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Updated: 2 days 14 hours ago

Russia reduces imports of palm oil

Fri, 28/08/2020 - 19:33
In the first half of 2020, Russia has decreased imports of palm oil for the first time in six years. During the first half of 2019, Russia imported 506,000 tons of palm oil, and only 473,000 tons - during the same period of this year. The imports of palm oil in the Russian Federation have thus decreased by seven percent.Russia has ben continuously increasing palm oil imports since the late 1990s. This sector of imports has seen a tenfold increase over this period of time to a record-setting 1.06 million tonnes in late 2019. Palm oil enjoys great demand in the food industry: it is convenient for manufacturers to use it, and the cost of palm oil is lower in comparison with other vegetable and dairy fats.Making one croissant on a traditional recipe requires about 25 grams of butter, which costs about four times as much as its vegetable analogues. When ready, the croissants will look absolutely the same in comparison with those made with the use of vegetable oil substitutes, so it makes no sense for manufacturers to use expensive raw materials.During the last couple of years, Russia has been importing about one million tons of palm oil every year, primarily from Indonesia. Most of this volume - about 90 percent - is used in the food industry  by confectioners, bakers, and dairy products manufacturers.The decline in the imports of palm oil in the first half of 2020 may be due to the strengthening of state control over the quality of dairy products. In 2019, it was forbidden to display food products containing milk fat substitutes on the same shelves with products that do not contain such substitutes. The Russians consume only a small proportion of palm oil with milk substitutes - only 12-13 percent. Most often, palm oil is used in the confectionary industry. The decline in palm oil imports is not associated with the confectionery industry, it comes as a result of the introduction of new rules for the sale of products with milk fat substitutes, experts say. The temporary closure of cafes and restaurants could affect palm oil imports, as cafes and fast food outlets use a palm oil containing mixture for deep-fried cooking. Therefore, the demand in palm oil may go back to its common values already in 2020 due to a temporary decline in the purchasing capacity of Russian consumers amid the pandemic.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Kremlin plays three wise monkeys speaking about Navalny's poisoning

Tue, 25/08/2020 - 20:12
The Kremlin currently sees no reason to initiate a criminal investigation into the alleged poisoning of Aleksei Navalny, and considers accusations against the Russian authorities nothing but "empty noise," said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian president. "First, one needs to identify the substance and establish what caused this condition. There must be a reason for the investigation. For the time being, the patient is in a coma," said Peskov, adding that the investigation should be based on the fact of poisoning with a particular substance. Peskov noted that the version of Navalny's poisoning can only be viewed as one of the versions of what happened to the opposition politician. According to Putin's press secretary, there are "many other medical versions", including taking certain medications and body's response to certain conditions."All these versions were reviewed by Omsk doctors and specialists from Moscow in the very first hours after the incident," the Kremlin spokesman said, stressing that Russian doctors did not find signs of the poisoning in Navalny's body.Dmitry Peskov criticized the West for trying to present the version of Navalny's poisoning as the only version of what happened to him, and noted that the medical analytics on the issue among Russian and German doctors is the same, "but the conclusions are different."
Categories: Russia & CIS

For Navalny, the sky is open

Tue, 25/08/2020 - 19:43
The story with the poisoning of Alexei Navalny is a strange bundle of facts that leave a very bad taste in the mouth, politician Nikolai Starikov believes. The German press published a statement from Jaka Bizilj (the founder of the Cinema for Peace Foundation), which he made on Bild Live on Sunday night. Bizilj, who organized Navalny's transportation from Omsk to Berlin for treatment, suggested that Alexei Navalny, the head of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, would survive the "possible poisonous attack." "From my point of view, the key question is whether he can maintain health and continue his activities," he said. "If he survives, as we all hope, he will not be able to participate in political struggle for at least a month or two," Bizilj added. The sky is open for Navalny and no one else Nikolai Starikov, political and public activist told Pravda.Ru that there is no reason to say that Navalny was poisoned. Russia doctors did not make such a diagnosis."Therefore, this is wishful thinking at the moment," said Nikolai Starikov.The politician found it difficult to answer the question of how the card with the "poisoning" of Navalny would be played."Now it is not clear what game we are playing here. The very fact that a Russian citizen was taken out of Russia in a matter of hours after the conversation between the President of Finland and the President of Russia, was greeted at the military airport, and then accompanied by external surveillance by the FSB, which, in my opinion, is his security guards rather than persecutors - all this all creates such a strange story that leaves a bad taste in the mouth," Nikolai Starikov noted.According to him, the man was flown out of Russia without any problems when there is no air communication between Russia and Germany due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Can Russia experience another default like it did in 1998?

