RIA Novosti: Geopolitics Poses Risks to Russian Financial Stability – Bank of Russia

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) – A review of ratings of Russian borrowers and the threat of their exclusion from international capital markets may affect Russia’s financial stability, the head of the Central Bank of Russia said Wednesday. “The geopolitical risks are large, especially if our banks and companies run into limitations on refinancing in Western markets, and a review […]

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Interfax: Putin pledges to deal with issue of Crimean Tatars’ rehabilitation

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

NOVO-OGARYOVO. April 1 (Interfax) – President Vladimir Putin said that the issue of Crimean Tatars’ rehabilitation would be given due attention and that he could meet with activists of Crimea’s Tatar community. Earlier, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, urged Putin to have the Law on the Rehabilitation of the Peoples that Suffered from Political Reprisals applied to the Crimean Tatars. […]

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RIA Novosti: Crimea Has Defeated Cold War Thinking – Experts

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – The Crimean situation has put an end to Cold War stereotypes, a Russian political expert believes. “Crimea joining Russia renders [Cold War thinking] obsolete. The peninsula’s position provides control over the Black Sea and Ukraine,” said Kirill Koktysh, a political scientist at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. The real US […]

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RIA Novosti: EU Should Avoid Economic Sanctions Against Russia – Senior EU Official

EU Map

BRUSSELS, April 1 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union should refrain from introducing broad economic sanctions against Russia if the situation around Ukraine does not deteriorate, European Commission Vice President Olli Rehn said Tuesday. “No sensible European would want to see economic sanctions or any other escalation to the crisis. And in case Russia will not escalate the crisis, then […]

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After Crimea: A new era for Russian diplomacy?

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Dmitry Babich, special to RBTH – March 31, 2014) As tensions ease, economic rapprochement with Europe will increase but security comes first for Moscow, discovers Voice of Russia political analyst Dmitry Babich Following last Sunday’s talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris, which while […]

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Ukraine NATO Membership Is Denied as Germany Seeks Easing

NATO meeting file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Patrick Donahue – April 1, 2014) Germany’s top diplomat said Ukraine won’t join NATO and urged Russia to move troops away from the Ukrainian border, saying it would be a “small signal” that the crisis is easing. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French and Polish counterparts, Laurent Fabius and Radoslaw Sikorski, said the European Union […]

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Russian Duma ready to talk to Ukrainian parliament – ruling party MP

Russian State Duma Building file photo

Moscow, 31 March: The State Duma is ready for dialogue with the Ukrainian Supreme Council on various issues in order to bring their positions closer, including on the subject of the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine, member of the State Duma Committee for Security and Countering Corruption Nikolay Kovalev (One Russia parliamentary party) has said. “When 70 people in the […]

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After Crimea, Russians Say They Want Alaska Back

Alaska Pipeline file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – April 1, 2014) A mere four kilometers separate Russia’s Big Diomede Island from Alaska’s Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait. This boundary between two feuding powers – known as the “Ice Curtain” during the Cold War – is likely the only place from which former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin could really see Russia. But […]

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Crimea to be designated a special economic zone

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Maria Karnaukh, special to RBTH  – April 1, 2014) The Russian Federation’s newest subject is likely to be designated a special economic zone. A preferential tax regime, state investment and the development of existing sectors should eliminate Crimea’s dependency on subsidies and turn it into a net contributor. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev […]

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Most Russians Would Back Kremlin In Case of War With Ukraine, Poll Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – March 31, 2014) Almost a quarter of Russians think war with Ukraine is likely and three out of four Russians would support their government if such a war were to break out, a recent poll showed. Thirty-six percent of Russians said they would “definitely” back Moscow in case of a war against […]

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Has Putin Decided on a New Period of ‘Phony War’?

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 29, 2014) Many have drawn parallels between what Vladimir Putin is doing and how the West is reacting with the Cold War or with the appeasement policies of  Munich. But now that Putin has carried out the Crimean Anschluss, a far better analogy for today may be to “the phony war” […]

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What the Crimea crisis will do to US-Russia relations

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – thebulletin.org – Pavel Podvig – March 27, 2014) A physicist trained at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Podvig works on the Russian nuclear arsenal, US-Russian relations, and nonproliferation. … Over the years it has become cliché for commentators on US-Ru ssian affairs to observe that the relationship between the two countries has […]

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Interfax: Russia’s, West’s approaches toward settling Ukraine crisis converging – Lavrov

