Forums

Site map
Search
0The virtual community for English-speaking expats and Russians
  Main page   Make it home   Expat card   Our partners   About the site   FAQ
Please log in:
login:
password:
To register  Forgotten your password?   
  Survival Guide   Calendars
  Phone Directory   Dining Out
  Employment   Going Out
  Real Estate   Children
   Sunday
   February 17
Analysis & Opinion
Business Calendar
Phone Directory
 Daily News Links
 Other News Links
News Links
News about Russia and the CIS from Leading World News Media.

Click on a link to open a new window and read the article.

Some sites may require registration, and some links may expire.
17.02.19 Lavrov Dubs UK's Williamson 'minister Of War'
Reuters
A day after British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson accused Moscow of “trying to goad the West” in a bellicose speech, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called him Britain’s minister of war. Williamson, addressing the Munich Security Conference on Friday, accused Russia of “illegal activity” on land and at sea, and called on Moscow to reset its relationship with Western countries through dialogue. Lavrov addressed the meeting on Saturday and seized the opportunity to jibe back at Williamson when asked about the security situation of the Arctic. Read more 
17.02.19 Russia Dubs Gavin Williamson 'minister For War'
The Independent
Russia has dubbed Gavin Williamson the “minister for war” in the latest controversy surrounding the gaffe-prone defence secretary. Sergei Lavrov, Moscow’s foreign minister, hit out at Mr Williamson after he accused the Kremlin of using mercenaries to “get away with murder while denying the blood on their hands” and of “trying to goad the west into a new arms race”. The defence secretary is also under fire after the chancellor aborted a trade trip to China, amid the fury sparked by his plan to send a British aircraft carrier to Beijing’s backyard. Read more 
17.02.19 Erdogan Says No Going Back From S-400 Deal With Russia
Reuters
Turkey will not turn back from its deal to buy S-400 missile systems from Russia, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Saturday, a day after an informal deadline Washington set for Ankara to respond to a rival offer passed. NATO member Turkey has repeatedly said it is committed to buying the Russian missile defense system, despite warnings from the U.S.-led alliance that the S-400s cannot be integrated into the NATO air defense system. Read more 
17.02.19 Arrest Of Iconic U.S. Investor Calvey Brings Back Browder Memories
The Moscow Times
The arrest of iconic U.S. investor Michael Calvey in Moscow has sent shockwaves through the Russian business community in a dubious case that echoes the famous persecution of Bill Browder and his Hermitage Capital firm. Calvey, and several of his colleagues at Baring Vostok, the largest independent private equity firm in Russia, were arrested on Friday in Moscow “for large-scale fraud.” His firm, which was set up in 1994, has been the most successful private equity shop in Moscow with almost $4 billion in capital. Read more 
17.02.19 Russian Court Extends Custody Of Baring Vostok's Calvey Until April
Reuters
A Russian court on Saturday ordered Michael Calvey, the U.S. founder of one of Russia’s biggest private equity firms accused of fraud, to be kept in custody until April 13. Calvey, a senior partner at Baring Vostok and among Russia’s most prominent investors, was detained on Thursday along with other executives after investigators accused them of embezzling 2.5 billion roubles ($37.73 million). Calvey denies the accusations. On Friday, Moscow’s Basmanny court ordered Calvey to be detained for 72 hours, but said the court would consider on Saturday if he should continue to be kept in custody. Read more 
16.02.19 Russia Detains Prominent U.S. Investor On Suspicion Of Fraud
Reuters
Michael Calvey, the U.S. founder of one of Russia’s biggest private equity firms, denied allegations of fraud in a Moscow court on Friday but a judge ordered him to be detained for 72 hours, a move that could raise concerns among foreign investors. Calvey, senior partner at Baring Vostok, was first detained on Thursday along with three other executives after investigators accused him and others of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles ($37.61 million). Read more 
16.02.19 Russian Leaflets Denigrate 'novichok' Scientist Vladimir Uglev
BBC News
A Russian scientist who worked on nerve agents like novichok says leaflets have appeared in his home town suggesting that he is a paedophile. Vladimir Uglev denies that claim. He told BBC Russian that he removed leaflets from his office wall and a local shop. He lives in Anapa, a southern town by the Black Sea. He was also questioned by police, he said. He is not facing any charges. Read more 
16.02.19 Stop Goading The West And Let's Talk, UK Minister Urges Russia
Reuters
Britain’s defense minister accused Russia on Friday of “trying to goad the West into a new arms race” that it does not want and called on Moscow to reset its relationship with Western countries through dialogue. Addressing the annual Munich Security Conference for the first time, British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson struck a bellicose tone in comments on Russia’s security posture before extending the offer of “a different kind of relationship”. Read more 
16.02.19 Chernobyl: The End Of A Three-decade Experiment
BBC News
"This place is more than half of my life," says Gennady Laptev. The broad-shouldered Ukrainian scientist is smiling wistfully as we stand on the now dry ground of what was Chernobyl nuclear power plant's cooling pond. "I was only 25 when I started my work here as a liquidator. Now, I'm almost 60." There were thousands of liquidators - workers who came here as part of the mammoth, dangerous clean-up operation following the 1986 explosion. The worst nuclear accident in history. Read more 
16.02.19 Lukashenko: We're Ready To Unite With Russia
The Moscow Times
Belarus is ready to merge with Russia, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on the third and last day of his bilateral talks with President Vladimir Putin on Friday. Rumors resurfaced this year that Russia could annex Belarus as Putin’s constitutional term limits bar him from running for the presidency in 2024. “The two of us could unite tomorrow, no problem,” Lukashenko said in a video shared by a Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid Kremlin reporter on Twitter Friday. Read more 
16.02.19 Russia Detains Prominent U.S. Investor Based In Moscow On Fraud Charges
Washington Post
Michael Calvey, one of the most prominent U.S. investors based in Russia, faced fraud allegations in a Moscow courtroom on Friday in a case that could raise fresh doubts about the country’s ability to attract foreign capital. Calvey, who was taken into custody, denied the fraud allegations in court and said he was ready to cooperate in the police investigation, according to Russian news agencies. Read more 
16.02.19 Gazprom To Start Gas Supplies To China Ahead Of Schedule
Reuters
Russia’s Gazprom will start gas supplies to China from Dec. 1, a month earlier than planned, the gas producer said on Friday. Deliveries of gas to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline were due to begin at the end of December 2019, but the project is only expected to reach full capacity in 2025. Read more 
16.02.19 Thirty Years On, Soviet War In Afghanistan Continues To Divide Russia
The Independent
On 15 February 1989, a column of BTR-80 tanks crossed the Hairatan bridge into Uzbekistan, marking the complete withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan. An operation that was planned as a quick, glorious intervention, had instead ended in strategic failure and international embarrassment. Less than a year and a half later, the Soviet Union’s own parliament condemned the decision to start the war – using stark “moral and political” terms. Read more 
16.02.19 Russian Nuclear-Capable Bombers Fly Over Sea Of Japan
The Moscow Times
Nuclear-capable Russian bombers carried out a training flight over the Sea of Japan, prompting Tokyo to scramble air force planes to intercept them, the Interfax news agency cited the Russian defense ministry as saying on Friday. Japanese fighter jets accompanied the Russian bombers for parts of their more than 15-hour flight, which also passed over the Sea of Okhotsk and eastern parts of the Pacific Ocean, the ministry was quoted as saying. Read more 
15.02.19 Russia To Build New Grain Terminal In Crimea
Reuters
Russia plans to build a grain terminal in Crimea at a cost of more than 1.7 billion roubles ($25.4 million), the RIA news agency quoted the head of the region as saying on Thursday. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, drawing sanctions from the West that created legal risks for the region’s grain exports. However, Crimea has since increased trade ties with Syria, which is also under sanctions. Read more 
15.02.19 Bellingcat Names Third Russian GRU Agent Suspected Of Skripal Poisoning
Reuters
A third man suspected of involvement in the nerve agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in England last year is a high-ranking Russian military intelligence agent, the investigative website Bellingcat said on Thursday. "Bellingcat can now reveal the true identity and background of this GRU officer, who operated internationally under the cover persona of Sergey Vyachaeslavovich Fedotov," Bellingcat said. "In fact, this person is Denis Vyacheslavovich Sergeev, a high-ranking GRU officer and a graduate of Russia’s Military Diplomatic Academy." Read more 
15.02.19 Promsvyazbank Is Ready For Any Sanctions Scenario
Reuters
Russia’s Promsvyazbank is ready for any scenario related to possible new U.S. sanctions, the bank said in comments reported by Interfax news agency on Thursday. Russia’s central bank took over Promsvyazbank in a bailout in 2017. The lender was later earmarked by the government to provide credit to entities under sanctions so that other lenders could offload the risk. Read more 
15.02.19 ‘It’s Like Before The First World War’: How US And Russia Are Battling For Middle East Influence At Rival Summits
The Independent
Duelling Middle East conferences unfolded in Poland and Russia on Thursday, highlighting the competition for influence and the hardening of geopolitical blocs confronting each other over the volatile region. In Warsaw, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, vice president Mike Pence, and president Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner headlined what was billed as a “peace” conference, but amounted to an attempt to pressure sceptical allies into joining a gelling anti-Iran alliance that includes Israel and the Arabian Peninsula monarchies. Read more 
15.02.19 30 Years On, Russia Views Afghan War With Pride
The Associated Press
When the last Soviet tanks rumbled back home across a bridge on the border with Afghanistan 30 years ago, the withdrawal was hailed as a much-anticipated end to a bloody quagmire. Since then, Moscow’s view of the war has changed radically. As Russia prepares to mark Friday’s anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal, many see the 10-year Soviet war in Afghanistan as a necessary and largely successful endeavor. Just like the ongoing Russian campaign in Syria, the Afghan war is widely perceived as a legitimate action against U.S.-backed militants. Read more 
15.02.19 Gorbachev: A Nuclear Arms Race Will Produce No Winners
The Moscow Times
The fate of the INF treaty has politicians and ordinary people worried on every continent. I am also concerned, and not only because I signed that treaty with former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Dec. 1987. These events are yet another manifestation of the dangerous and destructive trends in world politics facing us today. The main idea guiding us on the path to signing the original treaty was expressed in a joint statement with the United States, adopted at our first meeting in Geneva: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Read more 
15.02.19 The Soviet Army Was Driven From Afghanistan 30 Years Ago. Putin’s Russia Is Repackaging That Defeat As A Patriotic Victory
Washington Post
The Red Army veterans took to the stage and belted out songs from the Afghan battlefield: clashes with the enemy and a wartime thirst for Russian vodka. A crowd of the war elite finger-tapped along to the familiar beat. The rock concert was something like theme music for the Kremlin’s attempt at rewriting history, turning the defeat in Afghanistan into a patriotic victory for Mother Russia. Read more 
14.02.19 Russia Moves To Mask Its Soldiers' Digital Trail
Reuters
Russia is moving to ban its soldiers from sharing information on the internet, a step that follows the use of social media posts by investigative journalists to shine a light on Moscow’s clandestine role in foreign conflicts. Draft legislation proposes banning servicemen and reserve troops from posting anything online that would allow outsiders to glean their whereabouts or role in the military. Read more 
14.02.19 10 Years Ago, Russia Built A Border Wall, Too.
