Russia’s National Projects: Economic Reboot or Mucky Bog?

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Ben Aris – May 30, 2019) Ben Aris is editor in chief of bne Intellinews. He has been covering Russia as a journalist since 1993. While Moscow has been aggressively advancing its interests on the international stage, Russia’s stagnating economy means the country risks gradually falling behind the rest of the world and possibly facing […]

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Will The U.S. Slap Sanctions On Nord Stream 2?

Gas Flame file photo

(Oilprice.com – Nick Cunningham – May 23, 2019) There is a growing push in the U.S. Congress to slap sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The pipeline under construction would carry Russian natural gas to Germany, and has been a lightning rod of controversy both in Europe and across the Atlantic. Many governments and officials from Eastern Europe fear […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH “Russia ramps up bond sales ahead of possible U.S. sanctions; Moscow’s $1.1bn issuance comes after April fundraising smashed records” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon, Nikou Asgari

File Photo of Facade of Russian Finance Ministry

“… [Russia’s] finance ministry sold Rbs73bn ($1.1bn) in rouble-denominated bonds … Wednesday[,] … part of a plan to raise Rbs600bn in domestic debt this quarter. … [after] a record Rbs400bn in April – four times [Russia’s] monthly average – feeding strong investor appetite for high-yielding emerging market debt. … [Analysts regard the efforts] as a pre-emptive stockpiling … [against] the […]

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Have Sanctions on Russia Changed Putin’s Calculus?

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

Since Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, Western powers have hit Moscow with economic sanctions, hoping to put a stop to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Have they worked? (Council on Foreign Relations – Andrew Chatzky – May 2, 2019 – cfr.org/article/have-sanctions-russia-changed-putins-calculus – Andrew Chatzky covers economics, energy, and geopolitics, and helps edit the Daily News Brief.) The United States and the […]

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Trump and Russia: ‘Quid Pro Quo’ or Quid Pro Talk?

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – April 18, 2019 – russiamatters.org/blog/trump-and-russia-quid-pro-quo-or-quid-pro-talk) A few weeks before today’s release of the voluminous Mueller report, a former New York Times executive editor, Max Frankel, argued in an op-ed that the Trump campaign and “Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy” had reached an “obvious bargain” in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election: The “overarching […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “All About the U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Putin’s Russia” – Bloomberg/ Henry Meyer, Laurence Arnold, Olga Tanas, Tony Halpin

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“… Since 2014, the U.S. has imposed travel bans, asset freezes and finance and trade restrictions against hundreds of Russian individuals and companies … a multinational effort …. 1. What U.S. sanctions are in place against Russia? More than 700 Russian people and companies have been targeted …. 2. Why were the sanctions imposed? … starting in 2014 after Russia […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russians in Heartland Sour on Vladimir Putin Over Money Woes; Stagnant wages, rising costs fuel grumbling among working-class residents who once lauded president” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

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

“… Working-class Russians … have increasingly shouldered the burden of an economy beset by Western sanctions and a government more committed to military spending than overhauling the civilian economy. … after years of paying for Moscow’s military adventures abroad, the economic malaise in Nizhniy Tagil, once considered a bastion of Kremlin loyalty, highlights growing discontent and an erosion of support […]

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Putin Tells Prosecutors To Protect Rights Of Business Owners

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

(Article text ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – March 19, 2019 – article text also appeared at rferl.org/a/putin-tells-prosecutors-to-protect-rights-of-business-owners/29830693.html) President Vladimir Putin has urged Russian prosecutors to protect the rights of businesspeople “with a view to improving the business climate.” Speaking to a gathering of prosecutors in Moscow on March 19, Putin said that a “more effective […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia backs global use of its alternative SWIFT system” – Reuters

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

“Russian lawmakers on Tuesday backed the international use of a Russian alternative system for the global financial messaging network SWIFT designed by Moscow to eliminate the risk of Western sanctions. Russia has held talks with China, India, Iran and Turkey about joint use of Russia’s financial messaging system …. Russia started developing an alternative to the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Audit Chamber Chairman Kudrin in favor of mitigating sanctions through talks” – Interfax

Alexei Kudrin file photo

MOSCOW. March 14 (Interfax) – Russia should seek to mitigate the Western sanctions by synchronizing the efforts of the ministries of foreign affairs, the interior, and economic development, and other agencies toward a better investment climate, Audit Chamber Chairman Alexei Kudrin said. “We need a friendly global environment, we need to enter these [foreign] markets and operate in various jurisdictions, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “‘Chaotic’ sanctions against Russia have failed, says Navalny’ Putin critic claims they miss target and US and UK avoid tackling dirty money” – Financial Times/ Max Seddon

