish the image of the country’s investment potential abroad and lure foreign cash, Deputy Economics Minister Sergei Belyakov said. “We, officials, don’t know how to communicate with investors,” Belyakov said, explaining the government’s decision. Under a memorandum signed with the Economic […]

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Revising the concept of Eurasia

Eurasia Map

In Russia, Eurasia is usually assumed to mean the post-Soviet space. The integration project Moscow has been actively promoting over the past four years is even called the Eurasian Union. However, the interpretation of Eurasia as the territory of the former Russian Empire and the Soviet Union is now outdated.

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G20’s relevance under question, as Russia takes the helm; Russia is leading the G20, but questions stand over the group’s relevance in a time of crisis

G20 Summit Group Photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – January 28, 2013) Russia’s assumption of the chairmanship of the G20 has received a lot of attention since the handover from Mexico at the beginning of December. One of the subjects of discussion at the Gaidar Forum earlier this month was the country’s potential to lead the major economies to solutions to […]

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$60 Oil Price Will Eat up Russia’s Oil Fund ­ Survey

Oil Well file photo

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s Oil Wealth Fund will be totally consumed if world oil prices plunge to $60 per barrel and stay at that level for a year, experts from the Russian School of Economics (VSE) said on Tuesday. That scenario presents “a shock not only for the budget system but also for the economy as a […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with CNN

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – January 27, 2013) Fareed Zakaria: Mr Prime Minister, thank you for agreeing to this meeting. In 2009, when you were President of Russia, you wrote a very interesting and important essay about Russia’s future. You said that the two major problems of the Russian economy were excessive dependence on oil and excessive corruption. A look at current statistics […]

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‘Kafkaesque’ Trial of Dead Hermitage Lawyer Starts in Moscow

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer & Ilya Arkhipov – January 28, 2013) A Moscow court opened the posthumous trial of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for Hermitage Capital Management Ltd. who died in prison, in a case condemned by Amnesty International as “Kafkaesque.” The state is appointing lawyers for Magnitsky and Hermitage head William Browder for the next hearing, set […]

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Privatizations should be done in Russia, but infrastructure needs to be readied – Putin

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Speaking with Flag Behind Him and Microphones in Front

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Jan 25 (Interfax) – Privatization deals should be carried out on Russian markets, but the infrastructure needs to be put in place, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting dedicated to stock market development. “These deals should occur on Russian trading floors,” he said. “Privatization done within the country is testament to the fact that our plans to […]

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Dmitry Medvedev doesn’t rule out introducing progressive personal income tax, but not soon

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Interfax – January 28, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev does not rule out that the issue of introducing a progressive personal income tax might be raised at some point, but not in the near future. “At some point, of course, the issue of progress taxation might be put on the agenda, it seems to me that this is not […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt

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

(Government.ru – January 28, 2013) Correspondent (via interpreter): Prime Minister, it is a great honour for us that you have agreed to give an interview to our newspaper, Handelsblatt. We are an economic publication and we cannot wait to hear what you will tell us. Dmitry Medvedev: I am glad to meet you and I am glad of the opportunity […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview in Davos with the Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday) programme by the Rossiya television network

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

(Government.ru – January 26, 2013) Sergei Brilyov: Mr Medvedev, I would like to come back to the Grand Hall meeting, where you took a seat in the audience. Why didn’t you go up on the stage straight away? Dmitry Medvedev: I wanted to see my colleagues present their scenarios. I enjoyed sitting in the audience. It’s better than being on […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Neue Zurcher Zeitung interviews Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

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

(Government.ru – January 25, 2013) Correspondent: As the Prime Minister, you are known for supporting the need to make tough and honest assessments of the situation both domestically and internationally. The scenarios developed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) show that the time for simple reforms has passed already in Russia… The reform process needs a boost to overcome corruption […]

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Medvedev: U.S. Magnitsky Act, Russia’s response do not benefit relations between countries

File Photo of U.S. Capitol Dome

(Interfax – January 28, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has described as an intentional legal mistake the adoption of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Congress. “I think that the whole situation is bad. It is not beneficial for either Russian-American relations or international law and order,” he said in an interview with CNN, the transcript of which is […]

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[TRANSCRIPT] Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with NTV