Washington Post
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the number of new border walls across the globe has risen from 15 to around 70. Intractable conflicts, the global war on terrorism, and populist cries to “take control of our borders” have fueled the construction of concrete walls, barriers and barbed-wire fences. Border walls are compelling visual symbols, whether or not they actually keep people out. But what do these walls actually symbolize? Here are some key takeaways from a contested border project within the country of Georgia. Read more 
14.02.19 Siberian Freighters Forced To Defreeze Ships In Minus 50 C
The Moscow Times
When the Siberian winter bites and the mighty Lena River freezes, workers at the Yakutsk shipyard brace for a backbreaking but vital task — vymorozka. As Siberia's summer is so short, freighters must be kept moving while the river, whose 4,400 kilometers carry the region's economic lifeblood, is navigable. Repairs must be done in winter, when the river is frozen and the ships are wedged tight in the ice. Read more 
14.02.19 U.S. Senators To Try Again To Pass Russia Sanctions Bill
Reuters
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced a bill on Wednesday that would impose stiff new sanctions on Russia over its meddling in U.S. elections and aggression against Ukraine, the latest congressional effort to push President Donald Trump to ratchet up Washington’s response to Moscow. It was introduced by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, as well as other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is a tougher version of legislation - dubbed the “sanctions bill from hell” by Graham - the two lawmakers backed last year but which failed to pass. Read more 
14.02.19 Lithuania Makes Record Hashish Seizure, Bound For Russia
The Associated Press
Authorities in Lithuania have confiscated 1.5 tons of hashish with an estimated street value of 20 million euros ($23 million), the largest seizure ever made in the small Baltic country. Senior police official Linas Pernavas says the drug came from Morocco and was destined for Russia. It was hidden in a truck carrying mineral water. Pernavas said Wednesday three people were detained — one Belarus national and two Lithuanians known to be members of a criminal gang — one of whom is the manager of a logistics company. Read more 
14.02.19 Election May Keep Moldova In 'gray Zone' Between West And Russia
Reuters
An election in Moldova this month looks likely to produce a hung parliament, entrenching a split between pro-Western and pro-Russian forces at a time when concerns over corruption and democracy have soured its relations with the European Union. The EU forged a deal on closer trade and political ties with the tiny ex-Soviet republic in 2014 and showered it with aid but it has become increasingly critical of Chisinau’s track record on reforms. Read more 
14.02.19 Lukashenko: Belarus Will Never Send 'Bad Vodka' To The Russians
The Moscow Times
Belarus will only supply good vodka and snacks to Russia regardless of strains on bilateral ties, the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko promised at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Lukashenko arrived in southern Russia’s resort city of Sochi for talks that could last for up to three days, the Kremlin said earlier in the day. Observers speculated this year that Putin may look to forge a closer union between Minsk and Moscow, which he could head after his presidential term ends in 2024. Read more 
14.02.19 NATO Chief: Allies Keen To Avoid Arms Race With Russia
The Associated Press
Taking aim at Russia, NATO’s civilian chief said Wednesday the alliance is studying a range of options to counter Moscow’s alleged missile treaty violations, and America’s top diplomat accused the Russians of having “grand designs” to dominate Europe. Read more 
13.02.19 Russia Warns United States Against Intervention In Venezuela
Reuters
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against any interference, including military, into Venezuela’s internal affairs, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a phone call between the two. Lavrov said that Russia was ready for consultations about Venezuela in line with the United Nations charter. Read more 
13.02.19 Russia Is ‘playing With The West’s Minds’
The Independent
An influential Kremlin aide has predicted a “glorious century” for Vladimir Putin’s political system. Writing in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, Vladislav Surkov said the world had yet to see peak Putinism but that, in time, even adversaries would end up copying his system. “We need to recognise, understand and describe the Putinist system of government … as the ideology of the future,” he said. Read more 
13.02.19 European Insurer ERGO To Sell Non-life Business In Russia
Reuters
ERGO Group, part of German reinsurer Munich Re, is selling its non-life insurance business in Russia, the company said, becoming the latest Western company to reduce its presence in the Russian market. The purchase agreement with Russia’s RESO-Garantia has been signed and is subject to regulatory approvals, ERGO said, adding that the sale price will not be disclosed. Under the agreement, Russian non-life insurer RESO-Garantia acquires 100 percent of shares in ERGO Non-Life and takes over the whole company. Read more 
13.02.19 Russia Moves To Grant Government The Power To Shut Down The Internet
The Moscow Times
Russian lawmakers advanced a contentious draft bill on Tuesday that seeks to give the authorities the power to unplug the national internet network from the outside world. Deputies submitted the measures to tighten state control over the internet in December, citing the need to respond to an “aggressive” U.S. national cybersecurity strategy. Although Russia’s state media regulator and major tech firms backed the steps to unplug from foreign servers, experts criticized the bill as being too vague and impossible to implement. Read more 
13.02.19 Ruble Firms As U.S. Postpones Hearing On Russian Sanctions
Reuters
The ruble firmed on Tuesday after the U.S. House Financial Services committee said it had postponed a planned hearing on sanctions against Russia due to scheduling changes. The committee was due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the United States’ international sanctions programs on North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, “with a particular focus on Russia”. Read more 
13.02.19 Russia Suspends Mission To The Sun
The Moscow Times
Russian scientists have again delayed the launch of a research spacecraft to the sun over technical issues, researchers say. Russia had been scheduled to send the spacecraft as part of the “Interheliozond” project sometime after 2015, though this was later postponed to 2022 and then again to a final date of 2026. A Russian Academy of Sciences official told state-run media on Tuesday that work on “Interheliozond” had been suspended in favor of “projects that are ready to launch as well as international cooperation.” Read more 
12.02.19 OPEC, Russia Draft Cooperation Charter Offers No Formal Body
Reuters
Scared by looming U.S. anti-cartel legislation for the oil industry, the Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies such as Russia have decided against creating a formal body, at least on paper. A draft of a document - setting up a new alliance and dated January 2019 - and seen by Reuters carefully avoids any mention of sensitive issues such as oil prices, market share and production cuts. Read more 
12.02.19 Putin’s Ambitious Plan To Overhaul Russia’s Economy
The Moscow Times
Russia will spend 25.7 trillion rubles ($391 billion) on carrying out President Vladimir Putin’s expansive promises to overhaul Russia’s economy by the end of his last term in office, according to a new government estimate. After his inauguration last May, Putin outlined plans to spend at least 8 trillion rubles on infrastructure and social issues until 2024. Some of the goals set in his 17-point executive order, known as the “May Decrees,” include halving poverty and turning Russia into a top-5 world economy, while investing heavily in healthcare, education and infrastructure. Read more 
12.02.19 Russia's Central Bank To Pay Less For Domestic Gold From May
Reuters
Russia’s central bank will pay less than an industry benchmark for gold that it buys on the domestic market, it said on Monday. The central bank said that from May 1 it would add a discount to a purchase price currently based on the daily London Bullion Market Association gold price. The size of the discount will gradually rise during 2019, it added. Read more 
12.02.19 Ukraine Official Charged Over Acid Killing
BBC News
Ukrainian prosecutors have charged a high-ranking local official over a deadly acid attack on a prominent anti-corruption activist. The agony of Kateryna Handzyuk, 33, shocked Ukraine. She died from her burns in November, after more than 10 operations. She was attacked in July. Vladyslav Manger, head of the Kherson regional council in southern Ukraine, was charged with organising murder. His lawyer said no evidence had been presented against his client. Read more 
12.02.19 Majority Of Russians Believe Top Politicians Are Lying To Them
The Moscow Times
A majority of Russians say that top officials are lying to them about the true state of affairs in the country, according to a new survey released by the independent pollster Levada Center. Russians’ trust in institutions including the presidency, the government, the State Duma and political parties has reached record lows since the government passed unpopular legislation to increase the retirement age late last year. Meanwhile, the publication of optimistic economic data months after the appointment of a new top statistics official sparked skepticism as inflation hit ordinary Russians’ pockets in the New Year. Read more 
12.02.19 Estonia: Ex-army Officer, Father Guilty Of Spying For Russia
The Associated Press
A court in Estonia on Monday found a former Estonian military officer and his father guilty of treason for spying for Russia, Baltic media reported. The Baltic News Service said the court in Tallinn ruled that 38-year-old Deniss Metsavas — a former major with the Estonian army — and his father, 65-year-old Pjotr Volin, sold classified information to Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. Read more 
12.02.19 RUSSIA PLANS TO BRIEFLY DISCONNECT FROM THE INTERNET TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS
The Independent
Russia is planning to disconnect itself from the internet as part of a planned experiment designed to protect the country from state-backed cyber attacks. Internet service providers in the country are working with the Russian government in preparation for the test, which comes in response to a proposed new law that will see all internet traffic pass through Russian servers. Read more 
12.02.19 Russia Considers 'unplugging' From Internet
BBC News
Russia is considering whether to disconnect from the global internet briefly, as part of a test of its cyber-defences. The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally. A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament last year. The test is expected to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set. Read more 
12.02.19 Russia's Polyus Reports Jump In Profit On Rising Gold Sales
Reuters
Russia’s largest gold producer, Polyus, on Monday reported a 20 percent jump in fourth-quarter adjusted net profit to $291 million compared with last year, lifted by increased production and rising sales of the metal. Adjusted net profit for the full year rose to $1.33 billion, Polyus said, up from $1.02 billion in 2017. Shares in Polyus were down 0.7 percent at 0828 GMT. Read more 
12.02.19 Russia Repatriates 27 Children Of IS Members From Iraq
The Associated Press
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry says it has repatriated 27 children who are family members of the Islamic State Group jailed in Iraq. The children, aged between 4 and 13, were flown to Moscow on Monday abroad the ministry’s plane. Russian children’s rights ombudswoman Anna Kuznetsova said about 50 Russian children who still remain in Baghdad’s prison will be flown to Russia soon. Read more 
11.02.19 Macedonia Joining NATO Is A Self-Inflicted Defeat For Russia
The Moscow Times
The world’s media is talking of a fresh defeat for Russia: that NATO, having overcome Russian resistance, is once again expanding in the Balkans, welcoming Macedonia into its ranks. In a fairytale ending, of all the 29 NATO members, Greece — with which there were the most problems in this story — will symbolically sign the entry protocol first. Amid this idyllic scene, Russia has been left to play the role of the evil fairy godmother who tried to ruin the celebration for everyone out of pure spite, but failed miserably. And just like in a fairytale, the happy ending for Macedonia and NATO was obvious right from the start. Yet Russia still elected to take an invariably doomed position. Read more 
11.02.19 Russia's Gazprombank: Venezuela's PDVSA Has Not Opened New Accounts
Reuters
Russia’s Gazprombank said on Sunday that Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA opened accounts with the bank several years ago and has not opened any accounts recently. Reuters reported on Saturday that PDVSA was telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Gazprombank. “We stress that no new accounts have been opened and the bank does not plan to open any new accounts,” Gazprombank said. Read more 
11.02.19 Russian Opposition Rallies Calling For Release Of Political Prisoners
The Moscow Times
On Sunday Feb.10, Russian protesters rallied in Moscow and St. Petersburg to demand freedom for political prisoners after a daughter of activist Anastasia Shevchenko died in hospital while her mother was under house arrest. Shevchenko is a member of Open Russia movement, founded by Kremlin critic and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and was arrested in January, accused of cooperation with an organization marked as "undesirable" and put under house arrest. Read more 
11.02.19 Russia May Shoot Dead 52 Polar Bears ‘invading’ Village Homes As Sea Ice Melts
The Independent
A remote region in Russia has declared a state of emergency after more than 50 polar bears reportedly broke into homes and offices. Some of the animals – forced inland by shrinking sea ice – have even attacked people on the Novaya Zemlya islands, an official said. Hunting polar bears is banned in Russia, but authorities warn a cull may be the only answer if other means of warding them off fail. Read more 
11.02.19 Protesters Rally In Russia In Support Of Opposition Activist
The Associated Press
Protesters in several Russian cities have taken to the streets in solidarity with an opposition activist. Anastasia Shevchenko from the southern city of Rostov-on-Don last month became the first person to be charged under a new Russian law that carries a prison term for “participation in the activities of an undesirable organization.” Read more 
10.02.19 U.S. And Russia Push Rival United Nations Actions On Venezuela
Reuters
The United States is pushing the U.N. Security Council to formally call for free, fair and credible presidential elections in Venezuela with international observers, diplomats said, a move that prompted Russia to propose a rival draft resolution. Moscow and Washington have been at loggerheads over a U.S.-led campaign for international recognition of Venezuelan opposition leader and head of the country’s elected National Assembly Juan Guaido over President Nicolas Maduro. Guaido last month declared himself interim head of state. Read more 
10.02.19 Russian Authorities Make Deal With Google
The Associated Press
