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Jun 21, 2013

Russia’s Putin unveils investment plan but mood gloomy

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 21 (Reuters) – President
Vladimir Putin unveiled a $13 billion investment plan on Friday
to build roads and railways across Russia and show he is not
steering the country into political and economic stagnation.

But in a speech setting out moves to curb inflation, boost
economic growth and sack the heads of under-performing state
firms, he failed to allay investors’ concerns over an economy
sliding towards recession.

Jun 19, 2013

Analysis: Putin basks in isolation over Syria as Obama’s charm falls flat

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland/MOSCOW (Reuters) – At the end of a tense two-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama – slumped over and serious – tried to lighten the mood with a joke about their favorite sports.

“And finally, we compared notes on President Putin’s expertise in judo and my declining skills in basketball,” the U.S. president told reporters at the G8 summit, after the two men gave formal statements emphasizing their common ground rather than their sharp differences on how to end the Syrian crisis.

May 30, 2013

Who’s next? Putin critics worry as Russia clampdown spreads

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A widening clampdown on groups and individuals critical or independent of Russian President Vladimir Putin has left his opponents asking: “Who’s next?”

Liberal economist Sergei Guriev’s flight from Russia under pressure from state investigators has deepened the sense of alarm as the Kremlin broadens a drive to stifle dissent and quell protests that began in December 2011.

May 24, 2013

Russia’s oldest rights group fights ‘foreign agent’ tag

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s oldest rights group began a legal battle on Friday to avoid being branded a “foreign agent” under a new law it sees as a tool of repression by President Vladimir Putin.

Memorial, which has fought to preserve the memory of Josef Stalin’s victims for a quarter of a century, has faced problems ever since Mikhail Gorbachev gave it his blessing in the Soviet Union’s dying days. Its employees have faced harassment and bureaucratic obstacles at almost every turn.

May 21, 2013

Discovery of alleged Russian plot points to growing jitters

OREKHOVO-ZUYEVO, Russia (Reuters) – As Russia congratulated its forces for foiling an alleged Islamist plot on Moscow, the discovery of the plan also pointed to the growing security threat before the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Monday’s killing of two suspected militants and arrest of a third in a sleepy town near Moscow was quickly followed by the killing of one of the leaders of an Islamist insurgency being waged in Russia’s North Caucasus.

May 15, 2013

Putin targets Russian audience in handling of spy saga

MOSCOW, May 15 (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin has been unusually
silent about the expulsion of a U.S. diplomat Russia says it
caught red-handed trying to recruit an agent for the CIA. But
Putin need not say anything – his pliant state media is doing
the talking for him.

Television channels have been gleefully beaming pictures of
the sting operation in which Moscow says the diplomat, wearing a
blond wig, was snared almost non-stop since his detention was
announced on Tuesday.

May 15, 2013

Russian media delight in U.S. spy case as leaders try to limit fallout

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian state-run media revelled on Wednesday in embarrassing the United States over a botched attempt to recruit one of its intelligence agents but both countries signaled they wanted to prevent the episode harming efforts to improve relations.

Moscow expelled a U.S. diplomat on Tuesday, saying he had been caught red-handed with disguises, special equipment and wads of cash as he tried to recruit a Russian agent for the CIA.

May 10, 2013

Russia’s Putin looks isolated in new Kremlin term

MOSCOW, May 10 (Reuters) – Angry and intimidating, Russian
President Vladimir Putin sat alone at the head of a long table
this week scolding his government for failing to carry out his
orders.

Ministers squirmed in their seats on each side of the table
as Putin humiliated them one-by-one in images shown repeatedly
by state television. One dared to answer back. The next day he
was out of a job.

May 9, 2013

Analysis: After months of deadlock, diplomacy gets another chance in Syria

ROME/MOSCOW (Reuters) – If Russia has decided to make a new diplomatic push to drag Syria’s warring parties into peace talks, it may be because of signs that the United States could slowly get sucked into the conflict.

The two major powers’ joint announcement that they would try to bring together representatives of President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the rebel forces fighting to oust him represents their first serious diplomatic initiative in nearly a year.

May 8, 2013

Russia’s Putin ousts former grey cardinal, blow to Medvedev

MOSCOW, May 8 (Reuters) – Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav
Surkov, once one of Russia’s most influential men and the
creator of Vladimir Putin’s tightly controlled political system,
was ousted on Wednesday in a power struggle between the Kremlin
and the government.

The Kremlin said President Putin had accepted the
resignation of the man who for a decade wielded immense power as
the grey cardinal behind the scenes under the former KGB spy but
later moved over to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s camp.

    • About Timothy

      "Timothy Heritage is Brussels Bureau Chief and European Affairs Editor, responsible for coverage of the European Union. He has previously been based in Moscow, Jerusalem, Paris, London, Warsaw and Belgrade, covering events ranging from the fall of Communism and conflict in the Balkans and Middle East to the euro zone debt crisis."
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