RUSSIALINK: “Russia Hikes Rates as Economists Warn of Triple Threat to Economy” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

The Russian economy faces a surge in coronavirus cases, partial lockdowns and spiraling inflation […]

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Russia Continues to Lose Scientists as Kremlin Cuts Back Funding

File Photo of Test Tubes with Algae Displaying Different Colors, Part of U.S. Energy-Related Research; from nrel.gov

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Oct. 10, 2021) The number of scholars and associated personnel working in the natural sciences has fallen to the lowest level in at least ten years, with the total number employed down a third from the number at the end of Soviet times, according to a new Higher School of Economics study. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Shows Its Growing Sway Over Global Energy Markets” – Wall Street Journal

Gas Flame file photo

Moscow’s huge oil and gas reserves have given it more influence over Western and Chinese economies grappling with rising prices […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin blames low wind power output for gas crisis” – bne Intellinews

Gas Facility file photo

Russia has been criticized for exacerbating the gas crisis by withholding some supply – whether to put pressure on the EU to allow Nord Stream 2’s launch, or simply to drive up prices […]

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Russia’s Energy Influence In Europe Is Growing

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Haley Zaremba – Oct. 11, 2021) The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is playing a growing role in Russia’s energy influence in Europe. As the European energy crunch has intensified, Russia has not increased its supply to meet the region’s demand, in a move that many experts have interpreted as a form of “energy blackmail.” Increasing reliance on Moscow […]

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Iran Cements Alliance With China, Russia In Clear Message To Washington

Iran Map and Flag

The seismic, multi-generational Iran-China deal is set for full roll-out. Full membership of the economic, military and political, SCO alliance will lead to major strategic investments in Iran’s up-and-downstream sectors […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, Belarus Agree on Economic Integration Pacts; The agreements, which cover trade, labor, currencies, taxes and energy, will deepen Moscow’s sway over its neighbor” – Wall Street Journal

Map of Belarus and Environs, adapted from images at cia.gov

“… Putin … [said] that in the end all 28 integration programs were approved. [Putin said that] [t]hey include the integration of currency systems, the principles of levying indirect taxes … the fight against terrorism … [and] the pricing of Russian energy resources, … that a document would be signed by Dec. 1, 2023, to create a single gas market […]

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Putin’s Perestroika, One Driven Like Gorbachev’s by a Desire to Revive a Stagnating System, Path to Its Destruction, Inozemtsev Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Podium with United Russia Logo, Gesturing

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Sept. 8, 2021) Vladislav Inozemtsev, who has long argued that the Putin system is likely to remain stable for at least another decade, now says that the Kremlin is acting in ways that point to an attempt to fundamentally restructure the Russian political system before the 2024 presidential vote. And such a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Econ Ministry ups 2021 Russian GDP growth forecast to 4.2% from 3.8%, lowers 2022 forecast to 3% from 3.2%” – Interfax

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MOSCOW. Sept 8 (Interfax) – Russia’s Economic Development Ministry expects the country’s GDP to grow at least 4.2% in 2021 – these figures have been included in the new macroeconomic forecast, Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said during a session at the Moscow Financial Forum. “The economy – 4.2% this year is the minimum growth estimate. This is what we […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russians See Decreasing Likelihood of Protests – Poll” – Moscow Times

Moscow Protest File Photo

Russians [reportedly] are less likely to view economic protests as a possibility than … at the start of the year despite being more willing to take part in such protests themselves […]

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Europe Needs Nord Stream 2 More Than It Likes To Admit

EU Map adapted from cia.gov image

Europe resents Russian gas for the influence it gives a country that the EU considers unfriendly, …, but … is increasingly thirsty for gas because … [last year’s] winter… drained its reserves. … [and] summer … LNG cargoes [got] diverted from Europe to Asia […]

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RUSSIALINK: “In Small-City Russia, Elections Feel Irrelevant For Local Business Owners” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Saransk’s entrepreneurs are divided over whether the government is on their side, but discontent is unlikely to be reflected in the upcoming Duma vote. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – SARANSK, MORDOVIA – Sept. 7, 2021 For barbershop owner Oleg Kechin, the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic were a breeze. After shutting for just four weeks […]

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Many Russians Prefer Village Life to Urban Because They Fear Change, Novikova Says

File Photo of Car on Road in Siberian Town

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Aug. 31, 2021) Because so many Russians have left villages to move to the cities, it is often overlooked that many Russians choose to remain in villages and many who have moved into urban areas nonetheless view village life as preferrable in a variety of ways to the one they find themselves […]

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30 Years After End of Soviet Union, Its Main Lesson for Russia Remains ‘Reform or Else’

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

Thirty years after the failed August 1991 coup in the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the country four months later, it is hard to avoid asking: What led to the demise of that superpower and are the same factors relevant for its successor, today’s Russia?

