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May 22, 2014

Belarus leader says Ukraine must be united state

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has criticized separatist referendums in Ukraine and warned Russia not to take any more ex-Soviet territory after annexing Crimea, Russian media reported.

“Ukraine must be a united, whole state. Both the east and the west are Ukraine,” Lukashenko was quoted as saying in an interview late on Wednesday with Internet channel Dozhd.

May 21, 2014

The palace on the Black Sea

MOSCOW (Reuters) – In 2010, a St. Petersburg businessman called Sergei Kolesnikov published an open letter to Dmitry Medvedev, who was then president of Russia while Vladimir Putin held the post of prime minister. Among other things, Kolesnikov claimed that a luxurious estate was being built near the Black Sea for the benefit of Putin.

This extravagant Italianate mansion had a helicopter landing pad, summer theatre and underground tunnels. Located near Gelendzhik, close to the Black Sea coast, the mansion was quickly dubbed “Putin’s palace” and covered by Russian and international media. The Kremlin denied Putin had any connection to it.

Apr 29, 2014

Russian assets rise on sanctions relief

MOSCOW, April 29 (Reuters) – Russian asset prices rose on
Tuesday, reflecting investors’ relief that new Western sanctions
against Russia over Ukraine were less severe than many had
feared, but shares gave up some gains after further civil unrest
in eastern Ukraine.

At the close the rouble-denominated MICEX share index
was up 0.4 percent to 1,305 points, while the dollar-denominated
RTS had risen 1.2 percent to 1,153 points.

Apr 24, 2014

Russian banks move funds home as sanctions threat looms

MOSCOW, April 24 (Reuters) – Russia’s third biggest bank
moved almost $7 billion to the central bank as tension over
Ukraine rose in March and joined others in slashing its deposits
in foreign banks where they could be frozen if more
international sanctions are imposed.

The movement of funds by Gazprombank, revealed in data
published by the central bank, means that at the beginning of
April its foreign currency on deposit at the central bank
dwarfed those of other major Russian banks.

Apr 17, 2014

Moscow shares up on Ukraine talks, rouble stronger

MOSCOW, April 17 (Reuters) – Russian shares and the rouble
rose on Thursday, as investors drew hope from talks in Geneva to
resolve the political crisis in Ukraine, shrugging off ominous
remarks from President Vladimir Putin about his “right” to
deploy troops there.

At market close at 1500 GMT the rouble-denominated MICEX
share index was up 0.5 percent to 1,330 points, while the
dollar-denominated RTS had risen 1.6 percent to 1,173 points,
helped by a stronger rouble.

Apr 9, 2014

Surge in Russian capital outflows adds to economic woes

MOSCOW, April 9 (Reuters) – A surge in capital outflows from
Russia underscores how international tensions over Ukraine are
adding to the woes of Russia’s already struggling economy.

Russia’s central bank has published balance of payments data
that showed an estimated $63.7 billion in net capital outflow in
the first three months of this year – as much as the $63 billion
in outflows seen during the whole of 2013.

Apr 8, 2014

Factbox – Costs and benefits from Russia’s annexation of Crimea

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is getting out its chequebook to bankroll the region of Crimea, newly incorporated into Russia following its rapid annexation last month.

Moscow has pledged to spend billions of dollars on everything from higher pensions to a bridge linking the region to Russia, with almost $7 billion (4 billion pounds) earmarked this year alone.

Apr 8, 2014

Costs and benefits from Russia’s annexation of Crimea

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is getting out its chequebook to bankroll the region of Crimea, newly incorporated into Russia following its rapid annexation last month.

Moscow has pledged to spend billions of dollars on everything from higher pensions to a bridge linking the region to Russia, with almost $7 billion earmarked this year alone.

Apr 2, 2014

Russian central bank warns of low growth, high inflation

MOSCOW, April 2 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank said on
Wednesday economic growth would “most probably” fall below 1
percent in 2014 and it was also concerned about above-target
inflation that constrains its ability to cut interest rates.

Despite the economic slowdown, central bank governor Elvira
Nabiullina said the bank did not plan to cut its key lending
rate from 7 percent until its June meeting at the earliest.

Apr 1, 2014

Russian stocks resume rally as Ukraine tension eases

MOSCOW, April 1 (Reuters) – Russian stocks resumed a rally
on Tuesday amid cautious optimism over the political situation
around Ukraine, but market players said prices were drifting
without much conviction.

Russian stock indexes rose in early trading, fell back
towards the opening levels in the middle of the day and then
rose again later in the day.