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Archive for Europe, EU

Moscow’s Food War With West Could Hurt Russia Most

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(RFE/RL Explainer – rferl.org – Charles Recknagel - August 21, 2014) Moscow’s sweeping ban on food imports is meant as a slap in the face to Western powers for imposing sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. But the ban is also causing food prices to rise in Russia, which is a major importer of food and has few immediate supply alternatives. Here

Interfax: EU ready to cancel Russia sanctions if situation in east Ukraine stabilizes – Usackas

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MOSCOW. Aug 15 (Interfax) – The European Union would not want to continue the sanctions policy regarding Russia and is not ruling out the possibility of canceling the existing measures if the situation in eastern Ukraine stabilizes. “When clear results in terms of stabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine appear, of course, the EU will

Interfax: Russia may theoretically withdraw from ECHR jurisdiction – Putin

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YALTA. Aug 14 (Interfax) – Russia may theoretically withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) jurisdiction, but the matter is not under consideration now, President Vladimir Putin says. While Putin was meeting with members of State Duma factions in Yalta on Thursday, he was asked whether Russia may withdraw from the ECHR jurisdiction.

Business New Europe: Sanctions “unbearable” for EU, will be cancelled in 3 months

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Danske Bank – August 13, 2014) We analyse the economic and financial impact of the Ukrainian crisis with a special focus on our footprint Nordic markets. We view the situation in Ukraine as far from de-escalating as fighting continues in Donetsk and Lugansk, which we expect to weigh on

Russian Foodies React To Import Ban With Patriotism, Some Gloom

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(RFE/RL  – rferl.org – Tom Balmforth – MOSCOW, August 7, 2014) Moscow’s upmarket food shoppers are reacting variously with patriotic approval and gloomy resignation at the prospect of going without some of their favorite foreign foods for a year. The Russian government on August 7 approved a lengthy shopping list of foods and produce that cannot be imported

RIA Novosti: Between Justice and European Courts’ Rulings on Russia: a Dangerous Gap

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(RIA Novosti – Alexander Mercouris – August 9, 2014) There is always going to be a gap between people’s understanding of what is just/unjust and formal court rulings. Law will always strive to catch up with changing societal attitudes to “justice” and “injustice.” But law will always more or less miserably fall behind, unless some

Interfax: Naryshkin hopes Europe will understand risk of unwinding sanctions spiral

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MOSCOW. Aug 8 (Interfax) – Russia’s response to the anti-Russian measures taken by the West was forced and further unwinding of the “sanctions spiral” is absurd and dangerous, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said. “As to the measures taken by Russia on the countries that initiated or support anti-Russia sanctions, they are a response

Interfax: Proposal to ban Western airlines from using trans-Siberian routes is “on the table” – Medvedev

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MOSCOW. Aug 7 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia is considering a potential ban on European and U.S. air carriers using trans-Siberian routes as a possible retaliatory step against Western sanctions targeting Russia’s low-cost airline Dobrolet. “The government of the Russian Federation is considering a number of retaliatory steps. But

Will Russia limit EU flights via its airspace over sanctions?

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines Press Digest – rbth.ru – Sofia Savina, special to RBTH – August 5, 2014) RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media, featuring news of possible restrictions on the use of Russian airspace by European airlines in response to sanctions, U.S. concern over large exercises by Russia’s air force

EU Arms Embargo: A Shot Across the Bow of Russia’s Defense Industry

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – August 1, 2014) The West’s latest round of sanctions on Russia will not have much immediate impact on the county’s defense industry, but they do have the potential to strike a blow to Russia’s 23 trillion ruble ($646 billion) military modernization drive, analysts say. The European Union

Russia Beyond the Headlines Press Digest: U.S. and EU sanctions are pushing Moscow toward Beijing

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Sofia Savina, special to RBTH – July 30, 2014) RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media on the latest developments in Ukraine, featuring widespread reaction to the imposition of yet another wave of sanctions against Russia by the U.S. and the EU, as well as

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Russians less afraid of sanctions

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Kira Egorova, RBTH – July 30, 2014) A new survey shows that the number of Russians concerned about economic restrictions imposed by the West is steadily decreasing A new poll from the Levada Center has revealed that Russians are becoming less afraid of sanctions. The most recent survey,