Tue, 18/08/2020 - 02:32
One of the most severe economic crises broke out in Russia 22 years ago. Since then, a "tradition" has developed in the country - in order to mark another anniversary of the 1998 default, specialists try to analyse whether it is possible or impossible for another major financial crisis to break out in Russia. Let us recall that three days before the announcement of the default, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin "firmly and clearly" stated that there would be no devaluation of the Russian ruble. On August 17, the government and the Central Bank announced a technical default on the main types of government securities and sent the ruble exchange rate plummeting. The events of August 1998 became an extremely difficult test for both the Russian political system and the national economy, even though it was not the first crisis that Russia had seen in the 1990s. Russian economy in 1998 and 2020 In 2020, both the global and Russian economies have once again com across a crisis that no one really expected at the beginning of the year. More precisely, few people assumed that the coronavirus pandemic could be the cause of such a major global crisis. Of course, this year gives yet another reason to compare the current situation in the Russian economy with the one that took place 22 years ago.Experts from the Higher School of Economics looked into the matter and concluded the following: "A close default is not visible in sight." What about the foreseeable future? The experts stated that both in 1998 and in 2020, the economies of Russia and the world faced a crisis, which, inter alia, was caused with a decline in energy prices. "However, the current economic situation is significantly different from the one that we saw twenty-two years ago. The main difference is about the availability of significant reserves and a low level of the public debt," the study says.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Kursk submarine disaster: 20 years of lies in the name of death

