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Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New ‘World Currency’ at G-8

Posted by Kris Roman on July 13, 2009

world_slaveryRussian President Dmitry Medvedev illustrated his call for a supranational currency to replace the dollar by pulling from his pocket a sample coin of a “united future world currency.” This is exactly what the Bilderberg group want. (This is a secret organisation, building on dictatorial worldslavery described in Georges Orwell’s 1984)

“Here it is,” Medvedev told reporters today in L’Aquila, Italy, after a summit of the Group of Eight nations. “You can see it and touch it.”

The coin, which bears the words “unity in diversity,” was minted in Belgium and presented to the heads of G-8 delegations, Medvedev said.

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Posted in Big Brother worlddictatorship, Economy | 1 Comment »

Russia’s Su-30 fighter to become world’s most exported jet

Posted by Kris Roman on July 13, 2009

su-30-1India announced its plans to double the purchase of Russia’s Su-30MKI fighter jets. If the plans become real, Russia will set a new record selling the largest quality of fourth-generation aircraft to a foreign customer. The deal will considerably improve the reputation of Russia’s renowned jet, although it does have significant competitors from the fifth generation.

India may considerably enlarge its fleet of Russian-made Su-30MKI by 2015 – to 230 planes, news agencies reported with reference to India’s Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony. The official said that India had purchased 98 of such fighter jets from Russia since 1996.

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Posted in Economy, Russian Army | Leave a Comment »

Job woes hit migrant workers in Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on July 13, 2009

migrant home from russia
Migrant workers have been crowding trains home from Moscow

Millions of migrant workers live in Russia, with many of them coming from Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

This has led to a big reduction in the amount of money sent back to Central Asia. Tajikistan relies on such remittances for around one-third of its income, but the International Organisation for Migration says Tajik remittances could fall by up to 30% this year.But since the onset of the global economic crisis many of them have lost their jobs.

Martin Vennard has been speaking to Central Asians in Moscow about their situation.

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Posted in Economy, Immigration & insecurity | Leave a Comment »

Russian determination to displace dollar as reserve currency unflagging

Posted by Kris Roman on July 8, 2009


Over half of the Earth’s population was represented in summit meetings in Yekaterinburg this week. BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), the world’s largest emerging economies, convened a summit in the Russian city simultaneously with, but separately from, the ninth Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit on Tuesday, June 16. China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are the permanent members of the SCO. Mongolia, Pakistan, India and Iran are SCO observer states, with Iran an applicant for full membership.

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Posted in Economy, Russia against Washington-Brussels-Tel Aviv | Leave a Comment »

China can do without US dollar?

Posted by Kris Roman on July 3, 2009

china_yuan-2China ’s announcement overnight that it will allow companies to settle international trade claims in yuan shows how serious the Chinese authorities are about building a local currency market.

China will allow companies to use the yuan to settle cross-border trade and let them keep their entitlement to export tax rebates, seeking to reduce the reliance of importers and exporters on the U.S. dollar.

The People’s Bank of China will encourage banks to offer yuan settlement services from today, the bank said in the regulations published on its Web site. Transactions inside China will take place in Shanghai and four cities in southern Guangdong province, including Guangzhou and Shenzhen, while those outside China will occur in Hong Kong, Macau and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it said.

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Posted in Economy, Russia & China | Leave a Comment »

Medvedev’s family “prefers to buy Russian products”

Posted by Kris Roman on June 21, 2009

In an interview with Channel One TV, President Dmintry Medvedev said his family prefers to buy Russian food since they believe there are more chemicals in imported products than in locally produced food.

Dmitry Medvedev: Good evening, Kirill. I think the time has come indeed to talk about the situation in agriculture. The time is right, and I think the place is not bad either. This is a good place to talk about agriculture’s prospects and problems.Kirill Kleimenov, Channel One Current Affairs program anchor, was interviewing the Russian President at Barvikha, the presidential residence in the Moscow Region.

Kirill Kleimenov: Good evening, Mr President. Thank you for finding the time to answer our questions. Our questions today are about agriculture – a very important subject, a big subject.

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Russia’s Sukhoi Superjet-100 sold out at Le Bourget

Posted by Kris Roman on June 16, 2009

sukhoi_superjetHungary’s Malev and SuperJet International – a joint venture of Italy’s Alenia and Russia’s Sukhoi – signed the agreement of intent to purchase 30 Sukhoi Superjet-100 (SSJ-100) aircraft, Interfax reports. The contract is evaluated at $1 billion.

Malev plans to purchase 98-seated SSJ-100s. The first airplane will be delivered to the company in 2011 and will receive six SuperJet airplanes every year afterwards.

“The new Sukhoi Superjet-100 can be used for both regional and medium-range flights, which coincides with the route network of the airline,” Malev’s General director Martin Gauss said. “We plan to restructure our fleet particularly because of our plans to increase our air transportation,” he added.