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

(Government.ru – January 24, 2013) Question: Mr Medvedev, you were here in 2007, one year before you were elected President. The key point of your policy speech then (which we all remember) was “Freedom is better than unfreedom.” What phrase would you use now, six years on? What would you say to the West with the same succinctness or perhaps […]

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[TRANSCRIPT: Medvedev, Dvorkovich:] A working breakfast with foreign investors in Davos

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

(Government.ru – January 24, 2013) Dmitry Medvedev: Good morning. I hope it is truly a good morning for you. Arkady Dvorkovich: It is. We have just managed to discuss a number of issues regarding global and Russian economic growth. And we have even held a vote on possible global and Russian economic growth rates. Dmitry Medvedev: And what did the […]

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TRANSCRIPT: A panel discussion on the G20 in Davos – Dmitry Medvedev’s speech at the discussion

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

(Government.ru – January 24, 2013) Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to tell you about our view of the G20 and our plans. Last December Russia took up the baton of the G20 chairmanship, one of the most influential informal associations in the world. This is common knowledge, but I will repeat that the G20 countries account for about 90% of […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Plenary session of the World Economic Forum in Davos – Speech by Dmitry Medvedev

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

(Government.ru – January 23, 2013) Mr Schwab (Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum in Davos), ladies and gentlemen. Apparently, my task is to refute all three of the scenarios in about 20 minutes and to explain what we are going to do. I will certainly do that, but first of all I would like to […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Medvedev] Interview with Bloomberg TV

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

(Government.ru – January 23, 2013) Question (as translated): Good morning! We have Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev here today. Forty-five minutes from now, he will deliver a keynote speech here in Davos, at the World Economic Forum. Mr Prime Minister, thank you for coming. By the way, you are the first leader who agreed to be interviewed without wearing a […]

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Medvedev outlines positive scenario at Davos; Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev addresses the problem of Russia’s integration into the global economy at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos.

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

(Russia Beyond the Headlines/Interfax – www.rbth.ru – Alexander Panov, based on Interfax – January 23, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made an appearance at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss Russia’s economic future in a global perspective. In his speech to the Forum audience Medvedev discusses the need for an increase in competitive power for Russian […]

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Professional, independent board directors for govt companies have positive impact – Medvedev

Empty Boardroom

MOSCOW. Jan 23 (Interfax) – Introducing professional and independent directors to the boards of government companies has a positive impact and the authorities continue to work toward this, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a plenary session of the World Economic Forum in Davos called “Development Scenarios for Russia.” “The boards of public companies mostly have professional and independent […]

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Davos Calls for Efficient State

File Photo of Past World Economic Forum

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – January 24, 2013) Improving the work of the government and fighting corruption should be key priorities on Russia’s reform agenda for the next few years, participants in the World Economic Forum said Wednesday. Almost 78 percent of them chose ensuring “good governance” as the No. 1 step for the country’s progress during […]

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Study: Popular Discontent Might Affect Economic Development

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – January 23, 2013) How popular discontent will play out is one of the key uncertainties that the World Economic Forum identified for Russia’s long-term economic development in a report released Tuesday. Attendees of the annual forum in Davos, Switzerland, which opened Tuesday, are set to question Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev about this […]

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Main risks to Russian economy are internal, not external – Medvedev

Cash, Calculator, Pen

DAVOS. Jan 23 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes Russia’s integration into the world economy, which remains unstable, requires an increase in the competitive power of Russian companies, but the main risks faced by Russia are internal, not external. “The global economy remains unstable. The attempts to come out of the crisis without resolving the accumulated financial and […]

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Audit Chamber Warns G20 Against Financial Instability

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 23, 2013) The G20 countries’ failure to fulfill their obligations to achieve sustained economic growth and prevent financial instability may undermine confidence in the exclusive club of the 20 most developed industrial nations, the Audit Chamber said in a study, Interfax reported Wednesday. Russia, which holds the presidency of the group, will host a […]

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The Doors I Closed When I Came to the US

United States Map

(Voice of America – Anna Malinovskaya – January 22, 2013) Perhaps all international students discover at some point that going to college in the States costs more than they pay in money terms. I have experienced personal costs that will impact my life long after my education here is done. Some I was prepared to encounter, and others caught me […]