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

“… Navalny said western sanctions against Moscow missed the target and were not working, and that the U.S. and UK had no real interest in tackling ‘dirty money.’ … Navalny labelled existing economic curbs ‘chaotic’ and ‘incomprehensible’ and said attempts to rein in Russia should refocus to target properly the powerful oligarchs with close links to … Putin. … argu[ing] […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia can mitigate effects of new U.S. sanctions if imposed – Duma’s Slutsky” – Interfax

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 14 (Interfax) – Chairman of the Russian State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky has said he believes that Russia can counteract new U.S. sanctions if they are imposed. “American senators have submitted the updated bill, which was earlier dubbed the ‘sanctions bill from hell’ against Russia. The motives behind it are completely far-fetched and unsubstantiated,” Slutsky told […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s New Shield From U.S. Sanctions: A Siberian Gold Mine; Sukhoi Log, widely seen as one of the world’s largest untapped gold deposits, could give Moscow a bulletproof currency backstop” – Wall Street Journal/ Thomas Grove

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

“… Tests commissioned by the company last year and undertaken by Australia-based AMC Consultants, along with a scoping study conducted in 2018, determined that there are 63 million ounces of gold at Sukhoi Log, Polyus has told investors. While independent mining analysts haven’t confirmed that estimate on their own, many of them refer to Sukhoi Log as one of the […]

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As Russia’s Food Prices Soar, Bakers Are Feeling the Squeeze; The costs of key ingredients like sugar and eggs have risen sharply in recent months.

File Photo of Wheat Field in Kenya, adapted from image at usda.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Evan Gershkovich – Jan. 22, 2019) [themoscowtimes.com/articles/as-russias-food-prices-soar-bakers-are-feeling-the-squeeze-64225] Vladimir Anshakov hadn’t planned on becoming a baker. But when the law school graduate was between jobs several years ago, he was spending more time at home with his teething toddler who had a penchant for gnawing on bread crusts. After the new father checked the ingredients, his […]

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Diminishing Returns: How Effective Are Sanctions Against Russia?

(PONARS Eurasia – Stacy Closson – January 2019 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/diminishing-returns-how-effective-are-sanctions-against-russia) Stacy Closson is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute and a Senior Adjunct Professional Lecturer at American University’s School of International Service. (PONARS Policy Memo) In November 2018, the Trump administration announced another set of sanctions on Russian individuals and entities for supporting Russia’s economic integration […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia faces sharp outflow of private investment; More than $67bn shifted out of the country’s economy last year” – Financial Times/ Henry Foy

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“More private money left Russia in 2018 than … since the Crimean crisis and oil market rout of 2014 …. Over $67bn … according to the … central bank …. some … attributed to fears over … U.S. sanctions and threats of more actions from Washington …. [ING’s] Dmitry Dolgin … [indicated that when] Russia’s central bank suspended foreign exchange […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Russia Sanctions Test in the U.S. Senate; A move to block sanctions relief has been defeated, averting a likely spike in global aluminum prices but also spotlighting the tough road ahead for Congress in shaping policy on Russia” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Stephen Sestanovich

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“Fifty-seven senators … tried unsuccessfully … to keep … Trump … from going forward with sanctions relief for Russia’s largest aluminum producer, Rusal, and its parent companies. … highlight[ing] internal tensions over Russia policy and the difficulty Congress faces …. Sanctions against Russia have enjoyed strong support in Congress since the annexation of Crimea …. The Treasury Department claimed … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Push to Dump Dollar Proves Hard Sell With Russia Inc.” – Bloomberg/ Natasha Doff, Evgenia Pismennaya, Anna Andrianova, Annmarie Hordern, Andrey Biryukov, Anna Baraulina, Ilya Arkhipov, Yuliya Fedorinova

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

“Russia’s central bank dumped $101 billion last year in its biggest-ever shift away from the U.S. currency amid fears of new sanctions. But the Kremlin’s drive to wean the rest of the economy off the greenback has been slower going. Despite … Putin’s regular public exhortations to accelerate ‘de-dollarization,’ even the country’s state-owned companies are sticking to the currency. Shifting […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin can’t afford to ditch the dollar” – Reuters/ Steven E. Halliwell

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Paul Manafort, while managing Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, is accused of passing private polling data to his Russia business partner, a man with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. … revealed in an unsealed court filing … likely to stoke the case in Congress for increased sanctions …. [T]he reverberations will be felt in Moscow, where anger and frustration over […]