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Russia banking crisis just beginning: top banker

Posted by Kris Roman on April 13, 2009


Russia’s banking crisis has only just begun and the government has been slow to react, the head of its largest bank said Wednesday, contradicting optimistic comments by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The blunt comments by Sberbank chief executive German Gref, who also said bad loans in Russia were increasing by 20 percent a month, came just two days after Putin said the threat to the banking system had receded.

“A banking crisis in Russia is in its very beginning and it will come from the real (non-financial) sector of the economy,” the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted Gref as saying at a conference.

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Posted in Economy | 1 Comment »

Yemen to buy more Russian fighters: president

Posted by Kris Roman on February 26, 2009


Russian MiG-29 fighter aircraft

Yemen seeks to buy more Russian fighter jets among other military hardware, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said in an interview published Thursday by the Vremya Novostei daily.

“We had had the (MiG-29) fighter airplanes for a long time, they are good fighters. Suffice to say that we intend to buy more of them, I will not say how much, but it will be MiG-29 and maybe MiG-35,” Saleh told the daily.

“We are also holding talks on buying Russian helicopters and cutters,” Saleh, who arrived in Moscow on Wednesday, added.

The two countries may conclude a 250 million dollar (194 million euro) deal for the purchase by Yemen of 100 armoured vehicles, 300 Kamaz trucks and 50 mortars with ammunition, the Kommersant newspaper wrote Wednesday, citing a source at Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

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Glamorous capitalism and feast of consumption to end in Russia because of crisis

Posted by Kris Roman on February 13, 2009


The irreversible transformation of the national psychology will become one of the results of the current economic crisis in Russia. People will finally revise and change their moral and material values and will thus trigger the collapse of the glamorous capitalism in Russia, Professor Nikita Pokrovsky believes.

The Russians will revise their views about social values and will become closer to European nations in terms of their attitude to life, the professor believes.

“One has to understand that consumption is a universal language which people use to communicate with each other inside the society. We are what we wear, what we drive and where we spend time. A modern-day Russian is a product of the raw-material economy, a slave of the oil pipe. People have withdrawal symptoms when the country steps away from that pipe. Glamorous capitalism is the biggest social value of the Russian society nowadays. This capitalism is characterized with an aspiration to consume as much as possible, to build gorgeous temples of consumption on city outskirts, to virtualize real life and introduce digital technologies everywhere,” the professor said.

The professor believes that the Russians will revise their consumption concepts under the conditions of the economic crisis. They will switch to the system of reasonable self-restriction that will manifest itself in different sides of life.

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Study: Europe blames Jews for crisis

Posted by Kris Roman on February 12, 2009




The global economic crisis has made anti-Semitism flourish in Europe, according to a recent study. One-third of Europeans place full responsibility for the new Great Depression on the international Jewish community and 40% would not mind if Jewish businessmen move out from working in global financial markets.


The world is just preparing to embrace the global meltdown that has been knocking loudly at our doors for the last half year, while Europeans already know who brought it to our homes. Liberal values and tolerance that used to be proclaimed as the cornerstones of Europe’s prosperity are now vanishing with increasing speed as the crisis skins EU citizens alive.

Recently the Taylor Nelson Sofres agency conducted a sociological study in 7 European countries for the American

About ADL. The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Now the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all. 

Posted in Economy | Leave a Comment »

Arms sales break records

Posted by Kris Roman on February 12, 2009

tanks-verkochtExport of Russian arms reached a post-Soviet era record in 2008, says President Dmitry Medvedev.

At a meeting of the Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation with Foreign States the Russian President announced $US 8.3 billion dollars income from arms sales, which is 10 percent more than last year. Russia is the second biggest arms exporter in the world after the U.S.

Dmitry Medvedev praised the country’s manufacturers, but warned that this year will be difficult due to the global economic crisis. 

The high quality of arms for sale, reasonable pricing, and discipline in supplies are the factors that may help minimize the impact of financial turmoil, according to the President.

Another issue on the agenda was Russian weapons sales to unstable regions: “We have to pay maximum attention to supplies of arms to such states. I am talking about Georgia in the first place,” Dmitry Medvedev said.

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Russia’s MiG-35 fighter to win billion-dollar contract and leave US rivals behind

Posted by Kris Roman on February 10, 2009


mig-35-fighter-jetSergei Balmasov


Russia is prepared to fight for the highly lucrative arms market of India. Delhi will assign $35 billion for the five-year program to completely rearm the national armed forces. A third of this amount falls for aviation. About $10.4 billion is to be spent on purchasing 126 up-to-date fighter jets. Several other billion dollars will be used to acquire 197 light helicopters.


