RUSSIALINK: “Central Bank sees no risks in disconnecting Russia from international payment systems; it would be very unfavorable for them – CBR first deputy governor” – Interfax

File Image of Artist's Conception of Globe with Curved Connecting Lines of Light Passing Through Space, adapted from image at fincen.gov

MOSCOW. April 14 (Interfax) – The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) does not see any risks in disconnecting Russia from the international payment systems, as this would be unfavorable for them, CBR first deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova said during a briefing on Wednesday. “If we are talking about the current situation, then I believe that it is rather calm and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Virus-Driven Migrant Shortage Keeps Russia From ‘Ambitious Plans’ – Kremlin” – Moscow Times

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

… Russia’s government estimates … the country’s population decline hit a 15-year high in 2020, driven by record-setting excess deaths and outmigration linked to Covid-19 border closures […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia seizes on Suez blockage to promote merits of Arctic route” – Financial Times

Suez Canal and Environs Aerial File Photo, adapted from image at nasa.gov

Moscow is busy highlighting the northern sea route and Nordstream as alternatives for world trade […]

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RUSSIALINK: “One Year On: How Russia’s Coronavirus Lockdown Hit the Economy” – Moscow Times

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

Russia avoided mass unemployment and a sharp fall in GDP but has one of the world’s highest excess death tolls […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Could Russia Benefit From the Suez Canal Blockage?” – Moscow Times

Suez Canal and Environs Aerial File Photo, adapted from image at nasa.gov

The Kremlin wants to use the grounding of the Ever Given ship to promote its Northern Sea Route and counter European concerns over Nord Stream 2. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – March 26, 2021) Almost $300 million worth of Russian oil products are waiting to enter the Suez Canal, which remains closed following the grounding of the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Multinational firms under pressure to break ties with Belarus” – bne Intellinews

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

“The West has imposed sanctions on Belarus’ elite, but they are not enough to oust President Alexander Lukashenko. Increasingly the opposition and its supporters are targeting international companies doing business with Belarus.” “International multinational firms are coming under increased pressure to break business ties with Belarus as opposition leaders apply a ‘name and shame’ campaign …. Belarus has been wracked […]

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RUSSIALINK: “‘We Need Our Government’: Surging Food Prices Put Kremlin on Edge” – Moscow Times

Wheat in Field, adapted from image at usda.gov

Food prices are rising fast in Russia and the government has rolled out temporary price caps, but discontent is simmering. (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell, Uliana Pavlova – March 12, 2021) Lyubov, a 59-year-old pensioner doing her weekly shop, doesn’t know why her Russian state pension isn’t going as far as it used to, but is sure the […]

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Calls by U.S. for Economic Transition in Russia From Reagan Through Trump

Cash, Calculator, Pen

… Russia’s transition to a market economy is at least partially completed, though estimates point to the state holding between 33 and 46 percent of the economy … concentrated in “strategic” sectors such as energy and banking […]

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Russian Company Pays Largest Legal Award In History — Almost $2 Billion — For Devastating Arctic Fuel Spill

File Photos of Law Books and Gavel, adapted from image at fjc.gov

… [T]he Krasnoyarsk City Court of Arbitration ruled that almost all of the sum, the largest legal award in Russian history, must go to the federal treasury […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians name rising prices as the main problem facing society” – Meduza

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“Russians consider rising prices the main problem facing their society, according to survey data from the independent Levada Center shared with Meduza. This opinion was held by 58 percent of survey respondents. … Those surveyed also named poverty (40 percent), corruption (39 percent), and rising unemployment (36 percent) as important issues. … Bloomberg listed Russia among ‘five hotspots’ where rising […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Has Russia Beaten Boom and Bust?” – Moscow Times

File Photo of IMF Acronym on Wall Below Row of Circular Lights, adapted from image at state.gov by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

Russia has won plaudits for its macroeconomic handling of the coronavirus. Can other countries learn from its success? (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jake Cordell – March 2, 2021) A year after the coronavirus pandemic plunged the global economy into turmoil and sent stock markets tumbling, Russia has emerged as one of the world’s best performers. Russia’s economy shrank by […]

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U.S. Sanctions Against Russia May Be Recalibrated, But Overhaul Unlikely

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Ingrid Burke – Feb. 19, 2021) Ingrid Burke is a fellow at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. As President Joe Biden settles into the Oval Office, he has filled the upper echelons of his new administration with officials who have vocally supported sanctions against Russia. While it is difficult to predict specific […]

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Russians Want Moscow to Spend Less on Military and More on Domestic Needs, Higher School of Economics Poll Shows

Cash, Calculator, Pen

[According to polls,] more Russians now than two years ago want their government to spend more on healthcare and education and only half as many want it to devote more money to defense and security […]

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Any Increase in Western Sanctions on Russia will Only Make It Easier for Kremlin to Repress Its People, Inozemtsev Says