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RUSSIALINK: “To Be Effective, Russia Sanctions Have to Be Removable; The U.S. must decide whether its economic restrictions against Oleg Deripaska are a permanent punishment or an incentive for change” – Bloomberg / Leonid Bershidsky

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“The congressional Democrats’ opposition to a proposal to lift U.S. sanctions against the companies founded by the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska raises an important question: Is the punitive policy designed to achieve specific goals or primarily to make a statement? The sanctions against United Co. Rusal, En+ Group Plc and EuroSibEnergo JSC will expire on Jan. 19 unless Congress takes […]

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World-Renowned Scientific University Quietly Untangles Itself From Russian Billionaire

Viktor Vekselberg file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

(Article ©2019 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Mike Eckel – Jan. 14, 2019 – article also appeared at rferl.org/a/mit-quietly-untangles-itself-from-russian-billionaire/29708417.html) Nine years ago, Russian tycoon Viktor Vekselberg was welcomed with open arms by U.S. companies, universities, and even the government. Washington’s relations with Moscow were being reset, and Vekselberg was heading a Kremlin-backed initiative called Skolkovo to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian inflation, growth to remain low in 2019 says World Bank” – bne Intellinews

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russian inflation is in focus for 2019 as prices began to rise at the end of 2018 and ended the year slightly above the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) target rate of 4%. … the World Bank says that inflation will remain low this year and growth will be 1.5%, the same as in 2018 …. The U.S. government has […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How to Hit Russia Where It Hurts; A Long-Term Strategy to Ramp Up Economic Pressure” – Foreign Affairs Magazine/ Peter Harrell

“… [S]anctions have done little to change Moscow’s ways. … Any economic pressure … has to starve the country’s military-industrial complex. The United States and Europe know this: they adopted export controls against Russian defense industries … and … Congress passed a law sanctioning foreign companies and governments … [for] ‘significant transactions’ with the Russian defense sector. These sanctions threaten […]

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Is Russia Prosperous? Depends Whom You Ask

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Pete Cobus – MOSCOW – December 29, 2018) [Text with video voanews.com/a/russias-prosperity-depends-on-whom-you-ask/4719526.html] During the past four years, Russia’s $1.7 trillion economy has been plagued by under-investment, broadening state ownership of enterprise and Western sanctions over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Kremlin economic ministers have even warned of unexpectedly high inflation, but you wouldn’t know […]

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How Well Are Russia Sanctions Working?

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nick Butler – December 21, 2018) Nick Butler is an energy commentator for the Financial Times and a visiting professor and chair of the Kings Policy Institute at Kings College London. He spent 29 years with BP, including five years as group vice president for policy and strategy development. [russiamatters.org/analysis/how-well-are-russia-sanctions-working] Tracking sanctions against Russia has […]

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John Helmer: “Book announcement: The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia”

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

Subject: Book announcement Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2018 From: John Helmer The Man Who Knows Too MuchAbout Russia By John Helmer   THE GENUINE GOLDEN SHOWER – JOHN HELMER’S MEMOIRS OF VLADIMIR PUTIN FROM 1991 TO 2018 John Helmer is the longest serving foreign correspondent in Russia; he has been reporting from Moscow since 1989, and on Wednesday, December 19, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Threat of new Russia sanctions forces foreign investor rethink” – Reuters/ Karin Strohecker, Marc Jones

VTB Bank File Photo

“The Kremlin’s latest standoff with Ukraine in the Azov Sea is forcing foreign investors to reconsider Russia, which faces the possibility of even more stringent Western sanctions.  European Union leaders are expected to soon extend existing sanctions on Russia, although some senior politicians have also called for imposing fresh ones.  But the bigger risk is that Washington could opt to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Congress Likely to Shelve New Russia Sanctions as Clock Runs Out” – Bloomberg/ Saleha Mohsin, Laura Litvan, Anna Edgerton, Daniel Flatley

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“Congress isn’t expected to pass legislation ordering new U.S. sanctions on Russia before the end of the year, as lawmakers focus instead on government spending measures, judicial nominations and a farm bill, key senators said. A bipartisan group of senators moved swiftly over the summer to assemble new proposals for Russia sanctions …. But as Congress enters the so-called lame […]

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The Biggest Threat To Dollar Dominance

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Oilprice.com – Irina Slav – November 12, 2018) Russian oil exporters are pressuring Western commodity traders to pay for Russian crude in euros and not dollars as Washington prepares more sanctions for the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Moscow, Reuters reported last week, citing as many as seven industry sources. While it may have come as a surprise to the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia clashes with Western oil buyers over new deals as sanctions loom” – Reuters

