Elizabeth's Feed
Jan 30, 2015

Putin ally handed contract to build Russian bridge to Crimea

MOSCOW, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Russia has handed a multi-billion
dollar contract to build a bridge to the Crimea peninsula to an
ally and former judo partner of Vladimir Putin who is under
Western sanctions.

A government order published on Friday named Stroygazmontazh
(SGM) as the contractor to build the bridge spanning the Kerch
Strait to link Russia’s mainland and Crimea, annexed from
Ukraine last March in an act that triggered Western sanctions.

Jan 28, 2015

In Russia, crisis deepens slide in living standards for pensioners

MOSCOW, Jan 28 (Reuters) – For Boris Lisitsyn, Russia’s
financial crisis means less meat, cheese and sausage – hardships
the 86-year-old says won’t kill him anytime soon.

But for him and the millions of pensioners who make up about
a third of Russia’s population, rising prices are also spurring
anger over declining living standards, threatening a pool of
support President Vladimir Putin cannot afford to lose.

Dec 28, 2014

Special Report – Crunch time: As sanctions bite, Putin ally gets into apples

ABINSK, Russia (Reuters) – As U.S. and European sanctions piled pressure on Russia earlier this year, the Kremlin hit back with an unusual weapon: apples.

From Aug. 7 Russia banned imports of fruit from various countries that supported sanctions, including Poland, which has been a strong critic of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The ban had real impact: Poland is the world’s biggest exporter of apples and last year sent more than $380 million worth to Russia, according to International Trade Centre figures.

Nov 12, 2014

Russians start to feel the pinch as economy struggles

MOSCOW, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Alexander Shalin rides a bike to
work, shops in local grocery stores and doesn’t worry too much
about fashion. The 37-year-old manager should be
recession-proof, but even he is feeling the pinch from Russia’s
slowing economy.

To escape the “terrible” weather in Russia’s second city of
St Petersburg, Shalin takes as many foreign trips as he can, but
now has started to “triple check” whether he can afford to since
the rouble fell almost 30 percent against the dollar.

Oct 29, 2014

Insight – Sanctions bind Russia’s energy elite to Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – An offer by Gazprom to help rival Rosneft salvage an Arctic oil project shows how tightly sanctions have bound Russia’s political and business elite together in the Ukraine crisis – an unintended consequence of the West’s punitive measures.

Some Gazprom executives now say this month’s little noticed proposal to loan Rosneft a drilling rig was “theoretical”. It was quietly made after U.S. sanctions put in doubt a project with ExxonMobil to drill for oil in the Kara Sea.

Oct 29, 2014

Sanctions bind Russia’s energy elite to Putin

MOSCOW, Oct 29 (Reuters) – An offer by Gazprom to help rival
Rosneft salvage an Arctic oil project shows how tightly
sanctions have bound Russia’s political and business elite
together in the Ukraine crisis – an unintended consequence of
the West’s punitive measures.

Some Gazprom executives now say this month’s little noticed
proposal to loan Rosneft a drilling rig was “theoretical”. It
was quietly made after U.S. sanctions put in doubt a project
with ExxonMobil to drill for oil in the Kara Sea.

Oct 5, 2014

Ceasefire offers hope to Russian candy factory owned by Ukraine leader

LIPETSK, Russia, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Now that their boss,
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, has finally shaken hands
with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the staff running the lone Russian
factory in Poroshenko’s chocolate empire can finally see better
days ahead.

Since March, when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula
and pro-Russian rebels rose up in eastern Ukraine, the Lipetsk
Confectionary Factory has been raided by armed police, boycotted
and accused by Russian politicians of supporting extremism.

Sep 25, 2014

Russian business fears return to isolation during ‘evil empire’

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian businessmen are backing Vladimir Putin over Ukraine but fear the country is being forced down a path toward less democracy, more central control of the economy and isolation that recalls the Soviet “evil empire”.

Like many other business leaders, Vladimir Potanin, one of Russia’s richest men, says Western sanctions and attempts to force the president to change policy risk opening a rift between Moscow and the West that will be difficult to repair.

Sep 17, 2014

Asset grab? Turf war? Tycoon’s arrest strikes business climate in Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – It’s a tune straight from Vladimir Putin’s old songbook: a Russian billionaire under house arrest over vague accusations about a murky past deal, causing a meltdown in the shares of his empire of privatized assets.

Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s Sistema conglomerate lost a third of its value on Wednesday after he was accused of money laundering in a multi-billion dollar deal to acquire a regional oil company five years ago.

Sep 10, 2014

“Parmigiano-Belarussiano” and other secrets of Russian chefs under food ban

MOSCOW, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Facing a ban on Italian parmesan
cheese, chefs in Moscow have discovered a new source for fine
Parmigiano-Reggiano: Belarus.

No sooner had Moscow banned dairy, meat, vegetables and
fruit from most Western countries in response to sanctions over
Ukraine, than Belarus, a former Soviet republic better known for
black bread and potato pancakes, became a “producer” of
top-quality cheese.