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Feb. 13, 2021) One of the paradoxes of relations between Russia and the West is that when Russian actions at home or abroad prompt Western governments to react by seeking to impose penalties on Moscow, those penalties only make it easier for the Kremlin to repress its population at home, Vladislav Inozemtsev […]

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‘Capitalism Exists in Russia, but a Market Doesn’t,’ Khasbulatov Says

File Photo of Cash Register with Drawer Open and Hands of Cashier

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Feb. 9, 2021) Ruslan Khasbulatov, who played a key role in resisting Boris Yeltsin during the October 1993 political crisis, says that Russia today has one of the key aspects of modern capitalism – the private ownership of the means of production – but very much lacks a second – the existence […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pandemic Pushed Russians’ Household Finances to Decade Low” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

The coronavirus pandemic pushed Russian living standards to their lowest level in a decade, [according to] new economic data published by the country’s statistics service […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Prepares Earliest-Ever Arctic LNG Shipment to Asia” – Bloomberg/ Irina Reznik, Anna Shiryaevskaya, Dina Khrennikova, Olga Tanas

Arctic Map

“Russia is preparing to make the earliest-ever shipment of liquefied natural gas to Asia, taking advantage of thinning ice in the Arctic … paving the way for a record-long navigation season …. [S]uper-chilled cargo from Novatek PJSC’s Yamal LNG facility in early May will beat last year’s record for the start of eastbound voyages through the Northern Sea Route … […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Markets Unfazed by Navalny’s Detention; Ruble and stock markets down slightly, but no signs of widespread panic” – Moscow Times

… The detention was met with immediate condemnation from U.S. and European leaders as well as new calls for sanctions against Russia in retaliation […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. Will Lift Nord Stream 2 Sanctions if Europe Suspends Construction, Says Biden Advisor” – Moscow Times

Gas Flame file photo

… The U.S. imposed sanctions at the end of 2019 in an effort to halt the construction of the pipeline, which will transport Russian gas to Europe […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Pivotal moment approaching in coronavirus crisis, situation to start improving – PM Mishustin” – Interfax

Coronavirus File Photo adapted from image at cdc.gov

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is expecting the start of recovery from the socioeconomic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Most Small Businesses Still Struggling, Warns Top Business Lobby; Small companies twice as likely to be hit by pandemic” – Moscow Times

Cash, Calculator, Pen

Russia’s small companies [reportedly] were almost twice as likely to suffer negative consequences from the coronavirus pandemic than their larger counterparts […]

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Moscow Drops Plans for Foreign Language Requirement for Secondary School Graduation

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Jan. 4, 2021) To graduate from secondary schools, Russians will still have to pass tests in Russian; but they will not be required to do so in foreign languages like English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese, the education ministry has announced (publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202012240006?index=1&rangeSize=1). That change effectively ends the effort of former education minister, […]

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Pandemic and Economic Crisis Changing Russians from Observers to Citizens But Leaving Them Divided, Levinson Says

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, Dec. 29, 2020) Because of the pandemic and the associated economic crisis, many Russians are being forced by circumstances to shift from being passive observers to taking more demanding positions as citizens, a change that could outlast either of the problems that generated it, according to Aleksey Levinson. The two crises, the […]

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Russia Cries War As U.S. Tries To Kill Nord Stream 2

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – Dec. 21, 2020) The widening U.S. sanctions on the Russia-led natural gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 are a kind of hybrid warfare used by the United States, Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. “This is indeed a variant of hybrid warfare, it is used as a hybrid war by the United […]

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RUSSIALINK: “IMEMO, Interfax expert meeting with special guest Deputy Prime Minister Novak addresses protracted oil demand recovery” – Interfax

Oil Wells File Photo

MOSCOW. Dec 21 (Interfax) – The third expert meeting of the joint project of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) and Interfax titled ‘Russia and the World: A Professional Conversation’ took place on December 21 with the special guest Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak. The experts discussed the protracted oil demand recovery on […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s biggest retailers cap food prices after Kremlin intervention” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Government says it will regulate cost of ‘socially significant goods’ if they climb more than 10%” “Russia’s top retailers have imposed caps on food prices … [T]he Kremlin moved to halt spiralling costs on essential goods …. sensitive to criticism of its economic record … having spent a much smaller percentage of [GDP] on … coronavirus relief … than other […]

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Is Crimea Now Costing Russia More Than It Is Worth?

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

… Not only did that aggressive breach of international law trigger Western sanctions … the authorities in Moscow also never gave the public an honest estimate of just how much money would need to be spent, nor for how long […]

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Western Sanctions Have Had ‘Outsized Impact’ On Russian Companies, Economist Says

File Photo of G7 Leaders at Summit, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

… Russian corporations have lost almost $100 billion since sanctions were imposed … following the annexation of Crimea … equivalent to about 4.2 percent of the country’s economy [then] […]

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Russia’s Next Economic ‘Shock’ Likely To Come From Impoverished Regions, Experts Say

Russia Regions Map

Russia … failed to invest enough in its regions, whose health-care systems are now overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, adding to citizens’ frustration with the government […]

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