Russian news reports say that Google has agreed with national authorities to delete links to websites banned in Russia. The daily Vedomosti reported Thursday that Google has reached an agreement with the Russian state media oversight agency, Roskomnadzor, to regularly receive updated lists of banned sites and delete links to them upon review. The newspaper says Google has already removed about 70 percent of the banned websites from its search results. Read more 
10.02.19 Venezuela Shifts Oil Ventures' Accounts To Russian Bank
Reuters
Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters on Saturday. PDVSA’s move comes after the United States imposed tough, new financial sanctions on Jan. 28 aimed at blocking Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s access to the country’s oil revenue. Read more 
10.02.19 Russian Journalist Charged With 'Justifying Terrorism' After Critical Comments
The Moscow Times
A Russian reporter faces possible jail time over comments about a 2018 suicide bombing that was critical of the authorities, in a case that rights activists have called an attack on free speech. Security officers raided journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva’s home in the northwestern city of Pskov on Wednesday in connection with her on-air criticism of the state late last year. In her comments about the October 2018 bombing of a security forces building in Arkhangelsk that is believed to have been carried out by a 17-year-old, Prokopyeva alleged that the government had “itself” raised a generation that was ready to fight against it. Read more 
09.02.19 Russia Says It Is Ready For Talks With Netherlands On MH17
Reuters
Russia is ready to engage in talks with the Netherlands about the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Grushko was quoted as saying on Friday. “Our dialogue did not stop, including on a political level,” he said, according to Interfax news agency. “We touch upon those issues, we are ready for talks.” Read more 
09.02.19 EU Agrees Tighter Rules For Russian Pipeline
BBC News
EU ambassadors have agreed to toughen regulations on a controversial gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, but they have decided not to back plans that might threaten its completion. Work on the 1,225km (760-mile) Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea is set to end this year, but it has angered several EU countries. The EU wants to bring pipelines coming into the bloc under its energy rules. But Germany feared that would make the new pipeline uneconomic and unviable. Read more 
09.02.19 Moody's Upgrades Russia Rating, Changes Outlook To Stable
Reuters
Global ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service upgraded Russia’s rating to Baa3 from Ba1 on Friday, saying policies enacted in recent years will strengthen the country’s already robust public finances. Moody’s also said there is a reasonably high likelihood that the United States could impose further sanctions on Russia in the coming months, but added that Russia’s ability to withstand the impact has improved since the downgrade in 2015. Read more 
09.02.19 Skripal Poisoning: Possible Third Intelligence Officer Involved
BBC News
A third man may have been involved in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury last March. The man, Sergey Fedotov, was identified in reports as having come to the UK at the same time as the two suspects alleged to have carried out the attack. Investigative website Bellingcat said the man is a Russian military intelligence officer and it believes the name Fedotov is an alias. Read more 
09.02.19 World Body To Lift Russia's Doping Ban
Reuters
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said on Friday it would lift the ban on Russian Para athletes by March 15, but only under certain conditions. Russia has been barred from international competitions since August 2016 over allegations of state-sponsored doping similar to the ones that led to the suspension of its athletics federation and anti-doping agency. Read more 
09.02.19 Skripal Case: Mystery Of Third Man In Salisbury Poisoning
BBC News
Was a third man involved in the Salisbury poisoning? Reports have suggested that a man using the name Sergey Fedotov could have been in the country and linked to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal last March, in addition to two suspects already named. British Police say they are still investigating whether further suspects were involved. Fedotov's name first surfaced last October in reports from the Russian news outlet Fontanka. Read more 
09.02.19 Sechin Raises Pressure On Putin To End OPEC Deal
Reuters
Igor Sechin, head of Russian oil giant Rosneft and one of Vladimir Putin’s closest allies, has written to the Russian president saying Moscow’s deal with OPEC to cut oil output is a strategic threat and plays into the hands of the United States. The letter did not say whether the agreement in place since 2017 between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other large oil producers led by Russia to cut output should be extended or not. Read more 
09.02.19 Reebok Admits Cunnilingus Is No Joke In Russia
The Moscow Times
Reebok has pulled a racy ad in Russia after online users and the apparel company’s management derided it as being done in bad taste. Styled after the global #BeMoreHuman campaign that features celebrities like Gal Gadot and Ariana Grande, Reebok launched a Russian version on Thursday with a hashtag that roughly translates as #OutOfLine. Russia’s campaign features two female athletes and the author of a feminist Telegram app channel, whose slogan read: “switch seats from a man’s approval to a man’s face” in Russian. Read more 
08.02.19 Russia Pledges Response To Norwegian Military Activity
Reuters
Russia on Thursday accused Norway of pushing ahead with a military build-up which it said increased the risks of military action and required some kind of Russian response. Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Moscow had watched as NATO member Norway had become more and more active in helping the Western military alliance build up its presence in the Arctic region. Read more 
08.02.19 Dutch, Russia In Talks About Responsibility In MH17 Downing
The Associated Press
The Netherlands is in diplomatic discussions with Russia about the European country’s assertion that Moscow bears legal responsibility for its role in the 2014 downing of a passenger jet over Ukraine, the Dutch foreign minister said Thursday. Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the initial diplomatic contacts were aimed at paving the way for formal talks and conducted in “a positive atmosphere.” He said it was too early to say where and when formal talks might take place. Read more 
08.02.19 Russia Demands U.S. Destroy Missile Defense Systems In Romania, Strike Drones
Reuters
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that the United States should destroy its MK-41 missile defense launch systems deployed in Romania in order to return to compliance with a Cold War-era nuclear pact. It said Washington should also destroy its strike drones for the same reason. The ministry said it had summoned the U.S. embassy’s military attache to hand him a note containing Moscow’s demand. Read more 
08.02.19 Republican Activist Linked To Russian Agent Charged With Money Laundering, Fraud
The Moscow Times
A conservative U.S. political activist romantically linked to admitted Russian agent Maria Butina has been indicted by a federal grand jury on wire fraud and money laundering charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Dakota said on Wednesday. Paul Erickson, 56, was indicted on 11 counts of wire fraud and money laundering on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges in an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Moreno, the office said in a statement. Erickson's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Read more 
08.02.19 Russia: We Would Be Open To U.S. Proposals For New Nuclear Pact
Reuters
Russia would be prepared to consider new proposals from the United States to replace a suspended Cold War-era nuclear pact with a broader treaty that includes more countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday. President Vladimir Putin said at the weekend that Russia had suspended the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty after Washington announced it would withdraw in six months unless Moscow ends what it says are violations of the 1987 pact. Read more 
08.02.19 Japan’s Abe Vows To Resolve Territorial Dispute With Russia
The Associated Press
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Thursday to take a “step-by-step” approach in resolving a territorial dispute with Russia left over from World War II. Abe told a rally of former residents of four islands seized by Russia in the war’s final days and their supporters Thursday that settling the conflict over what Japan calls its “northern territories” was difficult but necessary. Read more 
08.02.19 New Start Treaty Between US And Russia Set To Expire
The Christian Science Monitor
Not even a week after the United States ended a treaty with Russia limiting nuclear-warhead proliferation, a Russian official suggests that another de-escalation pact is in danger of dissolution if the US doesn't engage soon with talks before the 2021 expiration date. Another United States-Russian nuclear pact is in danger following the US move to withdraw from a cold-war-era arms control treaty, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday. Read more 
08.02.19 U.S. Calls On Russia To Allow Regular Access To Jailed Ex-marine
Reuters
The United States called on Russia on Thursday to allow U.S. officials to regularly visit a former U.S. Marine detained on spying charges after a planned visit by U.S. consular officials last month was postponed at the last minute. Paul Whelan, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service on Dec. 28 and accused of espionage. Whelan denies the charges and his family has said he was in Moscow to attend a wedding. U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said the United States has had tw Read more 
07.02.19 Denmark Calls On Russia To Respect Freedom Of Religion
Reuters
Denmark on Wednesday called on Russia to respect freedom of religion after a Russian court sentenced a Danish adherent of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to six years in jail. Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said in a statement he was “deeply concerned” by the sentencing and criticized Russia for categorizing Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist organization in line with terrorist groups. Read more 
07.02.19 Russia To Parade Syrian War Trophies In Cross Country Tour
The Moscow Times
Russia’s military has announced plans to showcase the weapons and equipment it seized in Syria on a tour across the country. Moscow has fought on the side of the Syrian government in its civil war since 2015. In December, the Russian military displayed 40 pieces of what it claimed to be U.S., French, Israeli and Italian-made arms seized from Syrian militants in Siberia. Read more 
07.02.19 Russia Will Exit INF Nuclear Pact In Six Months
Reuters
Russia will exit the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in six months as part of a symmetrical response to the United States’ pullout, the Interfax news agency cited Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Wednesday. President Vladimir Putin said at the weekend that Russia had suspended the Cold War-era pact after Washington announced it would withdraw in six months unless Moscow ends what it says are violations of the 1987 pact. Read more 
07.02.19 Russia Jails Jehovah’s Witness For Six Years In First Prosecution Under Crackdown
The Independent
Russia has sentenced a Danish national to six years’ imprisonment in the first prosecution of a Jehovah’s Witness since a crackdown on the fringe religious group began three years ago. On Wednesday morning, a regional court in Oryol, western Russia, agreed with prosecutors that 46-year-old Dennis Christensen was guilty of “extremist” behaviour by ignoring a 2016 ban of his local group. Read more 
07.02.19 Russia Approves 38 Million Euro Loan To Cuba's Military
Reuters
Russia has approved a 38 million euro ($43.27 million) loan for Cuba’s defense sector, a senior Russian defense official was quoted as saying on Wednesday. The deal was first announced in November after Russian President Vladimir Putin met Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Moscow. It has now been finalised by Russia, Dmitry Shugayev, head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, said in an interview published in Russia’s Kommersant newspaper. Read more 
07.02.19 Danish Jehovah’s Witness Sentenced To Six Years In Prison In Russia
Washington Post
A Russian court sentenced a Danish Jehovah’s Witness to six years in prison for extremism Wednesday, one of the harshest verdicts in years against a Western citizen here and the latest incident in Russia’s crackdown on personal freedoms. The Jehovah’s Witness, Dennis Christensen, was detained in May 2017 after a police raid on his congregation in the city of Orel, south of Moscow, and has been in jail ever since. On Wednesday, the district court ruled he was guilty of “organizing the activity of an extremist organization,” according to the Russian branch of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Read more 
07.02.19 Putin Says Amnesty For Returning Capital May Be Extended
Reuters
An amnesty designed to encourage the return of capital to Russia by allowing citizens living abroad to return to the country without facing tax or other penalties could be extended by a year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. Speaking at a business forum in Moscow, Putin also said the government should extend tax breaks for Russian citizens who become local tax residents. Read more 
07.02.19 Russia Jails 'extremist' Jehovah's Witness For Six Years
BBC News
A Danish citizen living in Russia has been sentenced to six years in prison for practising as a Jehovah's Witness. The religious organisation was declared an "extremist" group by Russia's courts in 2017 and outlawed. Dennis Christensen was arrested in the city of Oryol nearly two years ago after police stormed a prayer service. Denmark's Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said he was "deeply concerned" and called on Russia "to respect freedom of religion". Read more 
06.02.19 Schlumberger Still Seeking Drilling Opportunities In Russia
Reuters
U.S. oilfield services giant Schlumberger said on Tuesday it will continue looking for alternative ways to work in Russia’s onshore drilling market despite its bid for Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) falling apart. Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service said on Monday that Schlumberger has withdrawn its bid for a stake in EDC, one of the largest private drilling companies in the country. Read more 
06.02.19 INF Nuclear Treaty: Russia Plans New Missile Systems After Pullout
BBC News
Russia says it is planning to develop new missile systems after both Russia and the US suspended their involvement in an arms control pact. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banned both countries from using short- and medium-range missiles. Last week, US President Donald Trump announced the US would leave the pact, which it has long accused the Russians of violating. Russia then did the same. Read more 
06.02.19 Russia Plans New Missile Systems To Counter U.S. By 2021
Reuters
Russia will race to develop two new land-based missile launch systems before 2021 to respond to Washington’s planned exit from a landmark nuclear arms control pact, it said on Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin said at the weekend that Russia had suspended the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which bans both nations from stationing short- and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe. Read more 
