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EU Holds Off Navalny Sanctions, Envoy to Visit Moscow Next Month

Brussels foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday he will press for the release of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny during a visit to Moscow next month — but EU members steered clear of seeking fresh sanctions. “This will be a good opportunity to discuss with my Russian counterpart all relevant issues, to pass clear messages...

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Russian Nord Stream 2 Pipe-Laying Ship Arrives off Denmark

The Russian ship tasked with completing the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline has arrived in waters off Denmark, maritime tracing apps indicated Sunday, despite the threat of further U.S. sanctions. The pipe-laying vessel “Fortuna”, owned by the Russian company KVT-RUS, left Germany days ago and has been located some 28 kilometers (18 miles) south...

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Russia Sees Lowest Foreign Investment Since 1994

Russia received its lowest level of foreign investment last year since the mid-1990s, data released by the Central Bank on Tuesday showed. Net inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) came in at just $1.4 billion in 2020, as the economic fallout from the pandemic, travel restrictions and a slump in global energy prices heaped pressure...

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U.S. Sanctions Russian Ship Over Nord Stream 2

A Russian ship tasked with laying pipes to complete construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be placed under sanctions by the U.S., German officials said Monday. “This is the announcement of a sanction of a Russian ship. We take note of the announcement with regret,” a ministry spokesman told AFP, confirming...

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Navalny Ally Names Kremlin Critic’s Top 8 Sanctions Targets

Navalny ally Vladimir Ashurkov has published a list of eight Russian business and political elites who he says Alexei Navalny wants Western governments to sanction.  Top of the list is Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, who Ashurkov calls “one of the key enablers and beneficiaries of Russian kleptocracy, with significant ties and assets in...

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Russian Markets Unfazed by Navalny’s Detention

Russia’s financial markets were unfazed Monday morning following the detention of Alexei Navalny on his return to Russia. The Kremlin’s most vociferous and high-profile critic was detained at passport control in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport late Sunday evening after returning from Germany where he was being treated for Novichok poisoning. The detention was met with immediate...

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Russians Hold $180Bln Abroad – Tax Service

Russians have $180 billion of assets stashed abroad, the country’s tax service said Thursday. The assets — worth 13 trillion rubles — are held in some 700,000 financial accounts based outside Russia, which are controlled by both organizations and individuals, Dmitry Volvach, Deputy Commissioner of the Federal Tax Service (FTS) said at the Gaider Forum...

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Russia’s Sberbank Posts $10Bln Profit in 2020

Sberbank — Russia’s largest bank and most valuable company — posted profits of more than $10 billion in 2020, despite the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The lender’s net profit for the year came in at 782 billion rubles ($10.1 billion) — a fall of 7.7% compared to 2019, Sberbank said in annual financial...

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U.S. Will Lift Nord Stream 2 Sanctions if Europe Suspends Construction, Says Biden Advisor

The U.S. is willing to lift sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline if Europe suspends its construction, adviser to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and incoming C.I.A. chief Nicholas Burns told the German newspaper Handelsblatt.  “The Europeans must stop the construction of Nord Stream 2, and the Americans must suspend the sanctions. This will...

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Most Small Businesses Still Struggling, Warns Top Business Lobby

Russia’s small companies were almost twice as likely to suffer negative consequences from the coronavirus pandemic than their larger counterparts, according to the country’s top business association. More than 60% of small and medium-sized businesses reported a negative hit from the pandemic, while just a third of large firms said the same, according to powerful...

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Does China Need More Gas From Russia and Central Asia?

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced to the UN General Assembly in September 2020 that in 40 years, China would achieve carbon neutrality. According to the road map prepared by China’s climate scientists, by 2060 the country will reduce oil consumption by 65% and natural gas consumption by 75%. Such plans jeopardize the future of large-scale gas pipeline projects to...

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Russian Car Industry ‘Survived’ 2020 Despite Pandemic

Russia saw new car sales decrease by 9.1% in 2020 on the previous year, as the industry was battered by the coronavirus pandemic, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said Thursday. The AEB, a Moscow-based representative body of foreign investors, said in an online press conference that Russians purchased around 1.6 million new vehicles last...

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Russia’s Top Online Retailer Launches in Germany

Russia’s largest online retailer — Wildberries — has launched in Germany in the latest stage of its international expansion, the company said Thursday. Germany is Wildberries’ tenth country of operations and its first in western Europe. The firm will offer more than four million products to German shoppers and said it has a network of...

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Russia in 2021: Will the Economy Recover?

Early last year, Russia quietly dropped its long-standing target to become one of the world’s five largest economies. The move came as part of a sweeping reset of more than 100 socioeconomic goals President Vladimir Putin had wanted to hit by 2024. Citing the unprecedented economic circumstances, authorities said 2030 was now a more realistic...

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Russians’ Economic Optimism at Two-Decade Low – Poll

Russians’ economic optimism for 2021 has fallen to a two-decade low, according to a Gallup International poll cited by the RBC news website Wednesday. The survey results come after a year when Russians’ incomes fell and the double blow of the coronavirus pandemic and declining global oil demand battered the national economy. The poll said...

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Russia in 2021: A Corporate Reckoning?

For Oleg Voronin, co-founder of upmarket fashion chain I Am Studio, the most difficult period of 2020 wasn’t the two months when Moscow’s quarantine restrictions forced him to shut his stores. “It was fall,” he told The Moscow Times, “when we had to find the funds to start making next year’s spring and summer collections,...