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Aug 29, 2014

Russian inflation, interest rates to stay high as sanctions bite

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will miss its inflation target this year as a ban on Western food imports causes prices to rise, and economic growth will be minimal as Western sanctions over Ukraine bite, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The poll of 15 analysts predicted that inflation would be at 7.2 percent by the end of this year – significantly above last month’s poll forecast of 6.5 percent.

Aug 28, 2014

Russian shares, rouble fall on reports Russian troops entered Ukraine

MOSCOW, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Russian stock indexes and the
rouble plunged on Thursday as Ukraine accused Russia of sending
its army to support separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,
increasing the likelihood of new western sanctions against
Russia.

At 1415 GMT, the dollar-denominated RTS index had
plunged 3.9 percent to 1,212 points. The rouble-based MICEX
was 2.1 percent lower at 1,418 points.

Aug 21, 2014

Russian businessmen dare to raise voices over Ukraine crisis

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A letter signed by five Russian businessmen, along with Ukrainian and Western ones, betrays unease in Russia’s business community over the damage being caused to East-West relations by Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

Organised by British tycoon Richard Branson, who was among its 16 signatories, the open letter calls on the governments of the West, Russia and Ukraine “to compromise and find a peaceful solution to the current conflict” and “to work together to ensure we don’t regress into the Cold War misery of the past.”

Aug 19, 2014

Lower oil price adds to economic pressure on Russia

MOSCOW, Aug 19 (Reuters) – A fall in the price of Urals
crude oil, the benchmark on which Russia bases its budget
calculations, is adding to the government’s problems at a time
when western sanctions are already hurting the economy.

Urals, fell below $100 per barrel on Monday
for the first time in 15 months and was trading just below $97
on Tuesday, extending a trend of falling oil prices that
reflects abundant supply on global markets.

Aug 13, 2014

Russian shares up strongly on Ukraine hopes, global rally

MOSCOW, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Russian shares rose strongly on
Wednesday, reflecting a recovery in global risk appetite and
investors’ hopes that international tensions over Ukraine would
ease despite confusion about a Russian aid convoy.

At close at 1445 GMT, the dollar-denominated RTS index
was up 1.8 percent at 1,220 points. Its rouble-based
peer MICEX was also 1.8 percent higher at 1,398 points.

Aug 12, 2014

Russian growth data masks likely recession to come

MOSCOW, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Russia appears for now to have
escaped an economic contraction, but recession is still likely
in the second half of the year as western sanctions over Ukraine
bite, analysts warn.

Preliminary gross domestic product data published on Monday
showed the economy growing by 0.8 percent in annual terms in
April-June, compared with 0.9 percent in January-March.

Aug 8, 2014

Russian rouble close to all-time low over Ukraine fears

MOSCOW, Aug 8 (Reuters) – The rouble looked set to end the
week close to an all-time low following Moscow’s decision to ban
most food imports from the West in retaliation for sanctions
over Ukraine and warnings from NATO that Russia appeared ready
to invade its neighbour.

Analysts said any positive impact on Russia’s balance of
payments from Thursday’s ban was outweighed by an investor
exodus due to the conflict since mid-April between pro-Russian
rebels and government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Aug 7, 2014

Food ban, budget woes put Russian market under cosh

MOSCOW, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Retail and banking shares led
broad declines on Russian markets on Thursday after Moscow
responded to Western sanctions with food import bans and chose
to plug a budget gap by diverting private pension fund
contributions.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would ban fruit,
vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United
States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway for one
year starting immediately.

Aug 7, 2014

Russian shares fall further after Medvedev orders import bans

MOSCOW, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Russian stocks and bonds fell on
Thursday after Moscow announced food import bans on countries
that have imposed sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia will ban fruit,
vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United
States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway for one
year starting immediately.

Aug 1, 2014

Putin’s new sales tax shows pain of Russia’s policy dilemmas

MOSCOW, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Russia’s new tax on sales, backed
by President Vladimir Putin, illustrates growing economic
strains from Western sanctions over Ukraine – and the lack of
easy solutions.

Under the tax plan, regional governments will have the
option from next year to introduce a 3 percent tax on sales to
cover their budget shortfalls.