Kremlin Backs Cyprus Bailout Deal

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – March 26, 2013) A deal between Cyprus and European lenders was backed by the Kremlin on Monday even as top Russian officials unleashed a storm of angry rhetoric about a compulsory levy on local bank accounts included in the rescue package. President Vladimir Putin “decided to support” the agreement between Cyprus and […]

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Cyprus Deposit Haircut is ‘Legalized Theft’ Says Russian Businessman

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NICOSIA, March 25 (RIA Novosti) ­ The Cypriot authorities’ plans to force losses on local account holders to unlock a much-needed bailout from international lenders breach international accords and will be challenged in court, the head of the Association of Russian Businessmen in Cyprus said on Monday. The finance ministers of the 17-nation euro area agreed early on Monday on […]

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Visas main obstacle to broader Russia-EU ties – Medvedev

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) – If visas are not scrapped, strategic partnership between Russia and the European Union will not be possible, said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “We must understand that visas will have to be scrapped in any case if we are to build a strategic partnership,” Medvedev said at a press conference on Friday after talks between […]

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Medvedev Calls Cyprus Plan ‘Absurd’

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Irina Filatova and Howard Amos – March 22, 2013) Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday intensified his criticism of a plan by European financial authorities to rescue the Cypriot economy, labeling it as “completely absurd,” in the most colorful response yet by Russian officials to the controversial measures. The proposal to impose a one-time levy […]

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Ukrainians split over joining EU, Russia-led Customs Union – poll

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Interfax – Kiev, March 21, 2013) Ukrainians have almost concurred (as received) about prospect for Ukraine’s joining the Customs Union (of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia) and signing the association agreement with the EU, a survey conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) between 23 February and 11 March showed. According to the survey, 41 per cent of those […]

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Ideas for Russian Business Aired on the Seine

Eiffel Tower file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Nathan Gray – March 21, 2013) PARIS – Before an audience of mostly French businesspeople in Paris on Tuesday, political and business representatives outlined the benefits and risks of conducting business in Russia at The Economist magazine’s Russia Business Summit. Targeted at Western European investors, the event at times took on the air of a […]

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EU, Cyprus Act ‘Like Bull in China Shop’ – Russian PM

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GORKI (Moscow Region), March 20 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday slammed the European Union and Cyprus for what he described as their dismal management of the island nation’s debt woes. Medvedev told journalists from European media outlets in an interview that the mishandling of the crisis had undermined confidence in financial institutions, in Cyprus and […]

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Interview: Russian Economist Discusses Moscow’s Stance On Cyprus Crisis

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – March 20, 2013) As the financial crisis deepens in Cyprus, attention is focusing on Russia’s role in preventing the Mediterranean island nation from going bankrupt and exiting the eurozone. RFE/RL’s Claire Bigg spoke to Natalya Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank. RFE/RL: Michael Sarris, the Cypriot finance minister, was in Moscow this week to discuss the […]

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Cyprus Loan Request Spurned by Russia in Moscow, Sarris Says

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer & Ilya Arkhipov – March 21, 2013) Russia rebuffed Cyprus’s request for a bailout loan as the euro-area nation sought to salvage talks in Moscow by wooing investment in its energy reserves. Russia is unable to provide loans and will instead consider making investments in the Cypriot energy industry, the island nation’s Finance Minister […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with European media

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – March 21, 2013) Transcript: Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon everyone. I’m at your disposal. Let’s get to work. Question (as translated): The first question is about Cyprus. You and President Putin have criticised the EU decisions. Don’t you think that the EU may be displeased with this and that the recent events may undermine trust between Russia and the […]

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Cyprus Fails to Obtain Kremlin Aid

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos and Irina Filatova – March 21, 2013) A desperate effort by Cypriot authorities to win financial aid from the Kremlin failed to yield any results Wednesday, as a deal eluded Cyprus’ finance minister, Michalis Sarris, during a visit to Moscow. Russian companies are being hit by a freeze on Cypriot bank accounts as […]

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Russian Envoy: US, EU Monopoly in Africa Coming to an End

