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Aug 31, 2015

Russia to see bigger slump as global outlook worsens: Reuters poll

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s economy is heading for a bigger contraction this year than previously expected as a lower oil price and weaker global economy weigh, a Reuters poll of analysts predicted on Monday.

Economists are revising down their forecasts after a renewed slide in the international oil price, exacerbated by global concerns focused on China’s weakening economy.

Aug 19, 2015

Russian c.bank cuts estimate of potential average growth to 1.5 pct

MOSCOW, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Russia’s economy, reeling from
tumbling oil prices and Western sanctions, has the potential to
grow by only 1.5 percent on average, central bank economists
said in a report on Wednesday, predicting it would only get back
up to that rate in 2017.

The estimate compares with the potential GDP growth rate of
between 2.0 and 2.5 percent that the bank flagged in 2013,
underscoring how Russia’s economic prospects have deteriorated
over recent years.

Aug 12, 2015

Russian banking woes mount as c. bank pulls Probusinessbank licence

MOSCOW, Aug 12 (Reuters) – More Russian banks are feeling
the strain from the country’s economic slump, highlighted on
Wednesday by the central bank’s decision to pull the licence of
mid-sized Probusinessbank.

Banks are under pressure as low oil prices and Western
sanctions over the Ukraine crisis have caused a sharp economic
contraction, leading to a deterioration in banks’ assets.

Aug 3, 2015

IMF says Western sanctions could cut 9 percent off Russia’s GDP

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Sanctions linked to the Ukraine crisis could end up costing Russia 9 percent of its gross domestic product, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

Russia’s economy is showing signs of stabilization after slumping under pressure from Western financial sanctions and Russian counter-measures. Low international prices for its oil exports have added to pressure on the rouble and government finances.

Jul 31, 2015

Russian central bank cuts key rate by 50 basis points, leaves options open

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 11 percent on Friday, as expected, citing a cooling economy that it said outweighed inflation risks.

But mixed rhetoric accompanying the decision has added to uncertainty about the bank’s next moves. The bank has effectively widened its options to respond either to a more severe economic slump or a further slide in the rouble.

Jul 31, 2015

Russian central bank cuts key rate by 50 bps, leaves options open

MOSCOW, July 31 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank cut its
key interest rate by 50 basis points to 11 percent on Friday, as
expected, citing a cooling economy that it said outweighed
inflation risks.

But mixed rhetoric accompanying the decision has added to
uncertainty about the bank’s next moves. The bank has
effectively widened its options to respond either to a more
severe economic slump or a further slide in the rouble.

Jul 28, 2015

Russian economy decline slows, but recovery elusive

MOSCOW, July 28 (Reuters) – The sharp decline in Russia’s
economy may have almost run its course, official data showed on
Tuesday, slowed by a huge devaluation of the rouble and heavy
government spending on anti-crisis measures.

Recovery prospects are cloudy, however, with many analysts
warning of a sluggish rebound at best.

Jun 8, 2015

History becomes a weapon in Russia-West rift over Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) – History has become a weapon in Russia’s battle with the West over Ukraine as President Vladimir Putin looks increasingly to the past to whip up patriotism and rally support.

Last month’s lavish commemorations of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War Two, several declarations by Putin and new history textbooks have all presented what some independent historians say are slanted or rewritten versions of the past.

May 31, 2015

Sotheby’s to proceed with sale of ‘stolen’ Russian painting

MOSCOW, May 31 (Reuters) – The international auction house
Sotheby’s said on Sunday it would proceed with the
auction in London next week of a painting by a famous Russian
artist that the Russian authorities have said was stolen.

Russia’s Interior Ministry said on Saturday that “Evening in
Cairo” by Ivan Aivazovsky had been stolen in 1997 from a private
collection in Moscow, and that the Russian branch of Interpol
had asked British police to block the auction.

May 20, 2015

Russia budget crunch shows no quick end to economic pain

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov warned on Wednesday the country would face no choice but to rein in public spending over the next few years, highlighting how Russia is still in deep economic trouble even if it has dodged an immediate meltdown.

Russia was tipped into crisis by last year’s sharp drop in oil prices, compounded by Western sanctions for the annexation of Crimea and alleged support for rebels in eastern Ukraine, causing sharp falls in the value of the rouble currency.