Oil Well file photo

“Russian energy majors are putting pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as Moscow seeks protection against possible new U.S. sanctions. … Western oil majors and trading houses have clashed with Russia’s third and fourth biggest producers, Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz, over 2019 oil sales contract terms during […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia, wary of U.S. sanctions, puts saving before growth” – Reuters/Darya Korsunskaya

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“Russia’s drive to fill state coffers to give itself a $200 billion buffer against threats like new U.S. sanctions … will come at the expense of economic growth. … With oil prices high, Russia has been steadily siphoning revenues from its major export into the National Wealth Fund (NWF). It has also raised oil industry taxes, hiked value-added tax and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. ‘Love’ of Sanctions Won’t Stop Moody’s Upgrading Russia” – Moscow Times

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 29, 2018) Moody’s Investors Service thinks it’s likely that the U.S. will sanction Russia’s sovereign debt. But it might just upgrade the country to investment grade anyway. “Those sanctions are likely to come because they would target what the administration has in mind: trying to impose pain on Russia,” Moody’s analyst Kristin Lindow said […]

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Let Them East Cheese: Russian Plant Thrives Amid Sanctions

Russia Map

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Dmitry Lyubimov, Tony Wesolowsky – Oct. 22, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/let-them-east-cheese-russian-plant-thrives-amid-sanctions-/29557433.html) Sergei Chernych proudly points to the gleaming Western-made stainless-steel machinery at his cheese factory in Mari El, a small republic in Russia’s Volga region. Production at the plant in Sernur, some 90 kilometers east of the […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Sanctions Give Russian Economy an Unintended Boost; For months, rising dollar-denominated oil prices, falling ruble have worked to Moscow’s benefit” – Wall Street Journal/ Avantika Chilkoti

Oil Well file photo

“U.S. sanctions have driven the price of oil and the ruble apart – leaving Russia with expensive crude and a cheaper currency … helping its economy. The price of oil, Russia’s main export, has risen almost 14% since mid-August. … largely because of the coming resumption of U.S. sanctions against Iran, choking off the supply of crude from that country. […]

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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “Dmitry Medvedev’s interview with Euronews TV channel” – GovernmentRu

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

(Government.ru – October 18, 2018 – government.ru/en/news/34370/) The Russian Prime Minister answers questions of TV host Tesa Arcilla ahead of the 12th ASEM Summit, which is to take place on 18-19 October in Brussels. Tesa Arcilla: Joining us on the programme is Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Thank you very much, Mister Medvedev, for joining us on the programme. Earlier […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Sanctions Unlikely to Pass Congress Before November” – Bloomberg/ Arit John, Anna Edgerton, Natasha Doff (Sept. 27, 2018)

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… Congress is unlikely to pass any new sanctions on Russia, including proposals that would affect its sovereign debt and energy projects, until after … November elections. The House is likely to go on recess … and not return until after Nov. 6 balloting, according to a Republican aide and a lawmaker. No bills on sanctions against Russia are scheduled […]

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The ‘Who, What, When’ of Russia Sanctions: A Cheat Sheet for Laymen

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Alexey Eremenko – September 26, 2018 – russiamatters.org/analysis/who-what-when-russia-sanctions-cheat-sheet-laymen) Alexey Eremenko is a Moscow-based analyst with Control Risks, a global business-risks consultancy. Russia watchers are still debating whether or not current tensions between Moscow and the U.S. are a new Cold War, but whatever the conflict gets called in the history books, all will agree that […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “[Re: Sanctions]”- Andrew Kuchins

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Andrew Kuchins, Senior Fellow, Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES), Georgetown University – Facebook – September 21, 2018) [embedded live feed of post should load below; text and link also posted further down in case loading is delayed] “There are so many things wrong about sanctions, and Doug Bandow captures many here. The biggest problem is their […]

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More U.S. Sanctions On Russia Would Be Counter Productive

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

(Oilprice.com – Nicholas Trickett – September 20, 2018 – oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/More-US-Sanctions-On-Russia-Would-Be-Counter-Productive.html) Hoping to push back against Russia and prevent president Trump from changing current policy, the Senate has produced two new sanctions bills: the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act and the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKAA). Both would create a new set of harsh […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S. Tells Russia it Could Avoid Novichok Sanctions in Exchange for Chemical Inspections” – Moscow Times