File Photo of John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov at Separte Podiums, Kerry with a Visible Earpiece; Adapted from Photo at state.gov

MOSCOW. March 29 (Interfax) – Interaction between Moscow, Western countries and Kyiv to settle the crisis in Ukraine is becoming more tangible, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. “Anyway, we are bringing our approaches closer together. My last meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in The Hague and my contacts with Germany, France and some other countries show […]

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Soft war – when finance becomes continuation of politics by other means

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – PERSPECTIVE – Roland Nash of Verno Investment Research – March 27, 2014) As the conflict between Russia and the West for influence in Ukraine unfolded, finance has found itself in the unfortunate position of sitting squarely in the front line. From the acceptance by Viktor Yanukovych of a $15bn loan from Russia to the […]

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Interfax: Russian rouble “the most sanction-proof currency” – Central Bank official

Russian Central Bank file photo

Moscow, 26 March: The rouble is a sanction-proof currency, the first deputy head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Kseniya Yudayeva, has said at a conference in the State Duma. “The rouble is the most sanction-proof currency,” she said without specifying the currencies compared to which the rouble is the most sanction-proof. “We have found a paradoxical thing. […]

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Heroin Addicts and School Students Among Those Facing Challenges of Crimea Transformation

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – March 27, 2014) A week after President Vladimir Putin declared Crimea a new region of Russia, the peninsula has begun its Russian makeover. Ukrainian flags have been replaced by Russian tricolors on government buildings, military installations and public property. The ruble is now being used in daily transactions. Crimean residents are applying […]

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TRANSCRIPT: 2007 Putin Speech and the Following Discussion at the Munich Conference on Security Policy

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – March 10, 2007) Munich VLADIMIR PUTIN: Thank you very much dear Madam Federal Chancellor, Mr Teltschik, ladies and gentlemen! I am truly grateful to be invited to such a representative conference that has assembled politicians, military officials, entrepreneurs and experts from more than 40 nations. This conference’s structure allows me to avoid excessive politeness and the need to […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: Johnson’s Russia List contents with links :: 2014-#67 :: Wednesday, 26 March 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#67 :: 26 March 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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TEXT: Joint Statement by the United States and Ukraine

File Photo of Russian Nuclear Missile on Mobile Launcher Near Woods

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 25, 2014) On the occasion of the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the United States and Ukraine today reaffirm their strategic partnership and emphasize the important role of nuclear nonproliferation in that relationship.  The United States values its 20-year partnership with Ukraine on […]

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Kosovo? Hong Kong? Abkhazia? Few Precedents for Russia’s Crimea Takeover

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – March 26, 2014) Russia’s takeover of Crimea is the first acquisition of foreign territory by a major power in more than a decade, and some observers, lawyers and scholars say it is difficult to justify the move based on past precedents. The Kremlin has described the joining of the strategic region to […]

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Ukrainian Troops In Crimea Face ‘Stay Or Go’ Dilemma

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Iryna Shtogrin and Ron Synovitz – SEVASTOPOL, Crimea, March 25, 2014) Olha’s husband was a Ukrainian military specialist at the Belbek base near Sevastopol, Ukraine’s main air base in Crimea, until it was stormed by Russian troops on March 22. Now Crimea’s crisis is forcing the couple to choose the least bad option for their future. […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Press Conference with President Obama and Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands [excerpts re Russia]

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 25, 2014) Gemeentemuseum Den Haag The Hague, The Netherlands Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  You’ve been criticized during this dispute with Russia as not understanding President Putin’s motivations.  As recently as last month, you and others in your administration said you thought Putin was reflecting […]

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Interfax: Despite sanctions, Russia continuing to share intelligence on drug trafficking with U.S. – official

Russian Drug Den File Photo

MOSCOW. March 26 (Interfax) – Despite the U.S. sanctions against Russia, the two countries are continuing to share intelligence concerning drug trafficking, says Russian Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov. “Exchange of information is under way,” Ivanov said in an interview with Interfax. Ivanov is among the Russians against whom the U.S. recently imposed sanctions because of the situation […]

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The Hague Declaration

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

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 24, 2014) 1. We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague to reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and […]

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Putin Tasks Trusted Lieutenant With Economic Development Of Crimea

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – March 24, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin named Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, his long-time trusted lieutenant and trouble-shooter, on March 21 to oversee the economic development of the Re public of Crimea. Crimea and the city of Sevastopol were formally incorporated into the Russian Federation as individual federation subjects on March 17. Putin then designated […]

