Jason's Feed
Mar 12, 2015

Nemtsov killing exposes cracks in Kremlin unity

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The killing of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov within sight of the Kremlin has exposed rarely seen tensions between different camps inside President Vladimir Putin’s system of rule.

No outsiders can know with any certainty what is happening behind the red-brick walls of the Kremlin, but some of Nemtsov’s associates say his shooting is being used by one faction to send Putin a message that they are unhappy and need to be reckoned with.

Mar 8, 2015

Two charged with Nemtsov killing include former Chechen policeman

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian authorities said on Sunday they had charged two men over the killing of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov and said one of them was a former senior policeman from the mainly Muslim region of Chechnya who had confessed to involvement in the crime.

The two were among five men, all ethnic Chechens, frogmarched into a Moscow courtroom on Sunday, forced by masked security officers gripping their bound arms to walk doubled over, a Reuters reporter at the court said.

Mar 2, 2015

Russian central bank seen holding rates as inflation soars: Reuters poll

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank will hold its interest rates steady this month as inflation stays in double digits despite an economic slump, a Reuters poll predicted on Monday.

The economy is set to see its first recession this year since the aftermath of the global financial crisis as sanctions imposed on Moscow for its role in the Ukraine conflict and a sharp drop in oil prices bite.

Feb 16, 2015

Foreign debt burden at heart of Russian economic worries

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Looming debt repayments by Russian companies are now central to discussions of Russia’s ability to weather the financial shocks caused by low oil prices and Western sanctions, but the picture is more complex than commonly believed.

Despite last week’s agreement aimed at ending the war in Ukraine, the sanctions are expected to remain for the foreseeable future, perhaps for years if the Ukraine deal fails to lead to a durable peace, leaving Russian companies largely cut off from Western financing.

Feb 5, 2015

Russian inflation hits 15 percent as economic pain deepens

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s inflation hit 15 percent in January, official data showed on Thursday, underscoring the growing economic pain from sliding oil prices and Western sanctions linked to the Ukraine conflict.

Inflation has been shooting up in recent months as a result of a slide in the rouble, which has made imports dearer, as well as restrictions imposed on many food imports from the West in retaliation for the sanctions.

Jan 30, 2015

Russian central bank makes surprise interest rate cut

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank unexpectedly cut its main interest rate on Friday as fears of recession mount in the country following the fall in global oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

The central bank reduced its one-week minimum auction repo rate by two points to 15 percent, a little over a month after pushing it up by 6.5 points to 17 percent after a run on the rouble.

Jan 28, 2015

Russia unveils $35 billion anti-crisis plan, silent on cuts to pay for it

MOSCOW, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Russia announced a $35 billion
“anti-crisis” spending plan on Wednesday to bail out an economy
battered by Western sanctions and falling oil prices, but gave
few details of the deep cuts it said would be enacted this year
to pay for it.

The 2.34 trillion rouble spending plan includes 1.55 billion
roubles to support banks, most of which was already announced
last year and which many analysts say is still a fraction of
what Moscow will have to spend to keep its lenders afloat.

Jan 15, 2015

Putin’s defense fixation deepens Russian budget problems

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin’s insistence on huge defense spending makes it hard to see how a government plan to make deep budget cuts will see Russia through a deepening economic crisis.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov called on Wednesday for a 10 percent cut in planned expenditures, warning that if oil were to average $50 a barrel this year, the budget would face a shortfall of 3 trillion rubles ($46 billion).

Dec 11, 2014

Few oligarchs can beat Russia’s weakening economy

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s oligarchs are no strangers to misfortune, asset grabs, forced investments and financial crises.

Many of them may publicly shrug off a 40 percent plunge in the rouble and the difficulties caused by a sanctions-hit economy heading for recession.

Dec 9, 2014

Russian assets fall further, rate rise expectations mount

MOSCOW, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The rouble declined further on
Tuesday as global oil prices hovered close to five-year lows,
with mounting expectations the Russian central bank will raise
interest rates on Thursday.

At 1410 GMT, the rouble was 0.8 percent weaker against the
dollar at 54.18 and had lost 1.3 percent to stand
at 67.10 versus the euro.