Wed, 12/08/2020 - 19:20
Russian nuclear submarine K-141 Kursk sank 20 years ago, on August 12, 2000, during exercises in the Barents Sea. All 118 people on board were killed. On August 12, 2000, the submarine carried out the conditional missile attack on the ships of the alleged enemy, and the connection with the nuclear cruiser was lost for good. The Kursk was found two days later resting at a depth of 108 meters, 80 miles from the main base of the Northern Fleet of Russia in Severomorsk. Several attempts were made to evacuate the Kursk crew members, but they all failed. On the night of August 19, Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to return to Moscow from his vacation in Sochi, and announced that there was almost no hope left to save anyone on board. In 16 days, divers could recover 12 bodies. After the wreckage of the nuclear submarine was raised to the surface, the bodies of other 103 submariners were removed from the hull. Two submariners - Dmitry Kotkov and Ivan Nefedkov, as well as chief specialist of Dagdiesel, Mamed Hajiyev, remained at sea forever.According to the conclusions of the government commission, the Kursk submarine disaster occurred due to the explosion of a torpedo in the bow compartment of the submarine. According to the official version, the tragedy occurred as a result of the torpedo explosion in N4 torpedo tube, which triggered the explosion of other torpedoes in the first compartment of the sub. According to the investigation, the first explosion occurred as a result of the leakage of hydrogen mixture from microcracks on the torpedo body. The cracks appeared as a result of "abnormal processes." The escaped mixture, having exploded, destroyed torpedo tube N4 and the nearby N2. A second explosion, with a terrifying capacity of 5,000 tons of TNT, took place two minutes later and completely destroyed the bow section of the Kursk. The explosions did not kill all the submariners at once. Some of them died a few seconds after the explosion, but the death of at least 23 other people in the 9th compartment of the nuclear submarine occurred many hours later. The disaster took place in shallow waters, in a clearly marked area of ​​the Barents Sea with the presence of a large number of Russian ships. The submariners were sending out SOS signals - they were convinced that they would soon be heard rescued. President Putin is still criticized for refusing to interrupt his vacation immediately after the accident. His flat response to a question from Larry King, who asked Putin about what happened to the submarine still annoys many. "It sank," Putin answered King bluntly. On August 12, 2020, people came to the Serafimovskoye cemetery in St. Petersburg, where 32 Kursk submariners are buried, to pay tribute to the victims of the terrible disaster. A mourning service was held, people laid flowers to the graves. Churches in many cities of Russia held services in memory of the killed submariners. However, 20 years later, the cause of death of 118 submariners remains a mystery.The command of the Russian fleet officially announced an emergency and raised the alert only 12 hours after the explosions.The news was unveiled to the general public only two days later. The Russian leadership refused to accept offers of assistance from other countries for four days. At first it was said that radio communication with the crew was maintained, then it was officially confirmed that communication with the crew was carried out through the knocks.The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Vladimir Kuroyedov, refused to accept foreign aid and communicated a fake version about the collision of the Kursk with a foreign submarine. On the evening of August 14, Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, who was in charge of the investigation into the causes of the accident, said that Russia did not need help from other countries.In fact, however, the Russian navy was unable to save the dying men. The team of Norwegian divers, who were called for help when it was too late, and who arrived at the scene on August 20, managed to open the hatch in the 9th compartment of the sunken cruiser a day later. It was already filled with water.On August 23, President Putin addressed the nation. He said that communication with the sub had been lost at 23:30 on August 12, while rescue works began four hours after the tragedy. Communication with the Kursk was lost at 11:28 a.m. on August 12, and rescue operations began 29 and a half hours later. The first attempt to dock with the 9th compartment hatch coaming platform was made only 43 and a half hours after the explosions.Putin claimed that the fleet had all the necessary life-saving means that were fully operational. That was a lie too. The Northern Fleet had only one obsolete rescue vessel "Mikhail Rudnitsky" and three rescue vehicles, all of which had broken down repeatedly during the rescue operations. None of the submersible vehicles could dock with the hatch of the 9th compartment.Putin stated that foreign aid was accepted as soon as it was offered. However, the decision to attract foreign rescuers was made by the President of Russia, only when it became clear to him that the situation was critical, and the rescue operation was absolutely disastrous.The Russian authorities had been unwilling to recognise the relatives of the perished submariners as victims. They were recognized as such only when they turned to Putin personally. The Kursk case had been classified immediately, and the relatives were never able to get acquainted with the materials of the case. The lawyer of the victims, Boris Kuznetsov, managed to declassify the case only through the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. In 2002 he appealed against the decision  not to open a criminal case. However, all Russian courts refused to relatives of the deceased submariners. The lawyer then appealed to the Strasbourg court on behalf of the father of the deceased Lieutenant-Commander Dmitry Kolesnikov.In 2010 the ECHR communicated the Kolesnikov vs. Russia complaint and tried to contact the applicant's lawyer. However, a far-fetched criminal case had been filed against lawyer Kuznetsov by that time for disclosing state secret. The lawyer was forced to leave Russia and seek political asylum in the United States. The ECHR approached the applicant himself - Roman Kolesnikov, a retired captain of the 1st rank (late Kursk submariner Dmitry Kolesnikov continued the family dynasty).However, the father of the deceased submariner withdrew his complaint about the Kursk case. "Nobody is fighting these lies, corruption, theft, although the president and the prime minister make very nice statements. Can I stand up and fight? They will point fingers at me and call me Don Quixote. Of course, everyone understands that it was a lie, that they did not take efforts to rescue the men, that everything in the Navy had long been sold and squandered."The materials of the investigation into the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine continue to remain classified. In accordance with Russian law, 30 years after the disaster, a commission may be established to decide on the possibility to lift the label of secrecy from the Kursk files.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russia's top military administration shows all the aces of possible nuclear strike

Fri, 07/08/2020 - 18:56
The Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper published an article under the headline "On the Foundations of the State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Field of Nuclear Deterrence." The material, which was prepared by the General Staff of the Armed Forces, speaks about the conditions, under which Russia can use nuclear weapons against another state. The General Staff noted that the document appeared at a time when Russia was trying to deter the arms race unleashed by the United States. It is this fact that prompted Russia to take an unprecedented step to publish its vision of its role in the security system. USA's aggressive behavior Based on the document, the United States has launched another arms race as a result of several sequential steps made by its administration: pull-out from the ABM Treaty in 2002; pull-out from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles in 2019; pull-out from the Open Skies Treaty in 2020. According to top Russian military officials, the purpose of such actions taken by the US administration is to deploy missile systems near Russian borders and exclude arms control on its own territory.In addition, the United States intends to pull out from the START III Treaty. The USA may thus cast serious doubts on two other fundamental documents that contain a nuclear catastrophe in the world:
Categories: Russia & CIS