Africa Satellite Image Map

(RIA Novosti – March 19, 2013) The Russian president’s special envoy for cooperation with African countries, Mikhail Margelov, has said that the US, EU monopoly in the African states was coming to an end as “the new players, that is BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), have stepped in”, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported him as saying on […]

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Russian Defense Ministry calls for joint responsibility on security in Europe

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(Interfax – March 20, 2013) The international conference on security issues in Europe, the Russian Defense Ministry plans to hold in Moscow on March 23-24, is to bring closer ties of European countries on the issue, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Wednesday. “A lot has been done in the recent years to ensure security in Europe […]

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Can EU Face Russia Down Over Energy Policy?

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(opendemocracy.net – Agnia Grigas – March 18, 2013) Agnia Grigas is a development and political risk consultant to corporations and governments. She works in business and academia. Dr Agnia Grigas is the author of The Politics of Energy and Memory between the Baltic State and Russia (Ashgate Publishing, January 2013) Moscow uses energy as a geopolitical weapon and is thus […]

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Russia welcomes progress in visa talks with EU – Russia’s EU Ambassador

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Interfax – March 18, 2013) Russia is upbeat about progress achieved in the talks on relaxing visa procedures with the European Union, Russia’s EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov told Interfax on Brussels. “I don’t think we should fall into euphoria. I would say the problem has been unblocked, which means that an opportunity has emerged for making further progress. But this […]

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Ukraine: Straddling between the EU and the Customs Union

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Natalia Bespalova, Special to RBTH – March 12, 2013) Ukrainians would not want to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan at the expense of Euro-integration, but the Ukrainian president says his country “is not tough or rich enough to neglect such cooperation” Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his […]

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EU Visa Deal Looks Likely, but Catches Remain

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – March 12, 2013) A much-touted agreement with the European Union making travel easier for businesspeople, students, NGO workers and other professionals might go into force finally, as Brussels has changed its stance on Moscow’s demand to include a visa waiver for government officials. But there are some catches, as both sides […]

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Push For Magnitsky Sanctions Intensifies In Europe

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Richard Solash – March 11, 2013) WASHINGTON — The battle over the Sergei Magnitsky case is moving to Europe. After being lobbied by activists for nearly three years, the U.S. Congress passed legislation in late 2012 to sanction Russian officials implicated in the prosecution and death of Magnitsky, a whistle-blowing Moscow lawyer who died in pretrial […]

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EU liberals support revival of Helsinki Process in Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

TALLINN. March 7 (Interfax) – Members of EU liberal and democratic parties and movements said they were concerned that Moscow was straying from its international obligations in the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and offered to revive the Helsinki Process. “Russia’s abrupt deviation from the democratic standards enshrined in the 1993 constitution, […]

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Russia Will React If U.S.-EU Trade Deal Harms, Fund Says

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Joseph de Weck – February 7, 2013) Russia may pivot to Asia should the proposed U.S.-European Union free-trade agreement hurt its businesses, said Kirill Dmitriev, the Chief Executive Officer of the $10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund. “Any attempt to use the liberal language of free trade to create something that excludes other countries and puts […]

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Hollande and Putin Warm Relations

Eiffel Tower file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel and Irina Filatova – March 1, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Thursday hosted his French counterpart Francois Hollande for four-hour-long talks in the Kremlin, which diplomats said were direct and productive. Hollande’s first visit since the socialist was elected president in May was preceded by expectations that the French leader would challenge […]

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Lavrov Lambastes EU Over Visa Fairness

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 26, 2013) Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday accused the European Union of employing a double standard when it agreed to allow nondiplomatic Ukrainian officials to enter member states without a visa. “A Ukrainian bureaucrat is no different from a Russian one,” he told students at Moscow’s Diplomatic Academy. Russian and […]

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EU-Russia 2013: Stagnating political and economic ties

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Sergey Sumlenny, special to RBTH – February 20, 2013) Russia and the EU are losing the ability to conduct effective political dialogue, say experts. While Russia still appeals to European businesses, it is also under unwelcome pressure to conform to European ideals of democracy and human rights. Meanwhile, Germany could be the key […]