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Russian official admits Crimean economy depends on links with Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, March 24, 2014) The potential of the Crimean economy will depend to a large extent on the development of its economic ties with Ukraine, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrey Klepach told a briefing in Moscow on Monday. Asked what contribution the Crimean economy would make to the Russian economy, the deputy minister said that “it […]

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Why Putin Should Thank Obama

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(jackmatlock.com – Jack Matlock – March 23, 2014) Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War and was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. Igor Oleynik, CEO of International Business Publications in Washington, DC, has sent me a spoof letter from Putin to Obama. […]

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Russian Cabinet Outlines Costs of Crimea

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – March 25, 2014) The costly consequences of expanding Russia’s territory became clearer Monday when Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev revealed a Crimea to-do list for the government and its corporations. Russia will need to take care of entitlements and services ranging from retirement pensions to tax rebates to electricity supply in a peninsula […]

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RUSSIA & UKRAINE: Johnson’s Russia List contents with links :: 2014-#65 :: Monday, 24 March 2014

St. Basil's file photo

[check back for updates, including more links; links also posted to facebook and twitter] Johnson’s Russia List :: 2014-#65 :: 24 March 2014 E-Mail: davidjohnson@starpower.net A project of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs: www.ieres.org JRL homepage: russialist.org JRL on Facebook: facebook.com/russialist JRL on Twitter: twitter.com/JohnsonRussiaLi Support […]

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Russians Must Oust Putin Rather than Suffer for His Imperial Ambitions, Felshtinsky Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, March 24, 2014) Russians must recognize that Vladimir Putin is “an aggressor and instigator of war,” that he is making them into “victims and participants in state crimes,” that he will eventually lose to the democratic world, and that he, they and their country will suffer and be held accountable just as […]

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Ukraine-EU Pact Signals Step Towards NATO – Russian Ministry Source

EU Map

MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) – The signing of a political pact between Ukraine and the European Union is a hasty step which points to the prospect of closer military ties between Kiev and NATO, a Russian foreign ministry source said Monday. “The political provisions of the association deal pave the way for further entrenchment of Ukraine into the foreign […]

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Moscow restaurants impose “entry ban” on Obama

File Photo of Barack Obama Sitting at Desk with Mike McFaul Standing Next to Him Facing Him

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) – Moscow restaurants are introducing sanctions against U.S. President Barack Obama. Notices saying an “entry ban” has been imposed on Obama have been put up at the entrances to Dolma restaurants in central Moscow, an Interfax correspondent reported. The manager of a Dolma restaurant, Lasha Churgulia, said that, “the ban only applies to Obama for now.” […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin and Lavrov at Meeting with permanent members of the Security Council

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Kremlin.ru – March 21, 2014) Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council, during which a detailed discussion on the situation in Ukraine took place. Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov, […]

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Will the Ukrainian conflict turn hot?

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(rbth.ru – March 24, 2014 – Nikolai Gorshkov, special to RBTH) Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has warned Russia than any attempt to annex areas of Eastern Ukraine will meet a very tough response, including a military one. EU in Brussels also spoke of measures beyond the already agreed, should Russia move into Ukrainian mainland. But does Russia have […]

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Russia says close to agreement on OSCE monitors for Ukraine

File Photo of OSCE Banners

Reuters reports on statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe is close to reaching an arrangement to send observers to Ukraine: ‘We have already practically agreed a draft decision’ on an observer mission, Lavrov told President Vladimir Putin in televised remarks, adding that observers would be sent to western and central […]

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Former Ambassador McFaul: Putin May Be Just Getting Started

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – By Albert R. Hunt – March 19, 2014) Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Michael McFaul, who recently stepped down as U.S. ambassador to Russia, says President Vladimir Putin is riding “an ugly nationalistic fervor that’s off the charts,” and is likely to escalate tensions with the U.S. and Europe over Ukraine. McFaul, who […]

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Hagel Gets Assurances About Russian Troops on Ukraine Border

Sergei Shoigu file photo

(Defense.gov – American Forces Press Service – Jim Garamone – WASHINGTON – March 20, 2014) Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu assured Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russian troops along the Russia-Ukraine border are there solely for exercise purposes and will not cross over into Ukrainian territory, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today. At a Pentagon news […]

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Putin’s Crimea Move Cripples Opposition