Putin addresses nation, promises unprecedented social support

Tue, 23/06/2020 - 21:14
On Tuesday, June 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed to the nation to speak about Russia's efforts in the fight against coronavirus, the state of affairs in the Russian economy and prospects for the future. "These, of course, are difficult days, weeks, months - we all had a different sense of time. They brought too many changes in our lives: restrictions in our work and communication, anxieties and fears, and even the grief of loss. Thoughts on what will happen tomorrow, how to protect loved ones from misfortunes, how to support family and parents," the president said in the beginning of his speech, which was most likely pre-recorded and aired two hours later than was originally announced. "It is important that in our country there was no confusion, but on the contrary, many were united in their understanding of the crisis, the real threat," the president noted. Putin thanked the people of Russia "for mutual support and dignity," which Russia showed during the most dangerous stage of the epidemic - self-isolation. According to him, protective measures taken in Russia made it possible to delay the epidemic, its peak, for 1.5-2 months. It saved tens of thousands of lives.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Europe does not like amendments to the Russian Constitution

Mon, 22/06/2020 - 11:24
As one would expect, the European Commission for Democracy through Law (or the Venice Commission) criticized the amendments to the Russian Constitution. What should be expected after the critical review? What commission experts did not like According to experts of the Venice Commission, the amendments make the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation more vulnerable to political pressure, because the powers of judges can be terminated on the proposal of the president. In addition, the amendments provide for a possibility not to enforce decisions of international courts, including decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights. It goes about a change to article 79 of the Constitution. The Venice Commission called to either remove the amendments or change their wording. What they say in Russia Senator Andrei Klishas, ​​co-chair of the constitutional amendments working group, commented on the conclusions from the Venice Commission.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Putin’s article on WWII leaves Russian historians disappointed

Fri, 19/06/2020 - 19:49
Russian President Vladimir Putin penned an article about the reasons for the outbreak of World War II. Putin's article was published in the Rossiiskaya Gazeta (The Russian Newspaper) and in the US-based magazine The National Interest. The article is quite lengthy and it would be is incorrect to say that the Russian leader focuses on only one thesis. Here are some of them: The Soviet Union contributed most to the destruction of Nazism; It is unfair to claim that it was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that triggered World War II. All leading countries are responsible for its outbreak to a certain extent; Russia calls on all countries to expedite the declassification of prewar and military archives; Some European politicians, Polish in particular, are trying to sweep the Munich Agreement under the carpet, which led to the division of Poland; Irresponsible calls to deprive permanent members of the Security Council of the veto right. Pravda.Ru asked historians to give their opinion about Putin's article.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Can the West crush Russian national unity?

Mon, 15/06/2020 - 22:27
Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, gave an interview to a well-known Russian publication, in which he spoke about new insidious plans of international political elites about Russia. The official said that this time, the West intends to crack down on Russia for the imminent vote on amendments to the Constitution of Russia. The sealed carriage of the revolution According to Nikolai Patrushev, the standard "claims" were used as a reason for launching the mechanism to remove the sitting Russian administration from power: dispersal of a peaceful demonstration; death of a protest participant; possible election fraud. The head of the Security Council anxiously announced the financing of the so-called non-systemic opposition by Western countries and shared the plans of his ill-wishers: "Activities aimed at destabilizing the socio-political situation in our country are being constantly intensified. To this end, an extensive network of foreign non-profit NGOs and domestic public structures dependent on them is being created on the Russian territory to implement so-called democratic programs and projects that meet the interests of Western states." According to Nikolai Patrushev, on the eve of the vote on amendments to the Constitution of Russia, Western curators of the Russian non-systemic opposition will mobilize their opportunities to:
Categories: Russia & CIS

Former governor sues Putin for dismissing him due to loss of trust

Thu, 28/05/2020 - 20:34
The former head of Chuvashia, Mikhail Ignatiev, filed a lawsuit at the Supreme Court of Russia, in which he disputed the decree, which Vladimir Putin had signed to dismiss Ignatiev from his post. The news became a bombshell, because Ignatiev became the first ex-governor, who disputed Putin's decree on his dismissal by filing a lawsuit at the Supreme Court. There was a time, when governors sued president, but that was a very long time ago. Putin's decree on Ignatiev's resignation due to the loss of trust was made public on January 29, 2020. It is not very often, when Putin uses the 'loss of trust' formulation in his decrees that dismiss regional heads from power.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russian economy being prepared for second wave of pandemic

