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Dec 16, 2014

Rouble crisis could shake Putin’s grip on power

MOSCOW, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Russia failed to halt the
collapse of the rouble on Tuesday, leaving President Vladimir
Putin facing a full-blown currency crisis that could weaken his
iron grip on power.

A 6.5 percentage point interest rate rise to 17 percent
overnight failed to prevent the currency hitting record lows in
a “perfect storm” of low oil prices, looming recession and
Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Dec 4, 2014

Putin says foes hope to dismember Russia; rouble falls as he speaks

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin accused Russia’s enemies on Thursday of seeking to carve it up and destroy its economy to punish it for growing strong, in an annual state of the union speech that seemed to outdo even his own recent strident nationalism.

The Kremlin leader trumpeted his annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, praised the Russian people for their strength, accused the West of “pure cynicism” in Ukraine and said economic sanctions must drive Russians to develop their own economy.

Dec 4, 2014

Putin says foes hope to dismember Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin accused Russia’s enemies on Thursday of seeking to carve it up and destroy its economy to punish it for growing strong, in an annual state of the union speech that seemed to outdo even his own recent strident nationalism.

The Kremlin leader trumpeted his annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, praised the Russian people for their strength, accused the West of “pure cynicism” in Ukraine and said economic sanctions must drive Russians to develop their own economy.

Dec 3, 2014

Putin under pressure to show he can cure Russia’s economic ills

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin is under pressure to show he has a prescription to cure Russia’s rapidly growing economic ills in his annual state of the union address on Thursday.

Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, sharp falls in global oil prices and the ruble’s slide against the dollar culminated in an acknowledgement by government officials this week that Russia will enter recession next year.

Nov 25, 2014

Buckwheat problem gives Putin food for thought

MOSCOW, Nov 25 (Reuters) – As if Russian President Vladimir
Putin did not have enough to worry about with Western sanctions,
falling oil prices and a collapsing currency, there is also now
the price of buckwheat.

Rumours that snow has ruined the harvest in the Altai region
that grows the fruit seed have caused panic-buying in some areas
and pushed up the price of one of Russia’s most popular foods.

Nov 19, 2014

Putin greets new U.S. envoy with demand not to interfere

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin greeted the new U.S. ambassador to Russia on Wednesday with a demand for Washington to treat Moscow as an equal partner and stay out of its internal affairs.

The new envoy, John Tefft, said in a written statement after presenting his credentials that he wanted to strengthen “people-to-people” ties but there were serious differences over Ukraine.

Nov 17, 2014

Isolated at G20, Putin shows he will do it his way in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Nov 17 (Reuters) – It may have looked in the West
like Russian President Vladimir Putin fled this weekend’s G20
summit early with his tail between his legs after being berated
over Ukraine.

But it was a different story in Russia, where pliant media
praised Putin for being courageous enough to “enter the lion’s
den”, stand up to his critics and defend national interests, and
accepted his excuse that he faced a long trip home.

Nov 10, 2014

Russia launches new media to lead “propaganda war” with West

MOSCOW, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Russia launched on Monday a
state-of-the-art media organisation with hundreds of journalists
abroad intended to wean the world off what it called aggressive
Western propaganda – dubbing it with echoes of the Cold War,
Sputnik.

In a hi-tech presentation in a media centre once used to
host Cold War-era press conferences, one of President Vladimir
Putin’s favourite journalists outlined plans meant to repair the
damage done to Russia’s image during the crisis in Ukraine.

Nov 6, 2014

Putin blames politics for falling energy prices

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin has suggested that the fall in global oil prices that is hurting Russia’s economy was caused in part by political manipulation.

In an interview with Chinese media published on Thursday, Putin did not blame any particular country for the price drop, but some Russian political commentators have depicted it as a Saudi-U.S. plot against Moscow.

Nov 4, 2014

Russians march in defiance of West and display of unity

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people marched through Moscow under flags and banners hailing Russia as a great power on Tuesday in an annual parade which this year amounted to a show of defiance to the West over Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin did not join the march marking “Unity Day” but later delivered a speech portraying Russia as morally superior in the standoff with the West and saying it had united in the face of “difficult challenges”.

    • 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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