India has become one of the largest arms importers during the recent years due to the nation’s complicated relations with Pakistan. A third Indo-Pakistan war may break out at any moment. Foreign companies get ready to fight for the Indian billions. France’s Rafale, Europe’s Eurofighter, Sweden’s Gripen and USA’s F-16 and F-18 will be a serious competition for Russia.

Russia’s Sukhoi already conducts cooperation with India : the nation launched the licensed production of Su-30MKI fighters in 2004. However, Russia has another trump card to win a possible contract – the MiG-35 fighter, which will be unveiled at Aero India 2009 air show.

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Russia 2008 arms sales post-Soviet record: Medvedev

Posted by Kris Roman on February 10, 2009

medvedev-rs-12m-topol-ballistic-missile-icbm-plesetsk-afp-bgHe put down the record sales to strong economic growth and high oil prices benefiting Russia’s traditional clients India, Algeria and Venezuela as well as lobbying efforts by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday that Russia sold 8.35 billion dollars worth of arms last year, a new post-Soviet record.


And despite a rise of 800 million dollars (around 10 percent) in arms sales on 2007, Medvedev told his top officials to boost further purchases by seeking out new international markets.

“It is obvious that this year will not be easy because the whole world is going through the financial crisis, and this affects purchase volumes, arms purchases too,” he said, according to a statement on the Kremlin website.

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Russia’s economy may not grow in 2009 at all

Posted by Kris Roman on January 19, 2009

Russia will inevitably face the danger of the budget deficit under the conditions of the global financial and economic crisis. The speed of Russia’s economic growth in 2009 may slow down to 0-2 percent, whereas the inflation rate is expected to reach the level of 13 percent, Russia’s Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin said Monday at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong.


“We are ready to face the budget deficit and even increase the budget deficit during the peak period of the crisis, which is expected to occur in 2009,” the minister said. “The government assumes the budget deficit should not increase 4-5 percent of the GDP and then begin to decrease from 2011,”Itar-Tass quoted the minister as saying.

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Jobless Muscovites must have privilege to migrants in employment – Moscow Mayor Luzhkov

Posted by Kris Roman on December 30, 2008



Muscovites who lost their jobs must be given privilege to migrants in employment in the municipal services, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov told the meeting of the municipal government on Tuesday.

“I will meet today with the head of the Migration Service and I will insist that the decision of the head of the Russian government to cut the quota for migrants by half be implemented,” Luzhkov said. “We must urgently take measures and alter the migration laws,” Luzhkov went on. “I will make him see how Muscovites react to this – they demand that the number of migrants be reduced and our workers take their places.”

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Can discontent loosen Putin’s grip on Russia?

Posted by Kris Roman on December 29, 2008


Chaos or control.

FINANCIAL/RUSSIA-PROTESTFor centuries, Russians have feared both extremes, and moderation has made little headway.

In the “wild East” 1990s, it was chaos, with a crumbling Soviet Union, crashing economy, destructive territorial war, and society galloping in all directions.

The needle swung back in the 21st century, with president Vladimir Putin in charge, oil prices spiralling upward, and “managed democracy” the new order.

But, after almost a decade in power, Putin, now prime minister to Dmitry Medvedev’s president, is faced with the most dangerous crisis of his leadership. As oil prices plummet and the ruble slides, discontent is stirring and his popularity, once guaranteed, is now uncertain.

For the first time, analysts are pondering whether Putin can maintain his widespread public support, and whether a Russia seething with discontent is more or less threatening than one that is under increasingly tight control.

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Oligarchs Seek $78 Billion as Credit Woes Help Putin

Posted by Kris Roman on December 22, 2008

By Yuriy Humber and Torrey Clark

Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) — Russian oligarchs are lining up for $78 billion of Kremlin loans to survive the credit squeeze, handing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin the opportunity to increase government control of the nation’s biggest companies.

Just 12 years after they gained ownership of the former Soviet Union’s industries by bailing out the government, the tables have been turned. More than 100 business leaders are vying for loans from Putin and the administration of PresidentDmitry Medvedev because Russian companies have about $110 billion of foreign obligations due next year, according to the central bank, double the total owed in Brazil, India and China.

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Russia, Iran, Qatar to hold regular natural gas dialogue

Posted by Kris Roman on December 21, 2008


Russia and the Persian Gulf states of Iran and Qatar will hold regular discussions on prospects of cooperation in the natural gas sphere, the chief executive of Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Tuesday.

Alexei Miller took part in talks in Tehran on Tuesday with Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari and Qatari Energy and Industry Minister Abdallah bin Hamad al-Atiyah.

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Chukotka Russia’s most expensive region

Posted by Kris Roman on December 19, 2008

chukotka-lakeThe average cost of a fixed set of consumer goods and services across Russia at the end of November was 6,943 roubles ($US 250) per month – twice less than Chukotka, the most expensive region.

ROSSTAT Federal Service of State Statistics reported the figure has grown by 14.4 percent from the beginning of this year.

