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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.

Jun 25, 2014

Soviet industrial giant’s struggle symbolises Russia’s economic dilemma

YEKATERINBURG, Russia, June 25 (Reuters) – Viktor Livshits
will never forget May 9, 1945, the day he first laid eyes on
Uralmash, a giant factory making tanks and other heavy machinery
that has for decades symbolised Russia’s industrial might.

“I stood on a tank. The square was full of people. Then my
father took me to the factory. Past us there drove tanks,
self-propelled guns, cannon,” he reminisces, waving a hand
towards First Five-Year Plan Square in front of the factory.

Jun 24, 2014

Russia mulls barring firms from using foreign-owned banks

MOSCOW, June 24 (Reuters) – Russia is considering banning
state companies and other strategically important firms from
holding accounts at foreign-owned banks, a governmental source
familiar with the proposals told Reuters on Tuesday.

“Such an idea is lingering, but there is no decision about
it as yet,” the source said.

Jun 17, 2014

Russia’s central bank signals plan to float rouble still on track

MOSCOW, June 17 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank is
continuing to scale back its support for the rouble, signalling
that its plan to let the currency float freely from the
beginning of next year remains on track.

Underlining confidence among policymakers that Russian
markets have stabilised after being knocked by Western sanctions
over Ukraine, the central bank announced on Tuesday a
combination of moves that in effect reduce the size of
interventions to curb currency market fluctuations.

Jun 16, 2014

Russian central bank leaves rates on hold, warns on future hikes

MOSCOW, June 16 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank left its
key interest rate on hold as expected on Monday, citing concerns
about high inflation, and said further rate hikes were possible
if inflation remained above target.

The decision leaves the bank’s major policy rate, the
one-week minimum auction repo rate, unchanged at 7.5 percent
after cumulative rate hikes of 200 basis points in March and
April linked to financial instability caused by the crisis in
Ukraine.

May 23, 2014

Russia launches fraud case against backers of Putin critic Navalny

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia opened a fraud case into funding of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s campaign for Moscow mayor last year, in what he said was an attempt to intimidate opposition candidates ahead of local city elections.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Friday that police were carrying out searches at addresses in Moscow linked to three men it described as “close acquaintances and fellow fighters” of Navalny, who is held under house arrest.