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Oct 1, 2015

Russian economic slump to be worse than expected: poll

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s economy will contract by 4 percent this year, a Reuters poll predicted on Thursday, with economists once again revising down their forecasts as evidence mounts of a protracted slump.

Forecasts have grown steadily gloomier for several months, as signs of a global chill caused by China’s slowdown add to problems for Russia caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions imposed because of the Ukraine conflict.

Oct 1, 2015

Russia’s import-substitution drive will take years – and may be misguided

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s drive to promote domestic products at the expense of imports is creating new opportunities for business, but it will take years for the benefits to show, participants at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit said.

They differed sharply on whether the strategy as a whole was beneficial or an example of misguided protectionist thinking.

Sep 30, 2015

Russia’s push to displace imports will damage economy: ex-WTO chief

MOSCOW, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Russia’s push to boost sales of
homegrown products while imports are hit by sanctions will be
economically damaging if past experience is any guide, the
former head of the World Trade Organisation, Pascal Lamy, said
on Wednesday.

Lamy, speaking at the Reuters Russia Investment Summit, said
that in the short term domestic producers could benefit but in
the long run consumers are likely to lose out because prices for
products will be higher.

Sep 28, 2015

No easy fixes as Russia’s budgetary troubles mount

MOSCOW, Sept 28 (Reuters) – The oil price collapse and
Ukraine sanctions have punched a hole in Russia’s finances, but
the government is fudging its response so far because the
solutions could hurt President Vladimir Putin’s popularity.

In the absence of a clear way out of this bind, Putin’s
government can only bicker about how best to respond, and play
for time.

Sep 26, 2015

Russia and Estonia swap alleged spies

MOSCOW/TALLINN (Reuters) – Russia and Estonia exchanged two men accused of espionage at a remote border post on Saturday in an episode reminiscent of a Cold War spy thriller that follows heightened tensions between the neighbors.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said it handed over Eston Kohver, an Estonian security officer detained by Russia last year, in exchange for Alexei Dressen — a former Estonian official serving a 16-year jail term for being a Russian spy.

Sep 11, 2015

Russian c.bank keeps main rate on hold as economic woes mount

MOSCOW, Sept 11 (Reuters) – The Russian central bank left
its main lending rate on hold as expected on Friday, for now
putting concerns about stubbornly high inflation before worries
about a slumping economy.

The bank left its policy rate unchanged at 11 percent,
following five successive cuts this year that have reduced the
rate by six percentage points after an emergency hike to 17
percent last December.

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.