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19.07.19 Russia Considers Joining EU Payment System Meant To Save Iran Nuclear Deal
The Telegraph
Russia has said it may join a European Union payment system aimed at salvaging the Iran nuclear deal if it is expanded to include oil purchases. The system, called Instex, is designed to facilitate payments to Iran despite the US trade sanctions reimposed on the country after Donald Trump pulled out of the landmark agreement in 2018. With its economy reeling from the US blockage of crucial oil exports, Iran said this month it would begin enriching more uranium than allowed by the “joint comprehensive plan of action”. Tensions with the United States and United Kingdom have risen following several attacks on tankers in the Gulf. Iran said on Thursday it had seized a foreign oil tanker that was “smuggling fuel”. Read more 
19.07.19 What Do Two Contemporary Playwrights Have In Common With Anton Chekhov?
The New York Times
Halley Feiffer was a lonely high school student when she fell hard for a tall, dark and long-dead Russian. Aaron Posner met the same man in college and it was really more of a love/hate situation. “It ended up being kind of the ultimate frustration,” he said. “Almost like a tease.” That special guy: Anton Chekhov, a father of modern drama and one of the most acute chroniclers of the human condition in its brilliant, broken, awkward variety. This summer Ms. Feiffer and Mr. Posner adapt, with more or less fidelity, two Chekhov plays, “Three Sisters,” which Ms. Feiffer styles as “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow” and which opens at MCC on July 18, and “Uncle Vanya,” which Mr. Posner has retitled “Life Sucks.” and which reopened on Theater Row in June. Both plays argue, often forcefully and sometimes obscenely, that Chekhov’s characters, habitués of 1890s Russia, speak to our lives with such clarity that they must have purchased really excellent phone plans. Read more 
19.07.19 Film Foundation Set Up By Alexander Sokurov To Close
The Guardian
Russian film director Alexander Sokurov has shut down his film foundation citing hostility from Russia’s ministry of culture. In comments reported by Russian news agency Interfax (via the Hollywood Reporter), Sokurov said the ministry’s “unfriendliness and aggressiveness” was behind his decision to close Primer Inotnatsii (Example of Intonation). Sokurov, who is best known for Russian Ark, a single-take film about the history of the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg, as well as his tetralogy of films about the corrupting effects of power, which includes Moloch and The Sun, established his foundation in 2013 with the intention to “support young authors, who are making their first steps in [the] film-making industry”. Read more 
19.07.19 Russia's Sirius Moon Project Leaves Crew Hungry For Steak
BBC News
What do you crave after spending four months cooped up in a mock spaceship? "A tasty steak!" was Anastasia Stepanova's swift reply, when she emerged from her Sirius-19 quarters, along with five other space guinea pigs. The team of four Russians and two Americans - sent to Moscow by Nasa - were isolated, but stayed on terra firma. So, no weightlessness or cosmic radiation to worry about. But in other respects the Sirius-19 experiment was designed to imitate conditions on a flight to the Moon. Ms Stepanova's colleagues were also looking forward to tasty food, though cosmonaut Yevgeny Tarelkin, commander of this "mission", said he was missing his family. Read more 
19.07.19 Russia Summons US Diplomat In Moscow In Protest Over Visa Row
Reuters
Russia summoned a representative of the U.S. embassy in Moscow on Thursday to issue a protest after U.S. officials alleged Russia had refused visas to teachers at an international school in Moscow, the Russian foreign ministry said. The ministry said in a statement it had not denied the visas, but that teachers at the school were entering Russia under diplomatic visas, despite not being diplomats. It said Russia was ready to issue visas promptly to U.S. diplomatic personnel as soon as Washington started issuing visas promptly to Russian diplomats in the United States. Read more 
19.07.19 Watchdog Fines Google For Non-compliance With Russian Legislation
Russia Today
Google has been fined 700,000 rubles ($11,000) for breaching Russian legislation by failing to exclude links to sites with illicit content from its search results, state telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor said on Thursday. The measure comes in response to Google’s selective filtration of search results, RIA Novosti reports. The watchdog had earlier threatened to fine the tech giant, adding that all formal procedures will be completed by the end of July. More than a third of the links from the unified register of illicit content remain in the search results, according to Roskomnadzor. In May, its experts said that Google had violated the Russian law on information by selectively filtering the search results. Read more 
19.07.19 Kremlin Responds To May's Remarks On Life In Russia
Sputnik
It would be wrong to contrast the systems of values adopted in Western countries and Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said commenting on a recent statement by UK Prime Minister Theresa May on the quality of life in and economic success of Russia. "We can and we need to compare life in Russia, Europe and other countries. There are pros and cons everywhere. [But] it would be completely wrong and impossible to contrast one value system with another one. Well, in all other respects, I guess, we are guided by the opinion that President Putin expressed in an interview with the Financial Times", Peskov told reporters when asked to comment on May's words. Read more 
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