EU opposes Russian oil and gas sanctions, considers targeting other sectors

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Concorde Capital – July 24, 2014) EU Energy Commissioner GYnther Oettinger opposes sanctions on Russian natural gas and oil but doesn’t rule out sanctions on energy technology and equipment, he told a July 23 press conference in Brussels, as reported by the UNIAN news agency. “I always spoke against

RIA Novosti: Kiev Receives Russia’s Risk Assessment of Ukraine’s EU Association

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BRUSSELS, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev received Moscow’s list of potential risks that Ukraine’s association with the European Union could present to Russia’s economy, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin told journalists. “Just yesterday, we received Russia’s perception of the potential risks,” Klimkin said on Tuesday. Ukraine signed the agreement on its association with the

RIA Novosti: Russia to Protect Economy From Risks Posed by Ukraine’s EU Association

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MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow will have to resort to protective measures if Ukraine’s association deal with the European Union poses risks for the Russian economy, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. «We believe that the risks remain quite serious, especially concerning technical regulations and standards of sanitary and phytosanitary control. That’s

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Says US, EU Companies Clearly Show Intention to Continue Work in Russia

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MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow has received «clear signals» from US and European companies about their intention to continue work in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday. «We have received quite clear signals that European and American companies are set to continue work with Russian partners. Time is ripe now to use

Russian Billionaires in ‘Horror’ as Putin Risks Isolation

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer, Irina Reznik, Ilya Arkhipov – July 21, 2014) Russia’s richest businessmen are increasingly frantic that President Vladimir Putin’s policies in Ukraine will lead to crippling sanctions and are too scared of reprisal to say so publicly, billionaires and analysts said. If Putin doesn’t move to end the war in

‘Isolating Russia’ in the Oil and Gas Sector

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(Gordon M. Hahn – gordon-hahn@sbcglobal.net – Analyst and Advisory Board Member, Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, Chicago, Ill, geostrategicforecasting.com; Analyst, Rus Strategic Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic; Senior Researcher, Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribis Group, San Jose, Calif.) Since the Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March in the wake of the revolutionary takeover in Kiev in February,

Why Russia won’t start a trade war with Ukraine this time round

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Iana Dreyer of borderlex.eu – July 11, 2014) High-level officials from the EU, Ukraine and Russia are holding a trilateral meeting in Brussels on July 11 to address Russia’s concerns about how the free trade and association pact that Brussels and Kyiv signed in late June might have

RIA Novosti: Russia Hopes for Positive Outcome of Three-Way Talks on Ukraine’s EU Association – Minister

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BRUSSELS, July 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia hopes that a three-party ministerial meeting to discuss Ukraine’s association with the European Union will produce a positive outcome, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday. Ulyukayev, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klymkin and European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht will meet for three-party talks and bilateral

How Bulgaria’s Bank Run Affects Ukraine’s European Dream

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Ian Wishart, Elizabeth Konstantinova – July 3, 2014) Joining the European Union was meant to give Bulgaria a fresh start. Try telling that to Anna Dimitrova. “Bulgaria didn’t gain from the EU as much as it could have, because it’s mismanaged by corrupt politicians,” said Dimitrova, a law student, in central

EU Claims Right to Reverse Flow as Russia Protests

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(The Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com - July 4, 2014) EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger on Thursday asserted European companies’ right to sell Russian gas back to Ukraine, flying in the face of warnings from Russian energy giant Gazprom as tensions continue to build over energy policy. Energy companies in the EU have an “absolute right to

Russia’s crack pipe to Europe

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nicholas Watson, Ben Aris, Tim Gosling, Rob Whitford – June 30, 2014) The growing confrontation between Russia and the West ranges across many fronts, none more significant than in an area of rural northwest Bulgaria, where in October workers began welding pipes that will feed a natural gas compressor

Ukraine signs off on EU deal at last, but what next?

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Marcus Svedberg and Aivaras Abromavicius of East Capital – July 1, 2014) Marcus Svedberg is Chief Economist, and Aivaras Abromavicius is Partner, of East Capital Ukraine signed an Association Agreement (AA) and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU in Brussels on June 27.