Wed, 20/05/2020 - 18:56
The second wave of the pandemic may arrive sooner than we expect, and the world will have to deal with it. Russia needs to change her approach to planning and business processes, experts say. The leaders of the Federal Reserve System, the International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Forum announced that it would take economy several years to recover from the current crisis completely. Analysts believe that the current crisis in the Russian Federation is similar to the pre-war situation. The main problem is seen in the new growth of the number of infections in China. As many as 40 cases of the coronavirus infection have been recently found in the city of Shulan in Jilin province, which borders on the Russian Federation. The Chinese authorities decided to close the city, similarly to the practice they used in relation to Wuhan. Experts believe that in the United States, the coronavirus is going to come back again along with seasonal flu. Elena Malinnikova, the chief freelance specialists for infectious disease at the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, believes that the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection in Russia will end by July. However, many financiers surveyed by Deutsche Bank, (55%), believe that coronavirus-caused problems are going to return.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russian doctors fight for COVID-19 compensations

Tue, 19/05/2020 - 21:28
The first criminal case in Russia regarding the non-payment of compensations to medical personnel working with coronavirus patients was initiated in the Krasnodar region, the press service of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said. The case was filed in the town of Armavir under Part 1 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (negligence) following a pre-investigation into the non-payment of incentive payments to doctors for their work and working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. On May 16, a video message of ER doctors of Armavir was posted on the Internet. In their message, the doctors said that they did not receive any financial assistance for their work in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was said that the violation of the rights of doctors to receive incentive payments "became possible due to acts of negligence committed by the administration of the medical institution."
Categories: Russia & CIS

Gazprom flings the gauntlet to USA

Fri, 15/05/2020 - 18:23
Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas monopoly, with the help of the Akademik Chersky pipe-laying vessel, is going to build the remaining 160 km of Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline. This is a challenge for the United States. The Akademik Chersky pipe-layer is currently anchored in the German port of Mukran, where it is being loaded with pipes for Nord Stream-2, Bloomberg reports.  The agency substantiates its point with satellite images of the ship off the port of Mukran. The photos, published by Planet Labs Inc., show that sections of the gas pipeline, which were in storage near the harbor, have been moved to the pier for loading. Thus, the agency concludes, Gazprom is moving the construction of the Trans-Baltic gas pipeline to the final stage.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Why is OPEC+ deal a failure for Russia?

Tue, 14/04/2020 - 20:39
The OPEC+ deal to cut oil production is a failure that Russia has suffered, some analysts believe. As part of the deal, Russia's decrease in oil output would be larger than that of Saudi Arabia. To crown it all, the Americans did not take any written obligations at all. Why is the deal a failure for Russia? Under the terms of the agreement, Russia and Saudi Arabia are supposed to reduce oil production in May-June by 2.5 million barrels per day each from the current level of 11 million barrels per day. Russia's current obligations are four times as much as in early March of this year, when the previous OPEC + deal fell apart. Sources in the Kremlin called the agreement a "painful failure," while adding that the deal is a relief for Moscow. They are forced measures that Russia has to accept as a result of the pandemic of the coronavirus infection, as if this applies only to Russia ... Andrei Nechaev, former minister of economy of the Russian Federation is not happy either. Referring to experts' estimates, he noted that "Russia's oil export revenues would be halved, because it is export that would need to be cut in the first place." "This is the price of the affair to terminate relations with Russia in the previous OPEC+ deal. Russia had to apologize to the allies, whom Russia had been deceiving for three years without cutting production, but increasing it under the guise of solidarity statements. Now control will be tight, while severe violations will be punishable with sanctions. It is all Russian people who will have to pay for this affair,"Mr. Nechaev predicts. Leonid Fedun, co-owner of Lukoil, said in an interview with RBC that the current deal was similar to the Brest Peace of 1918 - it is humiliating and difficult, but necessary. According to Fedun, the deal will provide a price level for Russian oil at $30-40 per barrel instead of $15-20.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Illegal migrants will make Covid-19 last longer