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EVENT: New Approach or Business As Usual? US-EU-Russia Relations After Putin’s Crackdown – March 4, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

Dirksen Senate Office Building file photo

Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2013 From: Freedom House <FHEvents@freedomhouse.org> Subject: Upcoming Event- March 4 Forum: US-EU-Russia Relations After Putin’s Crackdown You are cordially invited to attend a forum hosted by the Foreign Policy Initiative, Freedom House, and the Institute of Modern Russia New Approach or Business As Usual? US-EU-Russia Relations After Putin’s Crackdown Date: Monday, March 4 Time: 3:00-5:30PM Location: […]

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Russians warming to West, keener on EU than US – poll

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(Interfax – January 31, 2013) The Russians like the European Union more than the USA and believe that in its foreign policy Moscow should gravitate towards Western Europe and the CIS countries, Russian Interfax news agency reported, quoting an opinion poll carried out by the Levada Centre in January. In the poll, 64 per cent of the participants said they […]

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Sympathies of Russians for West increased in a year – poll

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) – Presently, Russians think better of the European Union than of the United States and believe it would be best for Russia to follow foreign policy objectives in Western Europe and CIS, a poll indicates. During a poll in January, 64% of the respondents said they held a positive attitude to the EU, and 22% a […]

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Georgia vows to keep seeking EU, NATO membership

NATO Meeting file photo

TALLINN. Jan 31 (Interfax) – Georgia’s foreign minister made assurances on Wednesday that her country would stick to its policy of seeking membership in the European Union and NATO. “Both for Estonia and for Georgia, joining the European Union is primarily a security issue, but, of course, it would help revise the Georgian economy as well,” an Estonian government statement […]

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

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(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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Clinton Urges Russia to be More ‘Integrated’

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

WASHINGTON, January 30 (RIA Novosti) The United States and Europe should work to persuade Russia’s leadership to let their country become more “integrated” with the West despite challenges in relations with Moscow, outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview published Tuesday. “It’s going to have to be a mutual effort, Europe and the United States both […]

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Russian refugees: strangers in a strange land: A suicide highlights the reality of obtaining asylum

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(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – January 28, 2013) When Ali applied for asylum in Austria, he thought that any kind of life would be better than facing rampant power abuses in Russia’s restive republic of Chechnya. Instead, he found himself fending off questions about whether he was a terrorist. And the scrutiny continued after his asylum was […]

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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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Suicide Sheds Light on Asylum Challenges

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Nikolaus von Twickel – Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 23, 2013) The suicide of activist Alexander Dolmatov in a Dutch extradition center has highlighted the challenges for Russian opposition members to get political asylum in Europe, but his tragic case does not mean that obtaining asylum has become impossible, experts said Tuesday. Dolmatov was found dead last Thursday in […]

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More Stars Expected to Bid for Russian Citizenship

Gérard Depardieu file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – January 15, 2013) When President Vladimir Putin gave Russian citizenship to French actor Gerard Depardieu, the story became the biggest Internet hit and a subject of political controversy over the long New Year’s vacation. It was the first time in modern Russian history that someone who was not a former spy but […]

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Lithuanian Speaker Gedvilas Rebuts Clinton on Russia, Radio Says

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Bryan Bradley – January 4, 2013) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s opposition to Russia’s growing economic might in Europe wasn’t practical, Vydas Gedvilas, the head of Lithuania’s new parliament, said in an interview with Russian radio. The international influence of Russian businesses is an economic reality that European countries must separate from politics and deal […]

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Russia and the West need to rediscover each other in 2013

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Leaning Towards Barack Hussein Obama With Flags Behind Them

(Dmitri Trenin – www.opendemocracy.net – Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center; Counselor of the Commission on Euro-Atlantic Security – December 24, 2012) A year is a very long time in politics. Over the past year Russia’s relations with the West have deteriorated, not helped by events in Syria and the Magnitsky Act. A new beginning and a desire […]

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Tough Talks Expected At EU-Russia Summit

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – December 20, 2012) President Vladimir Putin will meet with European Union leaders in Brussels on Friday for a pre-Christmas summit, but the mood will hardly be festive. Disputes involving visas, trade and energy have cast a shadow over EU-Russia relations in recent months, giving both sides tough issues to discuss. More […]