Putin lambasts West as violence escalates in Ukraine

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – July 2, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin lambasted the West in a speech to assembled diplomats call on July 1, although he stopped short of making new military threats against Ukraine as Kyiv resumed its antiterrorism operation in the east of the country. The

Russians Suffer from Three Misconceptions about Western Sanctions over Ukraine, Analyst Says

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 27, 2014) Russians must recognize that sanctions are “the new economic and political reality” in which they live and overcome three widespread and government-promoted misconceptions about such sanctions if the country is going to be able to cope with them as well as possible, according to

EU Association Agreements Not Seen as Threat to Russian Economy

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – June 27, 2014) With Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova set to sign the economic sections of association agreements with the European Union on Friday, analysts say the deals will have minimal impact on the Russian economy but will further broaden the political schism between Russia and its neighbors.

Ukraine, EU sign free trade and association deal in Brussels

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Tim Ash of Standard Chartered – June 27, 2014) This is a landmark agreement for Ukraine, and will be transformational. Poroshenko has indicated that Ukraine aims for EU membership, but this is a long run goal – likely 10-15 years away, if then. Ukraine is realistic, and understanding

RIA Novosti: Candidate Status for Ukraine Difficult to Predict – EU Commissioner

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BRUSSELS, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s chances of attaining candidate status for membership in the European Union are hard to predict, Stefan Fuele, EU Commissioner for Enlargement said. “We are not at the stage when we could even speculate about the candidate status. We just signed the association agreement, it needs to be ratified,

NEWSLINK: Ukraine Signs Trade Agreement With European Union

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["Ukraine Signs Trade Agreement With European Union" - New York Times - ANDREW HIGGINS and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN - June 27, 2014] The New York Times reports on Ukraine and the European Union reaching a sweeping trade deal, one that had been the original impetus for protests effectively upending the earlier Ukrainian regime of Viktor Yanukovych. Meanwhile, Russia

RIA Novosti: Ukraine, Moldova to Lose Billions over EU Association Deals

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MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine and Moldova’s struggling economies could face multi-billion-dollar losses after signing association agreements with the European Union, Russian experts warn. “Countries that sign this association [deal] agree to fall in line with all EU directives, standards and technical regulations – and this is at their own expense. Even if

NEWSLINK: Russian lawmakers revoke right to send troops into Ukraine

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["Russian lawmakers revoke right to send troops into Ukraine" - Reuters - June 25, 2014] Reuters covers a vote by Russia’s Parliament to formerly rescind a past authorization of military intervention in Ukraine.  The legislators acted in response to a directive from Russian President Vladimir Putin.  The authorization of force could be reinstated in short order if

RIA Novosti: Russia-EU Gas Transit Through Ukraine Compliant With Contract – Gazprom

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MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s EU-bound gas flows through Ukraine comply with transit contraparameters, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Monday. “The transit of Russian gas through Ukraine is flowing according to contract parameters with a volume over the last 24 hours of around 205 million cubic meters,” Kupriyanov said. Earlier on Monday, reports

Why This Russian-Ukrainian ‘Gas War’ Is Different From The Others

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(RFE/RL – Claire Bigg – June 17, 2014) Russia has halted gas supplies to Ukraine — a major escalation of a dispute in which Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom is demanding that Kyiv settle its huge gas debt. But in many ways, what many have dubbed the third “gas war” between the two countries is

Europe Bracing Itself for Worst-Case Gas Scenario

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – June 18, 2014) In the wake of Russia’s decision to switch Ukraine to prepayment for gas starting Monday, the European Union is planning a new round of negotiations as the danger of supply disruptions to Europe heightens. European officials say, however, that the bloc is currently far

Ukrainian ‘Black Hole’ Weighs Heavy On European Business in Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – June 18, 2014) Politics took front stage at the flagship conference of the Association of European Business, or AEB, on Tuesday, where foreign companies with committed interests in Russia grappled with the economic fallout of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Business as something relatively immune to political

Gazprom’s EU customers not at risk for now

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(Business New Europe – bne.ru – Teneo Intelligence – June 17, 2014) Following the failure of negotiations on natural gas pricing and debt between Russia and Ukraine last weekend, Russian company Gazprom reduced supply volumes to Ukraine, the main transit country for gas delivered to Gazprom’s EU customers. However, Gazprom continues to deliver contracted amounts