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – March 21, 2014) During his triumphant speech on Crimea’s annexation earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin stressed that his policy was supported by an “absolute majority of Russians,” saying those who opposed it were “national traitors” acting on behalf of Western countries. While such a bold statement was embraced by some as […]

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Kasparov: It’s time to stop Putin

Garry Kasparov file photo

In a Washington Post op-ed, Garry Kasparov argues that Putin’s motives in seizing Crimea are shaped more by greed than Russia’s national interests, and that assessments of possible future Kremlin actions should be based on pragmatic assessments of what Putin actually does: When Vladi­mir Putin formally annexed Crimea this week, he acted in defiance of the predictions of many pundits, […]

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RIA Novosti: Putin Signs Final Crimea Reunification Decree

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree Friday on the ratification of the treaty providing for the reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with Russia. The treaty had been already ratified by both houses of the Russian parliament. Under the decree, the Russian Federation will have 85 regions, up from the previous 83. The Republic […]

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RIA Novosti: Federal State Is Only Solution for Ukraine says Sergei Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) – Making Ukraine a federal state is the only way to stabilize situation in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday. “We want to understand, who exactly will represent legitimate authorities in Kiev. In this regard we have a proposal: first of all, a constitutional reform should be held, so that interests […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Forces Leave Navy Headquarters in Orderly Droves

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) – Representatives of the self-defense forces of Crimea have occupied Ukraine’s navy headquarters in the Crimean city Sevastopol, organizing the orderly departure of the Ukrainian military forces inside. Crimea’s self-defense forces broke through barricades surrounding the facility Wednesday morning, raising the Russian federal and navy flags in place of their Ukrainian equivalents. Some small altercations […]

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Merkel Warns on Rush to Russia Sanctions, Reflecting EU Split

EU Map

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – James G. Neuger, Ian Wishart and Jonathan Stearns – March 20, 2014) German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union won’t rush to impose economic sanctions on Russia for the annexation of Crimea, reflecting concerns that trade curbs would damage Europe’s tentative recovery. Germany, which is Russia’s biggest EU trading partner, expects the 28-country bloc to […]

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re: Crimea

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

Subject: Crimea Date:     Thu, 20 Mar 2014 From:     Sergei Roy <sergeiroy@yandex.ru> The other day I received a letter from a German friend concerning Ukraine. I could not leave a letter from an old friend unanswered, though I do very little writing these days. My reply expresses rather clearly, though not fully, my take on what goes on there. Best wishes, […]

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RIA Novosti: Official Andrey Nikitin says annexation of Crimea will benefit Russian economy, in the long run

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(RIA Novosti – March 19, 2014) Gorki, 19 March: Crimea’s becoming part of the Russian Federation may temporarily damage Russia’s investment image, but in the long run Russia will only benefit [from it], the director-general of the Strategic Initiatives Agency (ASI), Andrey Nikitin, has said. “I think that those who fell for these scare stories and will leave Russia or […]

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Navalny Proposes Sanctions List to the West

Alexei Navalny file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Christopher Brennan – March 20, 2014) Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, currently under house arrest in connection with a criminal case against him, has written an op-ed for the New York Times in which he calls for sanctions on officials and businessmen connected to President Vladimir Putin. Saying that previous U.S. and EU sanctions in response […]

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RIA Novosti: US Advises Funds to Warn Investors About Russian Risk – Report

File Photo of Outdoor Electronic Sign with Russian Exchange Data

MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) – US financial officials have contacted investment funds with Russian assets and advised them to inform clients about potential risk associated with the crisis in Ukraine, the Reuters news agency reported Thursday. The commission began counseling investment companies weeks ago, advising them to clearly communicate risks with investors and warning them to have a clear […]

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Interfax: Moscow’s response to “mirror” U.S. sanctions, asymmetric measures being considered – Russian diplomat Sergei Ryabkov

Sergei Ryabkov file photo

MOSCOW/VIENNA. March 20 (Interfax) – Moscow may draft its own “blacklist” of American officials as part of a response that will “mirror” the sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said. “If Washington restarts measures to escalate tensions and confrontation, as well as attempts to tell us what we should do using the […]

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Interfax: Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin denies claims of Ukrainian military facility raid in Simferopol

UN Building file photo

(Interfax – March 20, 2014) Moscow’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has said that Russian servicemen did not raid a Ukrainian military unit’s base in Simferopol. “There was absolutely no storming of a Ukrainian military facility by Russian servicemen about which the permanent representative of Ukraine spoke today,” Churkin said at the UN Security Council. “Having the support of the entire […]

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