06.02.19 In Uncertain Post-INF World, Russia May Opt For Talks Over Arms
The Christian Science Monitor
During the long decades of the old cold war, the USSR tried assiduously to create an appearance of equality with its main global rival, the United States. Soviet leaders succeeded in only one single – but very durable – respect before their country’s superpower status folded: creating parity in world-destroying nuclear weapons. That forced US leaders to negotiate arms control deals aimed at managing the danger on an equal footing with their Soviet counterparts – a system that helped to keep the atomic peace in the three decades since the USSR ceased to exist. Read more 
06.02.19 Lithuania Fears Russia Will Attempt To Sway Its Elections
Reuters
Lithuania’s intelligence agencies fear Russia will interfere in its forthcoming elections, including one in May to find a successor to the staunchly anti-Kremlin president, Dalia Grybauskaite. The Baltic state, ruled from Moscow for much of the 20th century but now a member of both the European Union and NATO, was rattled by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and hosts a German-led multinational battalion to deter any Russian invasion. It holds presidential, municipal and European Parliament elections this year and a parliamentary election in 2020. Read more 
06.02.19 Russians Detained Over Baby Swinging Street Act In Malaysia06
BBC News
Two Russians have been detained in Malaysia over a street act which involved swinging their baby by the legs and throwing it up into the air. The pair are being questioned over alleged abuse of the infant, police told news agency AFP. A video of one of their performances has gone viral over the past days, prompting the police to act. The parents, in their late 20s, are travelling across South East Asia as buskers. Read more 
06.02.19 Russia's Rosneft Sees Different Scenarios For Global Oil Deal
Reuters
Russian oil producer Rosneft said on Tuesday it saw different possible scenarios for the global oil output deal between OPEC and non-OPEC allies in the future and that it was unclear what chances the deal had of being extended. Rosneft will expect something in return from the Russian government if the company has to keep limiting output, a Rosneft official said on a conference call on Tuesday. Read more 
06.02.19 From Brexit With Love: Lithuania Sees Its Chance
BBC News
They are the hot new trend in finance, and Marius Jurgilas's mission is to lure them to Lithuania. Yet even he has been shocked by the "overwhelming" number of enquiries from UK "fintech" companies in recent months. The reason is Brexit. Financial technology companies are making last-minute plans in case of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March. Many are looking to secure financial licences in other EU states to protect their operations, and this Baltic nation has an eye on helping to fill the gap. Mr Jurgilas, a Bank of Lithuania board member, has had some notable successes. Read more 
06.02.19 Russia Backs Talks Between Venezuela's Maduro And Opposition
Reuters
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that the crisis in Venezuela could only be solved by getting the authorities and the opposition to talk to each other, the RIA news agency reported. Major European nations on Monday joined the United States in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of Moscow ally Venezuela, heightening a global showdown over Nicolas Maduro’s socialist rule. Read more 
05.02.19 Russia Complying With Global Deal To Cut Oil Output
Reuters
Russia is complying fully with its pledge to cut oil production gradually, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday. He said Russian oil production decreased by 47,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January from October, the baseline for the global deal aimed at reducing oil supply. “Russia is completely fulfilling its obligations in line with earlier announced plans to gradually cut production by May this year,” Novak said in a statement. Read more 
05.02.19 Russia Grows At Fastest Pace In 6 Years On Construction Surge
The Moscow Times
Russia’s economy grew at the fastest pace in six years in 2018, outstripping economist estimates, as construction got a boost from the World Cup and the start of natural gas project in Siberia. Growth accelerated to 2.3 percent, the most since 2012, after construction surged, the Federal Statistics Service reported in its first estimate Monday. The majority of analysts polled in a Bloomberg survey forecast growth of 1.9 percent for the year and the highest estimate was for 2.2 percent. Read more 
05.02.19 Schlumberger Scraps Bid For Stake In Russia's Eurasia Drilling
Reuters
U.S. oilfield services giant Schlumberger has withdrawn its bid for a stake in Russia’s Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) said on Monday. Schlumberger, which has its own business in Russia, said last month it would withdraw its application to buy a stake in EDC if it didn’t get regulatory approvals soon. Schlumberger’s office in Moscow had no immediate comment. Read more 
05.02.19 Russia Approves $4.7 Bln Investment For Crimean Infrastructure And Tourism
The Moscow Times
The Russian government on Monday approved an additional $4.7 billion in investments on infrastructure and tourism in the annexed Crimean peninsula over the next three years. Crimea has received large cash injections from Moscow since 2014, when Russia annexed the Black Sea region from Ukraine. In total, an estimated 878 billion rubles ($13.3 billion) is expected to go toward improving Crimea’s roads and railways, as well as to prop up its tourism sector, between 2015 and 2022. Read more 
05.02.19 US, Russia Back Off Nuclear Treaty. Is Arms Control Coming To An End?
The Christian Science Monitor
When the United States informed Russia Saturday that it was formally suspending a landmark nuclear arms control treaty that had been a centerpiece of European security for three decades, it was more than just the demise of a cold war-era accord. The US pullout from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 was also a sign of the waning interest of the world’s two nuclear superpowers in arms-control agreements more broadly. Read more 
05.02.19 Russia's 2018 GDP Growth Above Target, Private Consumption Weak
Reuters
The Russian economy grew by 2.3 percent last year, preliminary data from the statistics service showed on Monday, beating official forecasts, but the expansion did not support private sector consumption. The economy ministry last month cited a big rise in construction activity when raising its gross domestic product growth estimate for 2018 to 2 percent from 1.8 percent. Rosstat, the statistics service which reports to the ministry, ramped up its construction sector growth for the first 11 months of last year to 5.7 percent from the previously reported 0.5 percent. Read more 
05.02.19 Russia Warns Against ‘destructive Meddling’ In Venezuela As UK Recognises Opposition Leader As President
The Independent
Russia has warned against “destructive meddling” in Venezuela as Britain recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president. The US, Canada and several Latin American and European countries have disavowed Nicolas Maduro over his disputed re-election last year and recognised Mr Guaido, the national assembly president, as the country’s rightful leader. “The international community’s goal should be to help [Venezuela], without destructive meddling from beyond its borders,” Alexander Shchetinin, head of the Latin America department at Russia’s foreign ministry, told the Interfax news agency. Read more 
05.02.19 Protesters Across Russia Rally Against Taking Moscow Trash
The Associated Press
Protesters have rallied in more than a dozen Russian cities and towns against waste management plans that foresee Moscow sending its trash to poorer — and often pristine — northern areas. The protests Sunday ranged from a few dozen people up to 1,000 in regions from northwest Russia to Siberia. The biggest rallies were held in the Arkhangelsk region, north of Moscow on the White Sea, protesting plans by authorities to accept trash from Moscow. Read more 
04.02.19 Russia, Turkey, Iran Leaders To Meet In Russia
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the leaders of Turkey and Iran in the Russian Black Sea resort town Sochi on Feb. 14, RIA news agency reported on Sunday, citing the Kremlin. It gave no further details but Putin said last month he would convene such a gathering to discuss the situation in Syria, where Russia and Turkey have been trying to create a de-escalation zone. Read more 
04.02.19 Thousands Protest Against Moscow’s Plan To Dump Its Trash In Russian Regions
The Moscow Times
Thousands of people across Russia on Sunday took to the streets to call for trash reform, in what has become a political flashpoint for the country. Organizers said some 26 regions took part in a nationwide demonstration titled “Russia is not a dump,” in protest of Moscow’s plan to solve a trash crisis by sending waste to surrounding regions. Last March, more than fifty children were hospitalized in a town outside of Moscow after a trash dump began emanating noxious fumes, sparking protests across the Moscow region. Read more 
04.02.19 Russia's Foreign Ministry: Help Venezuela, But Don't Meddle
Reuters
ussia’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that the international community should focus on helping to solve Venezuela’s economic and social problems and refrain from any “destructive” interference, Interfax news agency reported. “The international community’s goal should be to help (Venezuela solve socio-economic problems), without destructive meddling from beyond its borders,” Alexander Shchetinin, head of the ministry’s Latin American department. Read more 
04.02.19 Putin: Russia Suspends INF Nuclear Deal With U.S.
The Moscow Times
Russia has suspended the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty after a similar move by the United States, President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday.
"The American partners have declared that they suspend their participation in the deal, we suspend it as well," Putin said during a televised meeting with foreign and defense ministers. The United States announced on Friday it will withdraw from the INF treaty with Russia in six months unless Moscow ends what it says are violations of the landmark 1987 arms control pact. Read more 
03.02.19 Russia Suspends Nuclear Arms Treaty After U.S. Says To Pull Out
Reuters
Russia has suspended the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday, after the United States announced it would withdraw from the arms control pact, accusing Moscow of violations. Moscow’s relations with the West are strained over issues including Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, allegations of meddling in the U.S. presidential election and being behind a nerve agent attack in Britain. Read more 
03.02.19 Russia: 'U.S. Took Step To Destroy The World'
The Moscow Times
Russian officials have pledged to revive missile production and said Moscow was ready to “respond militarily” to the United States suspending its compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that Washington was suspending its compliance with the INF Treaty on Saturday and will withdraw from the accord in six months if Moscow fails to end its alleged violations of the pact. Moscow denies violating the landmark 1987 arms control treaty, which bans either side from stationing short- and intermediate-range land-based missiles in Europe. Read more 
03.02.19 Exxon-led Project Resumes Russia's Domestic Gas Supplies
Reuters
The Sakhalin-1 project, led by Exxon Mobil Corp, has resumed domestic gas supplies after it had been suspended due to a faulty compressor facility, a spokesman for Exxon in Russia said on Saturday. Supplies were halted in early hours on Friday from the Chaivo field to the Okha - Komsomolsk-on-Amur pipeline. Read more 
03.02.19 Russian Prisoners Create 'Motherland' Sculpture Out Of Snow
The Moscow Times
Life in Russian prison can bring out the artist within you. So says the prison service in Smolensk region 400 kilometers west of Moscow, which announced the results of a snow figure competition Thursday. The winning prize went to a sculpture inspired by the “The Motherland Calls” statue in Volgograd and was commended for its “amazing authenticity,” the prison service said. Read more 
03.02.19 Russian Oil Output Down In January, Misses Global Deal Target
Reuters
Russian oil output declined to 11.38 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, or by around 35,000 bpd from the October 2018 level, the baseline for the global oil accord, missing the deal’s target, Energy Ministry data showed on Saturday. This was down from 11.45 million bpd in December, a record monthly high. In tonnes, oil output reached 48.113 million versus 48.442 million in December. Read more 
03.02.19 INF Nuclear Treaty: Russia Follows US In Suspending Pact
BBC News
Russia has suspended its involvement in the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) following a similar decision by the US. President Vladimir Putin said Russia would start developing new missiles. On Friday, the US, which has long accused Russia of violating the treaty, formally announced it was suspending its obligations under the agreement. Read more 
02.02.19 U.S. To Notify Russia On Saturday Of Intention To Pull Out Of INF Treaty
Reuters
The United States, through a written document, will notify Russia officially on Saturday of its intention to withdraw from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a senior Trump administration official said on Friday. Russia has “one final chance” to comply with the treaty, but has shown no inclination to do so despite U.S. pressure, the official told reporters in a conference call. Read more 
02.02.19 Venezuela Crisis: Why Russia Has So Much To Lose
BBC News
As the political and economic pressure on Nicolás Maduro mounts, Venezuela's president believes there is one person he can rely on - Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin has accused the opposition leader Juan Guaidó of an "illegal attempt to seize power", backed by the United States. Moscow says it will do "everything required" to support Nicolás Maduro as Venezuela's "legitimate president". Read more 
02.02.19 NATO To Continue Talking With Russia About INF Treaty
Reuters
NATO will continue to work with Russia to get it to respect the INF Treaty, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday. In remarks to Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, Stoltenberg added that intelligence collected from many countries over many years showed Russia was breaking the INF treaty. Read more 
02.02.19 Russia Angry, Europe Worried After US Announces Treaty Exit
The Associated Press
Russian politicians accused the United States on Friday of undermining global security by ending compliance with a nuclear arms treaty, while NATO said Russia was at fault for the pact’s demise and European countries watched with dismay. The U.S. announced it would stop observing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty as of Saturday and would withdraw within six months from the pact, a cornerstone of international security since 1987. Read more 
02.02.19 Venezuela's Guaido Courts Russia; Powers Divided On Maduro
Reuters
Global jostling intensified on Thursday between countries that want Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in power and those trying to force him to resign, as opposition leader Juan Guaido made overtures to his rival’s allies Russia and China. Guaido told Reuters he had sent communications to both powers, which are Venezuela’s top foreign creditors and support Maduro in the U.N. Security Council despite worries about the cash-strapped country’s ability to pay. Read more 