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine feels the chill of Biden’s foreign policy” – Financial Times

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium in Front of U.S. and State Department Flags, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“Afghanistan withdrawal heightens Zelensky’s fears of dwindling support from Washington” “… Ukraine has fought an eight-year war against Russia and Russian-backed militants …. Yet even before the chaotic pullout from Kabul, alarm was spreading … over fears … [that] Biden wanted to focus more on other foreign policy issues, especially … China. The first warning sign … came … when […]

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Russians ‘Long Not for the USSR but for a Normal Life Not Dominated by Machines and Money,’ Khotinenko Says

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Aug. 28, 2021) Many think that Russians long for the Soviet system as a whole, Vladimir Khotinenko says; but in fact, they are longing for a normal life, one in which human beings rather than money and machines are in control, as all too many of them are convinced is the case […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Announces $7Bln Pre-Election Handouts” – Moscow Times

File photo of Russian paper currency, adapted from image at csce.house.gov

Putin has called for one-off cash payments to be awarded to Russia’s pensioners and military service personnel in a highly anticipated pre-election move […]

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VIDEO JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Russian Private Sector Today: Challenges and Prospects in a Post-Pandemic World” – NYU Jordan Center/ Columbia University Harriman Institute

Kremlin and Red Square file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“On April 12th, the Jordan Center and the Harriman Institute co-hosted a panel on the private sector in Russia as part of the NYC-Russia Public Policy Series. Panelists included Simeon Djankov, Director of Development Economics at the World Bank; Dinissa Duvanova, Associate Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University; Alena Ledeneva, Professor of Politics and Society at University College London; […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Economic Reality Is Dragging Russia Toward Climate Acceptance” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Polar Bear on Snow with Bare Ground in the Background, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Eric Regehr

“Europe’s border tax and China’s carbon-neutral ambitions might just force a fossil fuel giant to face climate facts.” “… Sooner than expected, Putin’s hydrocarbon-dependent regime has found itself watching key markets slip away as China targets net-zero emissions and Europe introduces measures including a levy on heavy industry imports that fail to meet its climate protection standards. Having lauded the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Fighting inflation of global origin with internal instruments is counterproductive – Oreshkin” – Interfax

Kremlin and River

MOSCOW. Aug 2 (Interfax) – Trying to use internal instruments to curb inflation caused by a temporary wave of global demand is counterproductive and comes at a “high price” for the economy, Kremlin aide Maxim Oreshkin said. “This wave of demand is now passing over the entire global economy, affecting every economy. On one hand, it makes it possible to […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Central Bank Unveils Largest Rate Hike in 7 Years” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

Bank opts for rare move of raising key rate by full percentage point as inflation pressures show little sign of slowdown. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 23, 2021) Russia’s Central Bank has announced its largest interest rate hike in seven years as the regulator continues to struggle to tame surging inflation. At a rate-setting meeting in Moscow on Friday, […]

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Russia Is Finally Embracing The Electric Vehicle Boom

File Photo of Electric Cars being charged, adapted from image at doe.gov

(Oilprice.com – Felicity Bradstock – July 25, 2021) Late in the race, Russia has recently announced investments targeting electric vehicle (EV) growth in an attempt to catch up with the transition across the rest of Europe. Russia is expected to start work on its EV infrastructure creation, starting in Moscow. The city plans to install 200 EV charging stations annually, […]

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Despite Putin’s Urging, Russia’s Major Companies Aren’t Willing to Move Out of Moscow

Men Sitting Around Long Oval Boardroom Table, File Photo of FIFA Officials Meeting with Vladmir Putin

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 1, 2021) In the course of his Direct Line television show, Vladimir Putin said he was against moving the capital of the Russian Federation from Moscow but does favor having Russian companies which operate there have their headquarters in Siberian cities and pay taxes there rather than as now in Moscow. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “WTO’s new ‘green’ rules must not lead to groundless trade restrictions – Russian econ minister” – Intefax