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Medvedev to Address Various Scenarios at Davos

Medvedev at Past World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova and Anatoly Medetsky – January 23, 2013) Russian officials visiting the World Economic Forum 13 years ago were puzzled by U.S. journalist Trudy Rubin’s famous question about the newly elected Russian president: “Who is Mr. Putin?” This year, members of the Russian delegation, which includes state officials, economic experts and business leaders, are […]

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Russian retirement: mixed outlook for 2013

File Photo of Two Elders Walking Outdoors

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anastasia Matveyeva, Moskovskiye Novosti – January 21, 2013) New calculations for pensions and a funded component, a possible luxury tax and a special structure that will come to manage Russian currency reserves are the main economic events that are expected in the coming year. How will these reverberate on us, and what will they will […]

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Migrant crime rates not growing in Russia – Federal Migration Service

Russian Jail File Photo Showing Outer Wall, Windows, Barbed Wire

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) – The majority of foreign migrants arriving in Russia come from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Ukraine. There is no growth of migrant crime rates, Federal Migration Service head Konstantin Romodanovsky told Interfax. “Only 3.4% of solved crimes are committed by migrants. Most frequently migrants are charged with document forgery,” he said. Migrant arrivals in Russia have grown […]

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Russia Needs Immigrants, FMS Chief Says

Migrant Workers file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – January 22, 2013) Russia urgently needs to attract immigrants over the coming years to avoid labor shortages, the country’s top migration officer said Monday. “Even if we manage to stabilize or increase the population by raising the birth rate, the only source for increasing the labor force for the coming 15 […]

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Medvedev Courts Davos Skeptics With Better-Than-China Pitch

Medvedev at Past World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Scott Rose and Ryan Chilcote – January 22, 2013) Russia has a $10 billion sales pitch for investors at this year’s World Economic Forum: give us your money and we’ll worry about corruption for you. That was the line from First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov in an interview with Bloomberg Television last week […]

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Russia’s economy: facing down challenges; The head of the OECD says Russia has work ahead to fulfill its leadership potential

OECD Logo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – January 21, 2013) Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, addressed the Gaidar Forum in a keynote address on Friday. [The global economic outlook] has deteriorated again, and the word “again” is probably the more operative one. We are indeed far from being out of the woods. We predict a […]

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Russia to Keep State Control of Shelf – Dvorkovich

Map of Barents Sea and Polar Environs

MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia has no plans to allow foreign companies to work independently on the country’s continental shelf but will let them develop offshore deposits there in partnership with Russian state firms, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Tuesday. “As for the admission of foreign companies, no changes are planned, which means foreign companies can […]

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Ministers Offered WTO Training

WTO Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – January 21, 2013) Government ministers were offered a free crash course in WTO rules after one of the country’s most senior financiers savaged officials for failing to understand the organization Russia finally joined last year. Pascal Lamy, the head of the World Trade Organization, said Friday that the group would be willing […]

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OECD Chief Says Accession Is a Learning Process

OECD Logo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova – January 21, 2012) Accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development provides a good chance for Russia’s decision-makers to identify weaknesses in social and economic policy and respond with adequate reforms, the organization’s secretary general said. Jose Angel Gurria, who spoke at the Gaidar economic forum on Friday, said work on […]

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OSCE in need of renewal – Lavrov

File Photo of OSCE Banners

MOSCOW. Jan 18 (Interfax) – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe must get rid of imbalances and double standards by 2015, becoming a fully-fledged international organization with its own charter, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “Russia sees the Helsinki + 40 initiative as an important step that aims to launch the process of the OSCE’s renewal and […]

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Left-Wing Economist to Draft Government Strategy

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – January 21, 2013) A left-wing economist who advocated firing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will help draft the government crisis strategy in case of economic turmoil, according to a presidential order published in December, Vedomosti reported Friday. Sergei Glazyev will be on a task force that will develop the strategy. It will also […]

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WTO provides Russia with pluses for protecting domestic agro market – Russian Agriculture Minister

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(Interfax – January 21, 2013) Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) brought the country many advantages for protecting the domestic agriculture market, Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said at a press conference in Berlin. “We view WTO accession as satisfactory and believe that it provides more pluses for protecting the domestic market,” he said. Membership in the international trade […]

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