02.02.19 Is Nuclear Disarmament Set To Self-destruct?
BBC News
Never has the future of nuclear arms control seemed so uncertain. At risk is not just the collapse of existing treaties, but a whole manner of interaction between Russia and the United States that has been crucial to maintaining stability over decades. So what's the immediate problem? The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo served Russia notice. The US is suspending its participation in the important Cold War-era disarmament agreement - the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty as of 2nd February. Read more 
02.02.19 France Calls On Russia To Use Six-month Period To Comply With Nuclear Treaty
Reuters
The French government called on Russia on Friday to use the six-month period triggered by the United States’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) to comply with its obligations under the landmark accord. The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it regretted the U.S. decision to quit the treaty in six months unless Moscow ends its alleged violations of the 1987 arms control agreement. Read more 
02.02.19 Doping Bans For 12 Russian Athletes Including 2012 Olympic Champion Ivan Ukhov
BBC News
London 2012 Olympic high jump champion Ivan Ukhov is among 12 Russian track and field athletes banned for doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Three years of Ukhov's results, including the 2012 Olympics, have been disqualified, meaning Britain's Robert Grabarz could be upgraded to silver. Cas acted on evidence from the McLaren report, which found Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme. Read more 
01.02.19 Moscow Accuses BBC Of "violations" In Russia
Reuters
ussia’s communications watchdog said on Thursday it had discovered “certain violations” committed by the BBC World News service operating in Russia during checks on the British broadcaster, Russian news agencies reported. The watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said it was assessing how to proceed further in the case, the TASS news agency reported. It did not say what kind of violations had been committed. Read more 
01.02.19 How Russia Is Corrupting The Liberal World Order
Washington Post
Authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China see two main uses for international organizations: protecting their regimes and undermining Western values. That’s why they try to control and then corrupt them as much as possible. The story of the Russian diplomat Vladimir Kuznetsov is a perfect case in Read more 
01.02.19 Retail Investors In Russia Could Nearly Double In 2019
Reuters
The number of retail investors on the Russian stock market could nearly double this year, reaching a record high, as banks develop their own trading platforms to draw clients, the head of a stock market lobbying firm said. More than 540,000 private individuals became clients of the Moscow Exchange in 2018. Russia’s financial market was on track to beat that this year, Alexey Timofeev, the head of the lobbying group NAUFOR, told Reuters. Read more 
01.02.19 Russian Hackers 'stole Mueller Inquiry Evidence'
BBC News
Russian hackers stole and then misrepresented evidence connected to the continuing prosecution of Russian companies accused of leading a propaganda campaign to influence the 2016 US election, a court has heard. Twitter user @HackingRedstone had broken into a Russian server in October, the court heard. And they had then posted a link to an online file-sharing portal that they had said had contained special counsel Robert Mueller's documents about "the IRA and Russian collusion". Read more 
01.02.19 Putin Accuses Kiev Of Meddling In Orthodox Faith
Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the government in Kiev of flagrantly meddling in the life of Orthodoxy in Ukraine where a new national church has broken away from Moscow’s orbit. Speaking at a Russian Orthodox Church event attended by Patriarch Kirill in Moscow, Putin said that Russia reserved the right to defend people’s rights to worship. Read more 
01.02.19 Russia Fined 10M Euros For Georgians’ Arrest, Expulsions
The Associated Press
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia should pay 10 million euros ($11.5 million) to Georgia over a coordinated campaign to arrest and expel hundreds of Georgian citizens in 2006. The court said Thursday that Russia was sentenced “in respect of non-pecuniary damage suffered by a group of at least 1,500 Georgian nationals.” Read more 
01.02.19 Russia Plays Power Broker As U.S.-Taliban Talks Gather Steam
Reuters
Russia will host the Taliban and Afghan politicians opposed to President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday, Russian and Taliban sources said, promoting its role of power broker in what a U.S. official called an attempt to “muddle” the U.S.-backed peace process. Moscow snubbed the Afghan government, sources said, to ensure the participation of the Taliban who refuse to hold talks with Ghani’s representatives to end the 17-year-old Afghan war, branding them puppets of the United States. Read more 
31.01.19 Russia Hopes Venezuela Will Honour Obligations To Moscow
Reuters
Russia hopes Venezuela, irrespective of internal political developments, will honour its obligations to Moscow, including towards oil projects, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters. “This is hardly a predictable political situation now in Venezuela,” he said when asked about potential risks for Venezuela’s obligations to Russia, including a number of oil projects Rosneft is developing in the country. Read more 
31.01.19 Surprise Arrival Of Russia Plane To Venezuela Fuels Intrigue
The Associated Press
In a nation awash with rumors amid a government crisis in which two men have claimed Venezuela’s presidency, even the unexpected arrival of a Russian passenger jet can set off a social media frenzy. The Boeing 777 belonging to Russia’s Nordwind Airlines arrived Monday night and could still be seen Wednesday on the tarmac at Maiquetia airport outside the capital, its presence sparking unproven claims that President Nicolas Maduro’s administration is looking to whisk what’s left of the nation’s depleted gold reserves out of the country. Read more 
31.01.19 Russia's Gazprom Plans To Build An LNG Plant To Supply Disputed Kurils
Reuters
Russian state gas company Gazprom plans to build a small-scale liquefied natural gas plant on the Pacific island of Sakhalin to supply the disputed Kuril Islands, the Sakhalin regional government said on Wednesday. Russia and Japan are in talks over ownership of the chain of islands which were captured by Soviet troops from Japan during the final days of World War Two. The islands are known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. Read more 
31.01.19 Russian Lawmaker Detained In Parliament For 2010 Murders
BBC News
A Russian lawmaker has been arrested on murder charges while inside Russia's upper house of parliament on Wednesday, state media report. Rauf Arashukov is accused of being involved in the 2010 killing of two people and other crimes, said the Investigative Committee of Russia. The senator for the North Caucasus republic of Karachay-Cherkessia was detained in a parliamentary session. Read more 
31.01.19 U.S.-approved Trustee For Russia's Deripaska Has Worked With Him For Years
Reuters
A law firm appointed to act as a buffer between Russian metals magnate Oleg Deripaska and one of his businesses, under a deal that allowed Washington to lift sanctions on the firm, has worked closely with Deripaska for years. Asked about the law firm, the U.S. Treasury Department said it would vigorously monitor arrangements to ensure Deripaska cannot influence board members of the businesses. A representative for Deripaska said there was no scope for the businessman to influence how the law firm acted. Read more 
31.01.19 Model Who Got Caught Up In The Trump-Russia Row
BBC News
Nastya Rybka spent a few days "just partying" with a Russian billionaire on his yacht, and boasted to the world about her coup. But that billionaire was Oleg Deripaska, a powerful friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And she later claimed she had evidence of Russian interference in the Trump election campaign. Rybka herself, a Belarusian model, was to spend a year in prison in Thailand, in her eyes an unwitting victim used by others. Read more 
31.01.19 Russia Calls On Venezuela's Opposition To Start Talks With Maduro
Reuters
Russia on Wednesday called on the opposition in Venezuela to set aside any pre-conditions it may have and to start talks with President Nicolas Maduro. The call was issued by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who said Moscow wanted to help create the conditions for dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. Read more 
31.01.19 NATO Chief Urges Russia To Comply With Missile Pact
The Associated Press
NATO’s secretary-general has urged Russia to respect a Cold War-era missile treaty saying its missiles are nuclear capable and could reach European cities. Jens Stoltenberg said in Bucharest on Wednesday that Russia was violating the treaty and had “developed and deployed new intermediate range missiles,” which were “hard to detect, mobile.” Read more 
31.01.19 'There Is No War Between Ukraine And Russia'
The Moscow Times
The Kremlin on Wednesday claimed that Russia is not at war with Ukraine, in a response to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s recent call for a “cold peace” between the two countries. Poroshenko made the comments while launching an uphill re-election campaign on Tuesday with a promise to steer his country toward the West and join the European Union. Around 13,000 people have been killed in the fighting between pro-Russian separatists and the government in eastern Ukraine that broke out in early 2014. Authorities in Kiev and Western officials have accused Moscow of fomenting the conflict and backing the rebels. Read more 
30.01.19 Russia Expects Venezuela Will Struggle To Repay Its Debts To Moscow
Reuters
Russia expects Venezuela will probably have problems servicing its sovereign debt to Moscow, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said on Tuesday, after the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil firm PDVSA. Russia has been a long-standing ally of Venezuela and has acted as a lender of last resort for Caracas, with the government and Rosneft handing Venezuela at least $17 billion in loans and credit lines since 2006. Read more 
30.01.19 Russia Proposes Decriminalising ‘unavoidable’ Bribes
The Independent
Bribery and other acts of corruption made under “exceptional circumstances” could be decriminalised, Russia’s Justice Ministry has suggested. Anti-corruption plans signed by Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin last June called for legislation to allow officials to escape prosecution for corruption under “force majeure”, or exceptional, circumstances. The Justice Ministry has now drafted amendments to exempt officials from punishment when corruption is unavoidable. Read more 
30.01.19 Lavrov: U.S. Sanctions On Venezuela Oil Company Illegal
Reuters
U.S. sanctions imposed on Venezuela’s state oil company are illegal and Russia will take all necessary steps to support the administration of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Lavrov said the sanctions amounted to an attempt by the United States to confiscate Venezuelan state assets, Russian news agencies quoted him as saying. Read more 
30.01.19 Russia Secretly Offered North Korea A Nuclear Power Plant
Washington Post
Russian officials made a secret proposal to North Korea last fall aimed at resolving deadlocked negotiations with the Trump administration over the North’s nuclear weapons program, said U.S. officials familiar with the discussions. In exchange for North Korea dismantling its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, Moscow offered the country a nuclear power plant. Read more 
30.01.19 Danish Minister Calls For EU-wide Sanctions On Russia Over Azov Sea
Reuters
Denmark’s foreign minister called on Tuesday for European Union-wide sanctions on Russia over a stand-off with Ukraine in the Azov Sea. Anders Samuelsen will meet Ukraine’s foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, on Tuesday and Wednesday and visit the city of Mariupol by the Azov sea, the foreign ministry said in a statement. “I believe the EU needs to react to Russia’s aggressive behavior,” Samuelsen said in the statement. Read more 
30.01.19 Former Russian Chess World Champion Vladimir Kramnik Retires
The Moscow Times
Russian chess grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik, regarded as one of the strongest players in the world, announced on Tuesday he was retiring from professional competition. Kramnik, 43, made waves in 2000 when he defeated defending champion Garry Kasparov at the World Championship. Currently ranked seventh by the World Chess Federation, he became the undisputed world champion in 2006. Read more 
30.01.19 Russia Tells Venezuela It Must Repay Its Debt To Moscow On Time
Reuters
Russia expects Venezuela to make its next scheduled debt repayment to Moscow on schedule at the end of March, the Russian Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday, hours after one of its top officials said he expected Caracas to struggle with repayments. Russia’s deputy finance minister said earlier on Tuesday that he expected Venezuela to have problems repaying its debts to Moscow in comments made after Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil firm. Read more 
29.01.19 Russia To Check P&G's Compliance With Local Data Laws
Reuters
Russia’s communications watchdog is carrying out checks to establish whether U.S. consumer goods group Procter & Gamble and Burger King are complying with local data laws, a spokesman for the watchdog said on Monday. Russia has introduced tougher internet laws in the last five years, requiring companies to store Russian users’ personal data on servers within the country, search engines to delete some search results, and messaging services to share encryption keys with security services. Read more 
29.01.19 The Kremlin Denies Sending Russian Mercenaries To Venezuela
The Associated Press
The Kremlin has denied reports that private military contractors who carry out secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela to reinforce security for its leader in the face of mass protests. Global superpowers split into two camps last week after the United States, Europe and Latin American allies backed opposition leader Juan Guaido declaring himself president of Venezuela. Russia and China said they stood by President Nicolas Maduro. Read more 
29.01.19 Rusal Shares Soar, Aluminum Falls As U.S. Lifts Sanctions
Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Sunday lifted sanctions on the core empire of Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, including aluminum giant Rusal and its parent En+, despite a Democrat-led push to maintain them. The move, which sent the Russian stock index to an all-time high, has watered down the toughest penalties imposed since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, following a lobbying campaign in the United States that lasted almost 10 months. Read more 