Tue, 07/04/2020 - 21:13
Illegal migrants are a potential source of COVID-19 in Russia, just like in many other countries too. They are not welcome at their home countries, but they cannot leave Russia either. It is unclear what they can do about their situation, nor do we know what the authorities are going to do about them either. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, there are 2.5 million migrant workers in Russia. During the coronavirus pandemic, they lost their jobs and wanted to return home, but they could not. From March 18 to May 1, 2020, Russia closed borders to all foreign citizens to prevent the spread of the deadly infection. In this regard, the Russian authorities allowed migrants to renew their patents in Russia. Legal migrants have a compulsory medical insurance policy, so this contingent will receive the required medical assistance. The leaders of post-Soviet republics try to take care of their citizens. For example, Tajik Ambassador to Russia Imomuddin Sattorov sent an appeal to the Russian government with a request for tax "holidays" for his compatriots in Russia. If the Russian government satisfies his request, it will be forced to take similar measures in relation to migrants from other countries. This request has its lobbyists in Russia, because by accommodating migrants, usually without proper social guarantees, businesses save up to 40 percent in construction and utilities by reducing production costs. Legal migrants will find work after quarantine ends.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Russia Sends Humanitarian Aid to the US

Tue, 07/04/2020 - 17:46
Russia Sends Humanitarian Aid to the US  A Russian military plane headed from Moscow to the United States on Wednesday (1) loaded with medical equipment, including masks, to help the United States fight the coronavirus pandemic, where 240,000 people are infected and over 5,000 have already died from the COVID-19.  Moscow decided to help Washington on Monday (30), after a telephone conversation between Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, in which both officials discussed how they could more efficiently fight COVID-19.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Coronavirus to throw Russia into two years of economic stagnation

Mon, 06/04/2020 - 17:39
As the coronavirus pandemic is gathering pace, the global economic crisis is looming. Putin's decision to extend the non-working regime in the Russian Federation for a whole month, until the end of April, will show an extraordinary and enormous influence on the Russian economy. This decision caused a lot of controversy, but, as Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, people's health is more important. The Kremlin considers various scenarios of the development of the economic crisis in Russia. The current state of affairs in the Russian economy falls under the concept of the perfect storm: several major factors work together to cause the economy of Russia to tailspin. It goes about the coronavirus pandemic the decline in oil prices the devaluation of the Russian currency, the ruble, a decline in consumer demand, etc. It appears that there is nothing but negativity around, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Categories: Russia & CIS

Wealthy Russians escape from the West back home

Mon, 30/03/2020 - 18:58
Maria Zakharova, an official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote on her Facebook page that the Office of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation receives many calls and emails from Russians living in other countries, who ask the department to help them or their relatives return to Russia due to the closure of flights and borders. According to Zakharova, some "very rich" people called and said they wanted to send a private jet to London "to pick up their boy who has been living there for a long time and fly him over to Moscow." When the person was asked why they wanted to bring the boy back home to Russia, the caller responded that the British authorities canceled health insurance policies for foreigners, so every foreigner residing in the UK now has to pay a lot of money for healthcare services. "You have been fooled for so many years and you have been paying for it - you have been paying gold for decay, for an illusion, instead of supporting your country and your people, who, with titanic efforts, patience and love have been restoring after the collapse of the USSR and chaos of the 1990s," responded Zakharova. "You were buying real estate and building business there, but when you were shown the door, you are standing in lines at airports of the world screaming: "We are Russian citizens!" while blowing dust off your Russian passports," Zakharova wrote.
Categories: Russia & CIS

What's in store for the Russian economy?

Fri, 20/03/2020 - 19:03
One dollar was traded at a rate of 82 rubles on the Forex market, while the euro was already worth 90 rubles. On March 19, the ruble exchange rate reached 81.97 per dollar (the highest rate since January 2016) at the Moscow Exchange, and the euro - 89.6 rubles (the highest rate since February 2016). The Russian ruble has been recognized the most volatile currency in the world after the Mexican peso against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and the disruption of the OPEC deal. Russia is going to face even more stressful scenarios, because the oil price may drop to $20. A few days ago, WTI crude oil was traded at $23 per barrel - this is the lowest level for the last 18 years. If this happens, the value of the US dollar will rise over 90 rubles. Many companies may experience bankruptcies and production problems, to say the least. On March 20, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation is to have a meeting to discuss the key rate. If the US dollar hits the level of 90 rubles, the Bank may resort to currency interventions on the currency market to lower risks to financial stability. In the meantime, the Central Bank sells foreign currency in small volumes evaluated at 3.6-5.5 billion rubles per day, instead of buying it under the fiscal rule. Market participants are waiting for the government to take action, but the action is not coming. So far, the ruble and the market has been following the oil prices, and investors are not leaving the Russian market.
Categories: Russia & CIS

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