World Trade Organization. [Image of WTO flag from the] WTO Public Forum 2010. External September 16, 2010. Creative Commons. Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

MOSCOW. June 29 (Interfax) – World Trade Organization rules have to adapt to new realities, both in the context of climate change and burgeoning ecommerce, but those changes must not undermine the WTO’s fundamental values and lead to groundless trade restrictions, Maxim Reshetnikov, the Russian economic development minister, said at a meeting of the World Economic Forum’s Trade and Investment […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Cuts Dollar Holdings From $119 Billion Wealth Fund Amid Sanctions” – Bloomberg

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“Russia said it will eliminate the dollar from its oil fund [the National Wellbeing Fund] to reduce vulnerability to Western sanctions …. The wealth fund currently holds 35% of its liquid assets in dollars, … about $41.5 billion, with the same amount in euros and the rest spread across yuan, gold, yen and pounds. After the change, the fund’s assets […]

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Middle Class in Russia Plays Very Different Role than in Western Countries, Gontmakher Says

Cash, Calculator, Pen

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, May 29, 2021) The roughly ten percent of Russians who are middle class not only by virtue of incomes but by level of savings, education, and rank in the economy play a very different role than do the much larger middle classes in more developed Western countries, Yevgeny Gontmakher says. Middle classes, […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Pushes SPIEF as World’s ‘Largest Post-Pandemic Meeting’” – Moscow Times

Some 5,000 guests are set to attend this week’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 1, 2021) Russia’s flagship business conference — the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) — will return Wednesday following its cancellation last year due to the coronavirus. The annual forum, hosted in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s home city, is seen […]

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RUSSIALINK: “World Bank Urges Russia to Adopt Guaranteed Minimum Income to Slash Poverty” – Moscow Times

World Bank Building

Russia spends $30 billion on social welfare, but only 10% goes to the extremely poor. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 26, 2021) The World Bank has recommended Russia overhaul its welfare state if it wants to slash poverty as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S.-headquartered organization said Russia should adopt a “guaranteed minimum income” — a […]

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The Prospects for U.S.-Russia Climate Engagement Under Moscow’s Chairing of the Arctic Council

File Photo of Arctic Fox Running Across Snow, adapted from image at USGS.gov, with photo credit to Mike Lockart and USGS

… [T]he rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council … intergovernmental forum … will pass from Iceland to Russia for a two-year term. … [as] the organization grapples with multiple challenges and Russia-West relations have hit another historic low […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s Economy Almost Hits Pre-Coronavirus Levels; GDP was down just 1% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to last year” – Moscow Times

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Russia’s economy shrank by 1% in the first quarter of 2021, the Rosstat statistics agency estimated […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pavel Durov Revealed – Almost – in New Documentary” – Moscow Times

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

Durov … found[ed] … social networking platform VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, and later Telegram, the encrypted messaging app […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin’s Bid to Ditch Dollar Picks Up as Exports Move to Euro” – Bloomberg

File Photo of Assorted U.S. Cash, adapted from image at tsa.gov

“… [Amidst] Putin’s multi-year push to reduce Russia’s exposure to the dollar … [Russian] exports sold in [dollars] fell below 50% for the first time[,] [m]ost of the [impact] … [coming] from Russia’s trade with China, more than three-quarters of which is now conducted in euros, according to central bank data …. Multiple rounds of sanctions and the constant threat […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Raises Rates Amid Standoff With West, Signs of Covid-19 Economic Recovery; Central bank increases its main interest rate by 50 basis points to 5%” – Wall Street Journal

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… The Bank of Russia raised its main rate to 5% from 4.5% …. [saying] it expected inflation to be higher than previously anticipated, citing a rebound in demand as Russia’s Covid-19 vaccination program progressed. … The central bank signaled concern about other developments …. follow[ing] [U.S. sanctions] bar[ring] U.S. banks and institutional investors from buying new Russian government ruble-denominated […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Under siege; The Kremlin has isolated Russia’s economy; It has protected the country from shocks but is choking any growth” – The Economist

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“… Since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin has commanded the economy like a fortress under siege, building up reserves, decoupling from the world economy, and preparing for the potential impact of Western sanctions or fluctuations in oil prices. … effective at protecting against outside shocks. [b]ut … breed[ing] stagnation and malaise … fuel[ing] … […]

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