29.01.19 As Israel, Iran Square Off In Syria, Can Russia Play Peacemaker?
The Christian Science Monitor
The homemade video shows a peaceful scene of skiers coasting down a shimmering snow-covered trail on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon, a towering range that straddles the borders of Syria, Lebanon, and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Suddenly, the camera catches the smoke trails of a pair of Israel’s Iron Dome missiles launching from just below the ski area. The missiles streak across the blue sky to intercept an Iranian surface-to-surface missile fired in retaliation for a pre-dawn Israeli strike on targets near Damascus. Read more 
29.01.19 Daylight Robbery: Russian Police Detain Suspect After Bold Gallery Heist
Reuters
Russian police said on Monday they had arrested a man caught on camera taking a painting off the wall of a major Moscow art gallery and strolling out with it under his arm. Visitors at the State Tretyakov Gallery on Sunday barely gave the man a second look, taking him for an employee. It is the second embarrassing incident at the State Tretyakov Gallery in less than a year after a man damaged one of the most famous paintings with a metal pole last May. Read more 
28.01.19 U.S. Lifts Sanctions On Rusal, Other Firms Linked To Russia's Deripaska
Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Sunday lifted sanctions on aluminum giant Rusal and other Russian firms linked to oligarch Oleg Deripaska, defying a Democratic-led push in the U.S. Congress to maintain the restrictions. Earlier this month, 11 of Trump’s fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate joined Democrats in a failed effort to keep the sanctions on Rusal, its parent, En+ Group Plc, and power firm JSC EuroSibEnergo. But that was not enough to overcome opposition from Trump and most of his fellow Republicans. Read more 
28.01.19 Russia And Putin Mark 75 Years Since WWII Siege Of Leningrad
The Associated Press
The Russian city of St. Petersburg marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the devastating World War II siege by Nazi forces with a large military parade Sunday in the city’s sprawling Palace Square. Russian President Vladimir Putin later laid flowers at a monument in Piskarevskoye Cemetery, where hundreds of thousands of siege victims are buried. The siege of the city, then called Leningrad, lasted nearly 2½ years until the Soviet Army drove the Nazis away on Jan. 27, 1944. Read more 
28.01.19 Kremlin Says With Deal With Turkey On Syria's Idlib Not Fully Implemented
Reuters
An agreement with Turkey on Syria’s Idlib province has not been fully implemented, raising concerns in Moscow and Damascus, Interfax news agency quoted a Kremlin spokesman as saying on Sunday. Moscow and Ankara have tried to create a de-escalation zone in the region. Russia said last week that the situation there was rapidly deteriorating and that it was almost under the full control of Nusra militants. Read more 
28.01.19 US And Canadian Jet Fighters Scrambled To Escort Russian Bombers Off American Coast
The Independent
US and Canadian fighter jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian strategic bombers heading for the North American coastline. Two F-22 and two CF-18 jets identified the Russian nuclear-capable aircraft when they entered an area near Alaska patrolled by the Royal Canadian Air Force, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The organisation patrols the skies above the US and Canada using radar, satellites and fighter aircraft. Read more 
28.01.19 Russian Painting Stolen From Moscow Gallery During Exhibition
Reuters
A 20th century landscape painting by a Russian artist was stolen from a Moscow art gallery in a brazen act of theft during an exhibition, police said on Sunday. A museum employee called in to say video surveillance footage showed the thieves simply took the painting off the wall and made their escape, the police said. The work, “Ai Petri. Crimea”, was painted in 1908 by Arkhip Kuindzhi, a Russian artist of Greek origin, and depicts a mountain in the Crimea peninsula. Read more 
28.01.19 US Lifts Sanctions On Putin Ally's Firms
BBC News
The Trump administration has lifted sanctions on three firms linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, an ally of President Vladimir Putin. Curbs on aluminium giant US Rusal, En+ Group and JSC EuroSibEnergo were lifted after Mr Deripaska ceded control. The oligarch has been linked to the probe into alleged Russian interference in US elections, and Democrats wanted the sanctions to continue. Read more 
27.01.19 Russia Fails To Stop U.N. Security Council Meeting On Venezuela
Reuters
Russia failed on Saturday to stop a U.N. Security Council meeting on Venezuela that was requested by the United States after Washington recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American nation’s head of state and urged President Nicolas Maduro to step down. Only four of the 15 council members voted to stop the meeting, while nine voted to hold the meeting and two abstained. A minimum of nine votes was needed to win such a vote and China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France cannot wield their vetoes. Read more 
27.01.19 Russia Urges North Africa To Bring Syria Back To Arab League
The Associated Press
Russia’s foreign minister is pressing North African countries to support Syria’s return to the Arab League, now that President Bashar Assad is largely seen as having won the Syrian civil war. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria this week and at each stop called for Syria’s reintegration into the “Arab family.” Lavrov urged it to happen before an Arab League summit in Tunis in March. Read more 
27.01.19 Russia Warns Against Setting Deadlines For Libya Elections
Reuters
Setting deadlines for elections in Libya is counterproductive as the political players need to agree first on a political solution to end the country’s conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. The comments add to doubts whether the troubled North African oil producer can hold parliamentary or presidential elections by June as sought by the United Nations and Western powers. Read more 
27.01.19 Russian Mercenaries Arrive In Venezuela To Shore Up Maduro's Rule
The Moscow Times
Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela in the past few days to beef up security for President Nicolas Maduro in the face of U.S.-backed opposition protests, according to two people close to them. A third source close to the Russian contractors also told Reuters there was a contingent of them in Venezuela, but could not say when they arrived or what their role was. Russia, which has backed Maduro's socialist government to the tune of billions of dollars, this week promised to stand by him after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president with Washington's endorsement. Read more 
27.01.19 U.S. Steps Up Pressure On Maduro As Russia Backs Venezuelan Ally
Reuters
The United States on Friday signaled it was ready to step up economic measures to try to drive Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power as some U.S. diplomats left the embassy in Caracas and Russia vowed to back its socialist South American ally. The U.S. Treasury Department stopped short of announcing a freeze on Venezuela’s U.S. assets and accounts, but said it would take steps to ensure commercial transactions were “consistent” with its recognition this week of opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state. Read more 
26.01.19 Russia Calls U.S. Policy Toward Venezuela 'destructive'
Reuters
Russia will oppose at the U.N. Security Council “destructive” U.S. policies toward Venezuela, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. “The fact that U.S. policy towards Venezuela and other countries in the region is destructive is, in my opinion, self-evident. Open calls for a coup d’etat are known to everybody,” Lavrov told reporters following talks in Rabat with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita. Read more 
26.01.19 Russia Must Stop Persecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses
Washington Post
More than 600 days have passed since Russian police in Orel, south of Moscow, arrested Dennis Christensen, a Danish national and self-employed carpenter and builder who was active in the local Jehovah’s Witnesses faith. He has been held in a detention center since the nighttime raid on his home on May 25, 2017. The charge against him is “organizing the activity of an extremist organization” — meaning, yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Read more 
26.01.19 Russia To Help Cubana Get Fleet Back In Air This Year
Reuters
Russia will help Cuba repair state-run airline Cubana’s mostly grounded fleet, likely by year’s end, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov was quoted as saying by Cuban news agency Prensa Latina on Friday. Cubana had to cancel most domestic flights last year due to a lack of flightworthy planes and lease aircraft from other companies. The carrier uses mainly Russian and Ukrainian-made Ilyushins, Tupolevs and Antonovs partly because U.S. sanctions prevent it from buying planes with a certain share of U.S. components. Cuba’s cash crunch restricts it from paying for expensive repairs and spare parts. Read more 
26.01.19 Russia Willing To Mediate In Venezuela
The Associated Press
A senior Russian diplomat says Moscow is ready to play mediator between Venezuela’s government and the opposition. Alexander Shchetinin, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Latin America department, told the state RIA Novosti news agency on Friday that “if our efforts are called for, we are ready to make the effort.” Moscow had already denounced the U.S. decision to recognize an opposition leader at Venezuela’s legitimate president, calling it an attempted coup. Read more 
26.01.19 Russia Calls On U.S. To Drop Plans To Deploy Missiles In Space
Reuters
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday called on the United States to drop what it called irresponsible plans to deploy a missile defense system in space, saying the move risked fuelling an arms race. The ministry said in a statement that the plans looked like an attempt to resurrect the so-called Star Wars program or U.S. Strategic Defence Initiative which was first announced in the 1980s by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Read more 
25.01.19 U.S. Has Offered To Hold Arms Control Talks With Russia
Reuters
The United States has offered to hold arm control talks with Russia during a United Nations meeting in Beijing next week that almost certainly would include a feud over a Cold War-era treaty, a senior State Department official said on Thursday. Under Secretary of State Andrea Thompson reiterated that the Trump administration will “suspend our obligations” under the disputed pact if Russia fails to return to compliance by Feb. 2. But the move is “reversible” and Washington has made no final decision on announcing a full U.S. withdrawal, she said. Read more 
25.01.19 New Stealth Drone Spotted In Far East Russia
The Moscow Times
A new Russian stealth drone has been reportedly photographed in detail for what may be the first time in Siberia. Military analysts said first grainy images of Okhotnik, an unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) built by the Sukhoi design bureau, may have appeared online as early as 2017. On Wednesday, the U.S. aviation online outlet The War Zone reported that new photos of Okhotnik taken at a distance may have been snapped during November ground tests in Novosibirsk. The sixth-generation battle drone underwent tests last summer and is expected to fly for the first time in 2019, Interfax reported last June, citing an unnamed source. Read more 
25.01.19 EU To Discuss More Russia Sanctions Over Azov Sea Next Month
Reuters
European Union foreign ministers will discuss in February imposing more sanctions against Russia over a stand-off with Ukraine in the Azov Sea, diplomats said. The bloc will also issue a demarche — a formal diplomatic protest note — to Moscow as early as next week over Russia’s continued detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors captured during the incident in November, they added. Read more 
25.01.19 Russia Intercepts Swedish Spy Plane Over Baltic
The Moscow Times
Russia’s Defense Ministry has published video footage of its fighter jets intercepting a Swedish reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea. Russia and NATO countries have increasingly scrambled their jets to intercept each other’s aircraft in recent years. Military think-tanks have warned of growing Russian-NATO airspace interactions as tensions at their borders are on the rise. Read more 
25.01.19 Russia Unveils New Missile In Bid To Show US It Is Not Violating Arms Treaty
The Independent
Russia has unveiled a new missile as it attempts to show the US it is not violating a key nuclear arms pact. The Russian military spelled out the exact specifications of the land-based cruise missile to demonstrate it conforms to the limits of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) which bans the production, testing and deployment of land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (310 to 3,400 miles). Read more 
25.01.19 Venezuela Crisis: Russia Condemns Bid To 'usurp Power' From Maduro
BBC News
Russia has condemned foreign powers for backing a Venezuelan opposition leader who declared himself interim president, calling it a bid to "usurp power". Moscow said that the move violated international law and was a "direct path to bloodshed". Juan Guaidó declared himself interim leader on Wednesday - a move recognised by the US and several other nations. Read more 
25.01.19 Russia Presents Info On Missile US Says Violates Pact
The Associated Press