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Russia, EU discussing liberalization of economic ties, impact of Customs Union

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(Interfax – December 19, 2012) The differences between Russia and the European Union in negotiations on a new basic agreement are not insurmountable, Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told Russian reporters in Brussels. “The EU, and it is not hiding this, would like to go further in relations with Russia than the package of conditions on which Russia […]

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Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman slams EU’s human rights

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(Interfax – December 17, 2012) The Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov, has criticized the human rights situation in the European Union. Dolgov was speaking at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) conference in Turin, as reported by the Russian news agency Interfax on 17 December. Speaking about some EU countries’ involvement in the […]

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Minister Seeks Exemption From EU Energy Package for South Stream

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – Dec, 17, 2012) Gazprom’s $12.7 billion South Stream gas pipeline should be exempted from the European Union’s third energy package, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday. An updated Russian proposal arguing that the functioning Nord Stream pipeline and the planned South Stream pipeline should receive special treatment because they straddle both […]

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Putin Kicks Off South Stream Construction

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – Dec. 10, 2012) VARVAROVKA, Krasnodar Region ­ President Vladimir Putin on Friday kicked off construction for the route to deliver Russian gas to Europe. A ceremony in which two pipes were welded together marked the South Stream pipeline’s graduation from the phase of talks between governments and corporations ­ and drew the […]

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EU Under Pressure to Draft Magnitsky List

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – Dec. 10, 2012) Buoyed by the U.S. Senate’s endorsement of the Magnitsky Act, Russian opposition leaders and some European lawmakers are calling on the European Union to adopt similar legislation that punishes presumed human rights offenders. Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and Boris Nemtsov, the chairmen of the “Republican Party of Russia […]

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NEWSLINK: Europe for Russia: A key secondary partner? Culturally and historically, Russia belongs to Europe, but Europe is unaccustomed to its new position on the global periphery. The situation requires an urgent strategy from Russia for dealing with the rising East

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[Europe for Russia: A key secondary partner? Culturally and historically, Russia belongs to Europe, but Europe is unaccustomed to its new position on the global periphery. The situation requires an urgent strategy from Russia for dealing with the rising East – Fyodor Lukyanov – Fyodor Lukyanov is the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs – Russia Beyond the Headlines – […]

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Safe European missile defense possible if there is political will – Moscow

Missile Defense Launch file photo

MOSCOW. Nov 27 (Interfax) – Russia is ready for missile defense cooperation with European partners on the condition of reliable guarantees this system will not be directed against it, First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov said at the opening of the 11th Congress on European Security and Defense in Berlin. The ministry website has published his speech. “Missile defense is […]

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

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

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Medvedev Assures France on WTO Behavior

WTO Logo

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

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

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

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

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EU warned against relying on shale gas, urged to invest in Russian project

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, 20 November) The European Commission’s investigation makes one wonder whether Brussels wants to be receiving Russian gas in increasing amounts, the deputy chairman of Gazprom’s board, Aleksandr Medvedev, told the Russia’s Gas forum. “The European Commission recently began an investigation in relation to Gazprom group (RTS: GAZP) and some of its partners, which makes one wonder whether […]

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Putin and Merkel Trade Barbs in Kremlin Talks

Angela Merkel file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Nikolaus von Twickel – November 19, 2012) President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel traded barbs over Pussy Riot, human rights and democracy during Kremlin talks Friday that marked a turn in Berlin’s policy toward Moscow. Merkel, who had been under pressure not to be soft on Putin, seemingly enjoyed confronting her host about […]

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NEWSLINK: Will the Cold Snap in Russian-German Relations Last?

Angela Merkel file photo

(Will the Cold Snap in Russian-German Relations Last? – RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – November 15, 2012 – Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal ­ http://en.ria.ru/columnists/20121115/177487605.html) Writing for RIA Novosti, Russia in Global Affairs commentator Fyodor Lukyanov considers the state of relations between Russia and Germany: Russian-German relations have hit a cold snap ahead […]

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