Russia accuses West of “protecting” Ukraine at gas talks

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(Interfax – Moscow, June 15, 2014) Moscow believes that there may be a third power behind Ukraine’s intransigent position in its talks with Russia over gas. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Russian journalists on Sunday [15 June] that the Ukrainian authorities are making use of “impunity because they are being protected by our Western

RIA Novosti: Europe Ready to Consider Opal Pipeline For Future Gas Supplies – Gazprom

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MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) – If Ukraine disrupts Russian gas transit via its territory, the European Commission is ready to negotiate increased deliveries through the Opal pipeline, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Monday. “We have discussed this issue with the European Commission. It is now as follows: if we record problems with transit via

Borderlands: The View Beyond Ukraine

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(Stratfor.com - George Friedman - June 10, 2014)  Editor’s Note: This is the final installment in George Friedman’s recent series written during his journey from the Baltics, through Central and Eastern Europe and then east to Turkey and Azerbaijan. I traveled between Poland and Azerbaijan during a rare period when the forces that shape Europe appear to

Russia Sees Underhanded Sanctions in Bulgaria’s Suspension of South Stream

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 10, 2014) Bulgaria’s decision to suspend construction of the Russia-led South Stream pipeline project on its territory, undermining Russia’s efforts to diversify its gas transportation infrastructure to Europe away from Ukraine, is an underhanded economic sanction thrust on Russia by the West, a top Russian diplomat

Leaders Start Two Days of Ukraine Diplomacy With Putin

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – James G. Neuger, Thomas Penny, Kateryna Choursina – June 5, 2014) The U.S. and its allies embarked on two days of contacts with Russian leaders in a bid to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, giving the Kremlin another chance to cut support to pro-Moscow rebels seeking to break up the country.

Negative attitude to U.S., EU reaches its maximum in Russia – poll

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(Interfax – June 5, 2014) The attitude of Russians towards the United States, the European Union and Ukraine is cooling amid the Western sanctions, and Belarus and China are liked much more, Levada Center told Interfax, quoting May poll statistics. Only 18 percent of Russians speak well of the United States now. The numbers stood

Ukraine still harbours doubts about benefits of EU deal

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Iana Dreyer of borderlex.eu- June 4, 2014) Ukraine and the EU are adamant both sides will sign the long-planned free trade and association deal. Yet President-elect Petro Poroshenko sowed confusion soon after his election May 25 when he asked for more time before putting pen to paper, highlighting

RIA Novosti: Opinion: Eurasian Union’s Economic Integration Stronger than EU’s

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WASHINGTON, May 30 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – The Eurasian Economic Union is a better, more realistic step towards economic integration than the European Union, and will be more productive, said Andrew McKillop, a former chief policy analyst at the European Commission Directorate General for Energy. “It is the right decision at the right time,”

Survey Sees Less Risk of Future Economic Sanctions Against Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 30, 2014) The risk that the U.S. and European Union will slap further sanctions on Russia over Ukraine is subsiding, but the threat of a recession still looms over Russia, a Bloomberg poll of economists found. Half of the 32 economists questioned for the poll, released on Tuesday, said

RIA Novosti: Preview: Russia, EU, Ukraine Attempt to Resolve Gas Dispute for Third Time

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MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) – Officials from Russia, Ukraine and the EU are set to hold talks in Berlin on Friday, a third attempt to resolve the gas dispute caused by Ukraine’s $4 billion outstanding gas debt. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak is also scheduled to meet with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger on

EU proposed to repay to Gazprom half of Ukraine’s debt for April-May gas supplies as payment deadline nears

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – May 29, 2014) Gazprom, which earlier sent a prepayment bill to Ukraine, will limit gas supplies on June 3 if Kiev does not pay the advance bill for June, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Wednesday at a meeting of President Vladimir Putin with the government, Prime reported. According to

Russia tests waters of WTO dispute settlement with EU complaints

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Jennifer Freedman of Borderlex – May 17, 2014) Less than two years after becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia has filed two complaints with the dispute settlement body in Geneva that target the EU, Russia’s main trading partner. These complaints concern antidumping duties and

Interfax: Moscow warns U.S. against further sanctions, retaliation will follow – Ryabkov

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MOSCOW. May 23 (Interfax) – If the United States imposes further sanctions against Russia, these will be followed by retaliation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “We would like to warn the U.S. once again against making hasty decisions in this sphere. Regrettably, the danger remains of additional sanctions being imposed. What we have

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