The Russian military on Wednesday rolled out a new missile and released its specifications, seeking to dispel the U.S. claim that the weapon violates a key nuclear arms pact. The military insisted that the 9M729 land-based cruise missile conforms to the limits of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, firmly rejecting the U.S. claim that it has broken the pact by testing and deploying it. Read more 
25.01.19 Russia Warns U.S. Against Military Intervention In Venezuela
Reuters
Russia on Thursday warned the United States not to intervene militarily in Venezuela, saying such a move would trigger a catastrophic scenario, the Interfax news agency cited the deputy foreign minister as saying. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president on Wednesday, winning the backing of Washington and many Latin American nations and prompting socialist Maduro, who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013, to sever diplomatic relations with the United States. Read more 
24.01.19 Gazprom Neft Considering LNG Production In Russia's Arctic
Reuters
Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian gas giant Gazprom, is studying the possibility of its own liquefied natural gas production in the Arctic as it tries to monetize its vast natural gas reserves. The discussions follow the successful launch of the Arctic-based Yamal LNG plant, controlled by Novatek, in December 2017. Russia wants to boost its global LNG market share in the next decade to around a fifth, from about 5 percent now. Read more 
24.01.19 Erdogan Solicits Support In Moscow As Putin Becomes Syria Kingmaker
The Moscow Times
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan will get another chance to lobby Vladimir Putin to protect Turkish interests as the U.S. prepares to withdraw from Syria, leaving Russia as the key power broker in that war-ravaged nation. The two leaders meet again in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss coordination in Syria, where they’ve been on opposing sides even as they deepened their friendship. Russia has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad throughout the eight years of fighting, while Turkey supported militant forces seeking to overthrow him. Read more 
24.01.19 Russia's Lukoil Opposes Prolonged Global Oil Output Cuts
Reuters
The global oil output cut should not be prolonged, the head of Russia’s second biggest oil producer, Lukoil, said on Wednesday, Interfax news agency reported. Lukoil would have to cut its output by 30,000 barrels per day by April under the OPEC and non-OPEC oil deal, but it could still maintain full-year oil output in 2019 at the same level as in 2018, Vagit Alekperov told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, according to Interfax. Read more 
24.01.19 In Moscow, Japanese Expats Still Hold Out Hope For A Historic Peace Deal
The Moscow Times
As Shinzo Abe and Vladimir Putin met this week in Moscow, Japanese expats in Moscow were watching closely. "My Russian colleagues and I hope a peace treaty will be reached," said Hiroshi Makino, the 29-year-old founder of a Russo-Japanese start-up accelerator in St. Petersburg. “It would help business between our two countries.” On the face of it, Japan and Russia’s leaders appear to agree. In recent months, Abe and Putin have revitalized efforts to bridge the gap in relations since the end of World War II, when the Soviet Union seized the islands known as the Kurils in Russia. Read more 
24.01.19 Turkey, Russia Have No Problems On Planned Safe Zone In Syria
Reuters
Turkey and Russia don’t have any disagreements about a planned safe zone in northern Syria, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told a joint news conference with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Speaking in Moscow, Erdogan also said it was of crucial importance that the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria does not leave room for terrorist groups to roam freely. He added Turkey and Russia would continue to battle terrorist organizations in Syria’s Idlib province. Read more 
24.01.19 Russian Air Traffic Controllers Order Pizzas For U.S. Colleagues Hit By Shutdown
The Moscow Times
The Cold War can wait over a hot slice. Taking a page out of their Canadian colleagues book, air traffic controllers based in Far East Russia have reportedly ordered pizza for their American neighbors across the Bering Strait. Some 800,000 U.S. federal government workers – including an estimated 10,000 air traffic controllers – have been furloughed or forced to work without pay by a government shutdown that enters its 33rd day on Wednesday. Canadian and U.S. media reported earlier this month that air traffic controllers across Canada have banded together to order pizzas for their American colleagues in a show of support. Read more 
24.01.19 Russia Says Oil Price War With U.S. Would Be Too Costly
Reuters
Russia should not unleash an oil price war against the United States but rather stick with output cuts even at the cost of losing market share in the medium term, one of the main Russian architects of a production pact with OPEC said. Since 2017, Russia and OPEC have cut oil production jointly for the first time in an effort to boost the price of crude. Following their supply pact, oil has traded between roughly $60 and $85 per barrel, from below $30 before the deal took effect. Read more 
24.01.19 Emin Agalarov: Russian Singer With Trump Links Cancels US Tour
BBC News
A Russian pop star behind a now-infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower has cancelled his North America tour. Emin Agalarov, a singer and the son of billionaire property developer Aras Agalarov, was due to perform in four cities in the US and Canada. In an Instagram video, he told his followers he had been "put in this position against [his] will". Read more 
24.01.19 Russia Says 'arbitrary' Israeli Air Strikes On Syria Must Stop
Reuters
Russia said on Wednesday that Israel should stop carrying out what Moscow called arbitrary air strikes on Syria, days after the Israeli air force targeted what Israel said were Iranian forces there. Israel has repeatedly attacked what it describes as Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militia, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describes the effort as an open-ended campaign to push back arch-foe Tehran. Read more 
24.01.19 Russia Presents Info On Missile US Says Violates Pact
The Associated Press
The Russian military on Wednesday rolled out a new missile and released its specifications, seeking to dispel the U.S. claim that the weapon violates a key nuclear arms pact. The military insisted that the 9M729 land-based cruise missile conforms to the limits of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, firmly rejecting the U.S. claim that it has broken the pact by testing and deploying it. Read more 
23.01.19 Russia's Novak Will Not Attend Davos
Reuters
Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak will not fly to Switzerland to attend the Davos world economic forum due to changes in his schedule, an energy ministry spokeswoman told Reuters on Tuesday. Novak had previously told reporters in Brussels he would meet his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih in Davos, if the minister were to attend. Read more 
23.01.19 US Spy Suspect To Remain In Custody In Russia
BBC News
Former US marine Paul Whelan, who is accused of spying by Russia, must remain in custody while he awaits trial, a court in Moscow has ruled. Russian security officials say that he was "caught spying" last month. Mr Whelan, 48, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish nationality, was found with a memory stick containing state secrets, his lawyer said. He had not opened the "thumb drive" and had been expecting holiday pictures and videos, the lawyer added. Read more 
23.01.19 Mechel Completes $1 Billion Loan Restructuring
Reuters
Russian steel and coal producer Mechel has completed the restructuring of its $1 billion syndicated pre-export loan, it said on Tuesday. Mechel, at one point on the brink of bankruptcy, has been in restructuring talks with its lenders for several years. The company said the restructuring had been made possible by a credit line in euros from VTB Bank, maturing in April 2022. Read more 
23.01.19 American Charged By Russia With Espionage Was Handed Classified Material
Washington Post
Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine detained in Moscow on spy charges, was given a flash drive containing a “state secret,” his lawyer said Tuesday, delivering the first official details in a mysterious case that has been wrapped in silence for weeks. Whelan, 48, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was arrested by Russian security services in late December, during what his family said was a personal trip to the Russian capital. He was later charged with the relatively broad crime of espionage. Read more 
23.01.19 Cast In Russia As 'enemy Within', Jehovah's Witnesses See Soviet History Replay
Reuters
The first Jehovah’s Witness detained for extremism in Russia has likened the authorities’ behavior to that of Josef Stalin’s Soviet Union ahead of a verdict in his trial. Armed police scaled the gates of a compound where the Christian denomination was meeting in Oryol, some 200 miles (320 km) south of Moscow, in May 2017 and detained Dennis Christensen, a Danish national, on extremism charges. Read more 
23.01.19 Russia Plane Makes Emergency Landing
The Independent
A Russian passenger plane bound for Moscow was forced to land shortly after take-off following an attempted hijacking, officials said. The Aeroflot flight from Surgut in western Siberia diverted after an unnamed man on the flight ordered it to land in Afghanistan. Russian investigators said the passenger tried to break into the cockpit during the flight and demanded the plane change course. Read more 
23.01.19 Russia Detains 11 Protesters Ahead Of Putin Talks With Japan's Abe
Reuters
Russian police detained 11 protesters outside the Japanese embassy in Moscow as they rallied against the idea of ceding control over disputed islands to Japan, OVD-Info, a Russian organization that monitor protest, said on Tuesday. The detentions took place ahead of talks in Moscow between President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss a World War Two peace deal that could resolve a decades-old territorial dispute. Read more 
23.01.19 'Sex Training Course' Model Released
BBC News
A Belarusian model deported from Thailand for leading a "sex training seminar" has been released by Russian police. Nastya Rybka was arrested in Moscow last week while travelling from Thailand for Belarus. Russian authorities said she remains a suspect in an unrelated criminal case, the Tass news agency reported. On Saturday, a Moscow court ruling had extended her detention for allegedly forcing women into prostitution. According to Russian news agency Interfax, investigators asked the court for her release on Tuesday. Read more 
23.01.19 Ex-U.S. Marine Jailed In Russia For Spying Was Misled
Reuters
The lawyer for a former U.S. marine accused of spying by Russia said on Tuesday that his client had been misled before his arrest and believed that a thumb drive handed to him in a hotel room had contained holiday snaps rather than secret information. Russia’s Federal Security Service detained Paul Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28. Read more 
23.01.19 Russian Anti-Doping Agency Remains Compliant Despite Missing World Anti-Doping Agency Deadline
BBC News
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency remains compliant and will face no punishment for delaying access by the World Anti-Doping Agency to data from its Moscow lab, Wada has said. Wada's inspection team had been denied access after Rusada was set a 31 December deadline to comply, but eventually gained access on 10 January. The visit was a condition of Rusada's reinstatement in September 2018. President Sir Craig Reedie said "very significant progress" had been made. Read more 
23.01.19 Russia Says Any Deal To End Land Row With Japan Needs Public Support
Reuters
Any deal to end a territorial row with Japan needs public backing, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, giving a nod to widespread Russian opposition to ceding territory to Japan. Shortly before Putin met Abe in the Kremlin for the latest round of talks on the dispute over a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean, Russian police detained 11 people protesting against territorial concessions outside the Japanese embassy in Moscow Read more 
22.01.19 Russia Acknowledges New Missile But Says It Does Not Breach Treaty
Reuters
Russia has recognized the existence of a cruise missile system that has prompted Washington to say it will quit the 1987 INF disarmament treaty, but has denied that it violates the pact, U.S. officials and NATO diplomats said on Monday. Two weeks before the planned U.S. withdrawal from the treaty, which keeps nuclear-capable missiles out of Europe, Washington’s disarmament ambassador in Geneva said there was still time for Russia to destroy the system. Read more 
22.01.19 Russian Rescue Amid Deadly Blaze On Two Cargo Ships Off Crimea
BBC News
At least 11 people have died in a fire involving two Tanzanian-flagged cargo vessels in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait, authorities say. Russian rescuers are trying to reach sailors who jumped overboard. Fourteen people have so far been rescued. One ship is a gas tanker, and the fire reportedly followed an explosion, which set the other vessel on fire. They were named as the Kandy (Venice), with a crew of 17 from Turkey and India, and Maestro, with 14 sailors. Read more 
22.01.19 U.S. Calls On Russia To Destroy New Missile System
Reuters
The United States called on Russia on Monday to destroy a new cruise missile system which it said constituted a “direct violation” of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and accused Moscow of destabilising global security. “Unfortunately, the United States increasingly finds that Russia cannot be trusted to comply with its arms control obligations and that its coercive and malign actions around the globe have increased tensions,” Robert Wood, U.S. disarmament ambassador, told the U.N.-sponsored Conference on Disarmament. Read more 