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 14, 2018) The United States has said Russia would be able to avoid a second, more punishing round of sanctions over the nerve-agent attack in Britain if it allows chemical weapons inspections. The U.S. sided with the U.K. last month in concluding that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent […]

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RUSSIALINK: “U.S.’ reliance on sanctions reaches climax – Kosachyov” – Interfax

Federation Council file photo

MOSCOW. Sept 13 (Interfax) – The United States would have been dubbed as a rogue country if all countries that have experienced the U.S.’ interference in their affairs had imposed sanctions on Washington, Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachyov wrote on Facebook. “Let us not forget the fact that sanctions for foreign interference have been imposed by the […]

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Senate Testimony of Ambassador Michael McFaul;Outside Perspectives on Russian Sanctions: Current Effectiveness and Potential for Next Steps [Excerpt]

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

Testimony of Ambassador Michael McFaul [Excerpt] Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor of Political Science, and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow at Stanford University U.S. Senate Committee on Banking Outside Perspectives on Russian Sanctions: Current Effectiveness and Potential for Next Steps September 6, 2018 [PDF Full text here: https://www.banking.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/McFaul%20Testimony%209-6-18.pdf] In the last several years, the Russian government has taken […]

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Russia is in a Stalemate Today But Can’t Stay There for Long, Shevtsova Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 31, 2018) Russia is in a stalemate today because the Kremlin “cannot accept the sanction-backed demands of the West without losing face,” but it also cannot act as if it is indifferent to the sanctions because they are undermining Russia’s ability to remain a great power, Liliya Shevtsova says. As a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “A thickening web; America’s escalating Russian sanctions; Despite Donald Trump, Russia is being hit harder and harder” – The Economist

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“… In August alone, America has slapped penalties on Russian shipping firms accused of trading oil with North Korea; imposed restrictions on the arms trade in connection with the poisoning of … Skripal …; and begun congressional hearings on … legislation designed to punish Russia for its interference in elections. Further Skripal-linked measures may follow in three months’ …. Markets […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian oil and gas groups shrug off sanctions; Higher crude prices and weakened rouble bolster producers’ profits” Financial Times/Henry Foy

Gas Facility file photo

“Higher energy prices and a weakened rouble saw second-quarter profits soar at three of Russia’s largest oil and gas groups … the country’s energy industry … has weathered international sanctions to reap strong earnings. Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, said … second-quarter profits had risen an annual 440 per cent … both exports to Europe and average prices jumped. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Inflation on the Rise for Russians” – Moscow Times

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 27, 2018) The cost of money is rising for Russians well ahead of any potential central bank move to lift interest rates for the first time in almost four years amid concern the U.S. may impose fresh sanctions. State-run Sberbank PJSC, which holds almost half of all Russian savings, is increasing rates for ruble […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s financial authorities are putting the economy on an ‘economic war’ footing as sanctions bite” – bne Intellinews/Vadim Dumes/Ben Aris

Diverse Paper Currency, Coins, Line Graph

“The sanctions[-]based assault on Russia by the U.S. and its expanding sanctions regime is starting to take its toll as the Russian government and financial authorities [are scrambling] to manage the damage … affecting everything from corporate profits to foreign currency reserves. Earlier this month … The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said it will stop its regular foreign currency purchases […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s got the gas and is ready to set fire to our system of democracy” – Miami Herald/Markos Kounalakis

Kremlin and River

“… even a currency crunch won’t stop Russia’s foreign interventions because, despite punitive sanctions, the price of oil, ultimately, pays for its troublemaking. High energy prices are the cost of power transferred from Europe and the United States to Russia and other petrostates. The higher the Brent crude price and the market for natural gas, the greater Russia’s domestic tranquility […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The right way to sanction Putin’s Russia” – Reuters/William Courtney

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

“The United States and … allies are increasingly frustrated over malign activities by Russia. Moscow wages war in Ukraine, abets brutality in Syria, interferes in elections, and poisons opponents. … Washington has imposed sanctions and closed Russian consulates … and vacation estates in Maryland and New York, all believed to be used by … Putin’s government for intelligence purposes. This […]

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Analysts: Russia’s Oil Industry Won’t Crumble Under U.S. ‘Bill From Hell’

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

(Oilprice.com – Tsvetana Paraskova – August 17, 2018) The ‘bill from hell’ of hard-hitting sanctions against Russia that U.S. Senators introduced earlier this month is unlikely to have a wide-ranging impact on Russia’s oil industry, analysts and economists tell Reuters. Since the United States slapped sanctions on Russia in 2014 over the Crimea annexation, Russian oil firms have drastically cut […]

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