Correspondent, Politics and General News
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Jan 26, 2015

S&P downgrades Russia’s sovereign credit rating to ‘junk’

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Ratings agency S&P cut Russia’s sovereign credit rating to below investment grade, or “junk” status, on Monday for the first time in a decade.

The rouble fell after the news to 67.98 against the dollar, more than 5 percent lower than the previous close on the Moscow Exchange.

Jan 20, 2015

Russia may send S-300 missile system to Iran – media

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia might deliver a long-overdue S-300 air defence missile system to Iran, honouring a contract that was cancelled in 2010 following strong pressure from the West, Iranian and Russian media said on Tuesday.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is visiting Tehran and signed an agreement with Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan to boost cooperation, Iran’s Fars semi-official news agency said.

Dec 24, 2014

Russia says NATO turning Ukraine into ‘frontline of confrontation’

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Wednesday NATO was turning Ukraine into a “frontline of confrontation” and threatened to sever remaining ties with the Atlantic military alliance if Ukraine’s hopes of joining it were realized.

The Kiev parliament’s renunciation of Ukraine’s neutral status on Tuesday in pursuit of NATO membership has outraged Moscow and deepened the worst confrontation between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

Dec 17, 2014

As ruble erodes, Russians buy out last remaining luxuries

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The glittering Jaguars and Land Rovers parked on the showroom tiles at Rolf car dealership in Moscow looked like a steal, still priced in last week’s rubles. But by Wednesday you were probably too late.

Russians have been racing to buy cars, electronic goods and designer clothes with their swiftly devaluing rubles. But some international firms have suspended supplies of luxury items, at least until the currency stabilizes.

Dec 14, 2014

Russian rights group’s offices torched, members detained in Chechnya

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The offices of one of Russia’s most active human rights groups in the troubled North Caucasus region of Chechnya was torched and its members were held by armed men in camouflage on Sunday, a top human rights activist said.

The Joint Mobile Group has come under fire from Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed strong-arm leader Ramzan Kadyrov after the group’s head criticised methods of punishment used against those suspected of being part of the region’s Islamist insurgency.

Dec 9, 2014

Russia’s Lavrov says Moscow concerned by German leaders

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Tuesday it was concerned by the behavior of German leaders and warned that Europe would suffer if Berlin stopped playing a constructive role in relations between Moscow and the West.

Under Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has taken the lead in trying to convince President Vladimir Putin to engage with the West during the crisis in Ukraine but her criticism of Moscow has sharpened in the last few weeks.

Nov 20, 2014

Russia warns U.S. against arms to Ukraine as Biden due in Kiev

MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) – Russia warned the United States on Thursday against supplying arms to Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, hours before U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden was due to arrive in Kiev.

Ukraine accused President Vladimir Putin of treating its territory like a “playing field”, trying to unleash a full-scale war that would pose a broader threat to NATO countries.

Nov 19, 2014

Putin backs deeper ties with North Korea after meeting Kim envoy

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Wednesday for deeper ties with North Korea to improve regional security, a day after holding talks with a personal envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Senior North Korean officials visit Moscow infrequently but the isolated country is trying to counter a U.N. resolution urging Pyongyang’s referral to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

Nov 17, 2014

Russia orders out Polish diplomats in tit-for-tat expulsions

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Monday several of its diplomats had been expelled from Poland and that a number of Polish diplomats had left Russia after Moscow took “adequate” measures in return.

Ties between Russia and European Union member states have been strained by the crisis in Ukraine and by EU sanctions imposed after Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine. Poland, for decades under communist rule and dominated by Moscow, has been one of Moscow’s most outspoken critics.

Nov 14, 2014

France hits back after Russia warns of Mistral compensation

MOSCOW/PARIS (Reuters) – Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Friday that France would not be dictated to after an unidentified Russian official was quoted as giving Paris two weeks to deliver the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers or face possible compensation claims.

France has for months resisted pressure from Washington and other allies to scrap the 1.2 billion euro ($1.58 billion) contract and in September said it would only hand over the first carrier, the Vladivostok, if there was a lasting ceasefire and a political settlement in Ukraine.

    • About Thomas

      "Thomas Grove covers politics and general news in Moscow. He worked in Istanbul from 2006-2010, covering political, financial and energy news."
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