22.01.19 'Women Of The Gulag' Shortlisted For Oscar Nomination
The Moscow Times
It’s Oscar time again. On Jan. 22, among the nominations for 2019 awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Academy will announce the five short documentary films up for the Oscar. Among the shortlisted films is the documentary “Women of the Gulag” by Russian-American director, Marianna Yarovskaya. It is the first time in the 91 years of the Oscar’s history that a woman director from Russia is so close to getting such prestigious award. Yarovskaya´s documentary film centers on the memories of six remarkable women survivors of the Gulag. Now in their eighties and nineties, they were sentenced to Soviet forced labor camps during the Stalin era. Read more 
22.01.19 Russia Rejects U.S. Call To Destroy Missile In Arms Pact Row
Reuters
Russia said on Monday it was unacceptable for the United States to demand Moscow destroy its 9M729 cruise missile, a weapon Washington alleges is in violation of a landmark Cold-War era treaty. Washington called on Moscow to destroy the new cruise missile system which it said was a “direct and continuing violation” of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and accused Russia of destabilizing global security. Read more 
22.01.19 Salisbury Poisoning: EU Sanctions Russian Suspects
BBC News
The European Union has put sanctions on senior officials from the Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU, over the Salisbury poisonings. Four people have been sanctioned - including the head of the GRU, deputy head, and two agents who are believed to have carried out the attack. The Novichok nerve agent they used severely poisoned three people and killed a fourth, Dawn Sturgess. Read more 
22.01.19 Russia, Ukraine To Hold Further Gas Talks In May
Reuters
Russia and Ukraine will meet for further gas talks in May after an EU-mediated discussion in Brussels on Monday yielded no concrete results, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. The talks have focused on Russian gas transit via Ukraine to Europe, the source of up to 3 percent of Ukrainian gross domestic product. Read more 
22.01.19 Crimea Ship Fire: 14 Dead After Explosion On Board Vessel Near Russia Border
The Independent
Fourteen crew members have died after two commercial vessels caught fire while anchored near the Kerch Strait, close to the Crimea-Russia border, according to the Russian Transport Ministry. Five more sailors are misssing. The ships had crews of 31 people in total, made up of 16 Turkish citizens and 15 Indian ones. Russian media reported that one of the vessels was hit by an "explosion" and people on board jumped into the water to escape the blaze. Read more 
22.01.19 Russia Opens Civil Cases Against Facebook, Twitter
Reuters
Russia’s communication watchdog said on Monday it was opening administrative proceedings against Twitter and Facebook for failing to explain how they plan to comply with local data laws, the Interfax news agency reported. Roskomnadzor, the watchdog, was quoted as saying that Twitter and Facebook had not explained how and when they would comply with legislation that requires all servers used to store Russians’ personal data to be located in Russia. Read more 
22.01.19 Trainload Of Vintage T-34 Tanks Wows Russians
BBC News
A train carrying 30 vintage T-34 Soviet tanks has arrived near Moscow after an epic journey that took the tanks by sea and by rail from South-East Asia. Russian families braved freezing temperatures to greet the unusual cargo when it arrived in Naro-Fominsk, 80km (50 miles) from the capital. Russian media say Laos, an old Soviet ally, gave the tanks as a gift. The tanks are said to be in perfect working condition and will likely be used in parades and films. Read more 
21.01.19 Russian Crowd Defends Ownership Of Kuriles Before Abe Visit
Reuters
A crowd gathered in Moscow on Sunday to defend Russia’s ownership of a chain of islands captured by Soviet troops from Japan during the final days of World War Two. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday, is pushing for a treaty for the islands, known as the Southern Kuriles in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. Russia said on Monday that its sovereignty over them was not up for discussion. Read more 
21.01.19 Russian Crowd Defends Ownership Of Kurils Before Abe Visit
The Moscow Times
A crowd gathered in Moscow on Sunday to defend Russia's ownership of a chain of islands captured by Soviet troops from Japan during the final days of World War II. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Tuesday, is pushing for a treaty for the islands, known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. Russia said on Monday that its sovereignty over them was not up for discussion. Read more 
21.01.19 Russian Senator: U.S. Warship In Black Sea Should Keep Its Distance
Reuters
Visits to the Black Sea by U.S. warships have nothing to do with U.S. security and are motivated by domestic politics, prominent Russian senator Alexei Pushkov said on Sunday, warning they should stay away from the Russian coast. The U.S. guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook began moving towards the Black Sea on Saturday, "to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness and naval capability", a U.S. navy statement said. Read more 
21.01.19 ‘The Kremlin Is Digging Its Own Grave By Letting Spooks Take Over Domestic Policy’
The Independent
Prior to sentencing, 77-year-old activist Lev Ponomarev asked the judge not to take his age into account. The gasps and shrieks that followed the 5 December verdict suggested few expected him to be taken so seriously. For the assembled room of activists, journalists and onlookers, the 25-day custodial sentence (later reduced to 16) was the definition of heavy-handedness. It represented the full weight of the state thrown against a veteran rights activist whose only crime was to share a blog on Facebook. Read more 
21.01.19 Is This The Least Romantic Weekend Ever?
BBC News
The road runs straight and black into the gloom of the snowy birch forest. It is -5C (23F), the sky is slate-grey and we're in a steamy minibus full of strangers. Not very romantic you're thinking, and I haven't yet told you where we're going. My wife, Bee, had suggested a cheeky New Year break. Just the two of us, no kids. "Surprise me," she'd said. Then I met a bloke at a friend's 50th. He told me how much he and his girlfriend had enjoyed a trip to Chernobyl - that's right, the nuclear power station that blew up in the 1980s, causing the worst civilian nuclear disaster in history. Read more 
20.01.19 Russia Warns New U.S. Missile Strategy Will Unleash Arms Race In Space
The Moscow Times
Russia said on Friday the new U.S. missile defense strategy would unleash a dangerous arms race in space and amounts to a relaunch of the Cold War-era "Star Wars" program. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled a plan that envisages developing space-based sensors to detect incoming enemy missiles and exploring space-based weapons to shoot down missiles before they can threaten U.S. soil. A statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the strategy as irresponsible and an act of confrontation, but made no mention of Moscow reciprocating with new plans to develop its own nuclear capability. Read more 
20.01.19 Russia Plans Tougher Grain Export Controls
Reuters
Russia’s state agriculture watchdog is considering plans to strengthen controls on grain exports, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday. There has been speculation that the world’s largest wheat exporter could limit grain exports later in the 2018/19 season which started on July 1, to keep a lid on domestic prices. Proposals include issuing export licenses for some markets, which should see state-controlled entities such as United Grain Company play a bigger role, Rosselkhoznadzor head Sergei Dankvert was quoted by Interfax and RIA as saying. Read more 
20.01.19 The Kremlin’s Use Of Criminals As Assets Abroad
The Moscow Times
In September 2011, two Chechens suspected of involvement in the January suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, which left 37 people dead, had just left an Istanbul mosque after Friday prayers when, along with a companion, they were shot dead. According to an indictment cited in a major Turkish newspaper, prosecutors had identified two of the hitmen as Russian nationals working for the Kremlin’s Federal Security Service (FSB), which, prosecutors said, was fighting Chechen groups in Turkey, including those linked to Chechnya’s insurgency against Moscow. Read more 
20.01.19 The Revival Of Russia’s Cinema Industry
The Moscow Times
Russia’s cinema business is growing three times faster than the real economy, but it's a bumpy ride. In 2018 Russian movie-goers set a new record with 56 million visits to a cinema to generate a box office take of 13.5 Bln rubles ($200mn). With one Russian in three having a night out in front of the silver screen, the growth of the business is fueling a revival in the whole media sector where Russia has a long and prestigious pedigree. But the sector is still in its adolescence. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union that atomized the cinema business, even the five biggest chains combined still only account for a third of the box office. Moscow cinemas in the country remain stand-alone affairs and more have become intimately wrapped up with the development of big malls in the regions. Read more 
19.01.19 S&P Affirms Russia's Rating With Stable Outlook
Reuters
S&P Global Ratings affirmed Russia’s “BBB-/A-3” credit rating on Friday, saying the country’s solid external and public balance sheets should enable its economy to absorb shocks from possible new international sanctions. S&P believes that a scenario whereby the United States imposes sanctions on the secondary market for Russian sovereign bonds would be disruptive to financial markets. Read more 
19.01.19 Russia’s Capital Outflow More Than Doubled In 2018 To $68 Bln
The Moscow Times
Russia saw a net capital outflow of $67.5 billion in the private sector in 2018, or 2.6 times more than the previous year, according to reports citing Russian Central Bank data. Capital outflow increased in Russia in recent months on the back of tightening Western sanctions. Initial Central Bank estimates placed the net outflow of capital from Russia at $31.3 billion in 2017, 1.6 times more than the previous year. Read more 
19.01.19 Russia Dismisses Islamic State Claim For Deadly Explosion
Reuters
Russian investigators on Friday dismissed an Islamic State claim of responsibility for a deadly apartment building blast that killed 39 people, saying that militant groups had a history of falsely taking credit for such incidents. Russia is still looking into the Dec. 31 blast, but investigators have said the tragedy in the city of Magnitogorsk was probably caused by a gas leak. Gas explosions are relatively common in a country with aging infrastructure and lax safety standards. Read more 
19.01.19 Russia Seizes Model Who Made Trump Collusion Claim
BBC News
A Belarusian model who said she had evidence of Russian collusion with Donald Trump's election campaign is now in Russian police custody. Nastya Rybka (real name Anastasia Vashukevich) was detained at Moscow's main airport after being deported from Thailand for soliciting. Her lawyer posted a video on Instagram which, he says, shows her arrest. A woman resembling her and looking sedated struggles as four men push her into a wheelchair, then carry her. Read more 
19.01.19 Sanctions Fuel Russia's Jump To Fifth Biggest Holder Of Gold
Reuters
Russia’s Central Bank has overtaken China to become the world’s fifth biggest holder of gold, as Western sanctions lifted buying to record highs in 2018, according to data and industry sources. With support from President Vladimir Putin, the Central Bank has been betting heavily on bullion, often seen as a safe haven or a natural hedge against the dollar, with active purchases in the last 10 years. Read more 
19.01.19 Russia Warns US Missile Defense Plans Will Fuel Arms Race
The Associated Press
Russia said Friday the Pentagon’s new missile defense strategy will trigger an arms race in space and further undermine global stability. The tough Russian statement came in response to the U.S. administration’s Missile Defense Review released Thursday during President Donald Trump’s visit to the Pentagon. Read more 
19.01.19 Russian Scientists Find Defect In New Heavy Lift Space Rocket Engine
The Moscow Times
Scientists have discovered a defect in the engines of Russia's new flagship heavy lift space rocket that could destroy it in flight, an apparent setback to a project President Vladimir Putin has said is vital for national security. The Angara A5, which was test-launched in 2014, is being developed to replace the Proton M as Russia's heavy lift rocket, capable of carrying payloads bigger than 20 tonnes into orbit. A launch pad for the new rocket is due to open in 2021. In July, Putin said the Angara A5 had "huge significance" for the country's defense and called on space agency Roscosmos to work more actively on it and to meet all its deadlines. Read more 
19.01.19 Russia: Putin Has Allowed German Experts To Monitor Kerch Strait
Reuters
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin had agreed to a proposal by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for German experts to monitor the Kerch Strait near Crimea. Lavrov said Putin had agreed to the request a month ago, but that the Germans had still not arrived. In November, Russia detained three Ukrainian navy vessels and their crews in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait, fuelling tensions between the two countries. Read more 
Copyright © The Moscow Expat Site, 1999-2019Editor  Sales  Webmaster +7 (495) 722-3802