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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.

May 3, 2015

Maya Plisetskaya overcame terror legacy to redefine ballet

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Maya Plisetskaya, a star of Russia’s Bolshoi ballet who overcame a legacy of Stalinist oppression to redefine her art and be feted as the greatest ballerina of her generation, has died in Germany aged 89.

Plisetskaya died of a heart attack in Munich, Russian media reported on Saturday evening, citing the director of the Bolshoi theatre Vladimir Urin. Her death was “a huge loss not only for Russian culture, but also for the whole world of ballet”, he told RIA news agency.

Apr 30, 2015

Russia cuts key interest rate, hopes worst of crisis over

MOSCOW, April 30 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank cut its
main lending rate by 1-1/2 percentage points on Thursday, its
third rate cut this year, a sign that it believes the worst of
an economic crisis is over.

The cut to 12.5 percent follows the rouble’s recovery in
recent weeks after a dramatic decline last year as global oil
prices fell and Western economic sanctions over Moscow’s role in
the Ukraine conflict bit.

Apr 25, 2015

Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists trade accusations as Minsk deal frays

KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine traded accusations on Saturday, reviving concerns that a peace deal signed in Minsk in February may collapse, although monitors said the violations were still relatively limited.

One Ukrainian serviceman was killed and two were wounded when separatists shelled Ukraine’s National Guard on Saturday at Shyrokyne, a village east of the port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov in Ukraine’s southeast, Kiev’s military said.

Apr 25, 2015

Moscow to investigate amid struggle over Chechen authority

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia announced on Saturday it would investigate the shooting dead of a Chechen that has highlighted tensions between central police authorities and a hardline Chechen regional leader brought in by President Vladimir Putin to quell separatism.

Police from the neighboring Stavropol region shot a man dead in the regional capital Grozny last Sunday, infuriating regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who urged his own police to “shoot to kill” if officers from outside Chechnya acted there without permission. Russia’s Interior Ministry responded by calling his comments “unacceptable”.