According to November’s research results, the most expensive fixed set was found in the Chukotka region in Russia’s Far East at 14,000 roubles ($US 500) per month.  North Ossetia was the cheapest region at 5,500 roubles ($US 200). 

The cost of the fixed set of goods and services in Moscow at the end of November reached 10,000 roubles ($US 360), with St.-Petersburg hitting the mark of 8,000 roubles ($US 300). 

Prices grow, incomes fall… what are the prospects?

Referring to the ROSSTAT report, RIA Novosti reported the total number of jobless Russians in November grew by 8 per cent in comparison with November of last year to five million or 6.6 percent of economically active population. 

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Migrant workers face jobs axe

Posted by Kris Roman on December 11, 2008

Russia may halve the labour quotas for CIS migrant workers next year as pressure mounts to protect jobs for Russian citizens.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has decreed that the 2009 quota for migrant workers can be cut – or raised – by 50 percent. That means the quota of 4 million could be slashed to as little as 2 million – or raised to 6 million, depending on the demand for labour from employers across Russia.

Previously, the quota included an option to recruit 30 per cent more workers from CIS countries. 

In previous years, quotas have risen to meet demand for cheap labour in Russia’s growing economy. But with the economic slowdown, companies are now laying off thousands of migrant workers in manual jobs such as construction.

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Posted in Economy, Immigration & insecurity, Russia to the Russians | Leave a Comment »

Russia to take revenge on IMF’s dictatorship

Posted by Kris Roman on November 18, 2008


Russia begins to take revenge on the International Monetary Fund for its dictatorship on the post-Soviet space during the 1990s. Russia, an erstwhile active recipient of IMF’s loans, begins to credit the Fund. Moscow plans to spend about one billion dollars for the purpose until the end of the current year.

Russia’s participation in the endeavor to save world economies will not relieve the country of the need to execute international recommendations. Like other members of the recent G20 summit in Washington, the Russian Federation will have to toughen the financial regulation.

Speaking about the results of the G20 summit, Russia’s Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin said that the sides undertook to study the need of additional funding of the IMF, which continued to receive requests for stabilization loans since September 2008. The loans to Ukraine and Hungary have been already approved, whereas the loans for Belarus, Iceland and Bulgaria are still pending. It was said that Russia would give a billion-dollar loan to the IMF until the end of the year. The funds are to be used to provide emergency support for national economies.

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Posted in Economy, Russia against Washington-Brussels-Tel Aviv | 1 Comment »

Moscow agrees oligarch bail-out

Posted by Kris Roman on October 30, 2008


Catherine Belton
Financial Times

Russia’s state development bank on Wednesday approved $10bn in refinancing for the country’s cash-strapped oligarchs. This came as the first step of a $50bn government bail-out that could redraw Russia’s business landscape.

As part of the package, Oleg Deripaska’s UC Rusal holding company was set to receive a $4.5bn loan. It will use it to repay in full a syndicate of western banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Merrill Lynch, that Mr Deripaska has been scrambling to pay by a Friday deadline, people familiar with the situation said.

The approval of the government loan – to be disbursed in the next few weeks – would make it easier for Rusal to persuade the banks to agree an extension of the deadline until the end of November, these people said. “It looks like everything is slotting into place,” said one person close to the creditors.

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‘Ordinary’ Russians have little to fear from crisis – official

Posted by Kris Roman on October 25, 2008


Ordinary Russians will be not be greatly affected by the current global financial crisis, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister has said.

“Of course, we can not say that we are completely protected,” Dmitry Pankin said on the Russian TVTs channel, adding, however, that ordinary people would only be affected to a “minimum degree.”

Pankin said that there would be no repeat of the 1998 financial crisis and added that the turmoil would affect most those people who had billions of dollars in funds or loans.

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Russia considers extra $152 mln funding for Superjet project

Posted by Kris Roman on October 17, 2008


sukhoi-superjetSukhoi Civil Aircraft and NPO Saturn have asked the Russian government to allocate an additional 4 billion rubles ($152 million) for the production of the Superjet 100 airliner, a Russian business daily said Friday.

The Superjet 100 project is a family of medium-haul passenger aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau in cooperation with major U.S. and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell.

Kommersant said Russian MP Anatoly Lisitsyn had outlined the need for additional financing for the Superjet 100 project on the eve of Friday’s plenary session of the lower house of parliament.

“Without additional financing we will not be able to manufacture 60 Superjet 100s annually as envisioned by the federal program on the development of civil aviation until 2015,” Lisitsyn said.

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Analysis: Caspian division possible

Posted by Kris Roman on October 13, 2008

caspian-sea-bgThe two-day first Intergovernmental Economic Conference of Caspian littoral states, held Oct. 3 to 5 in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan on the Volga delta, drew surprisingly little coverage in the Western press, despite its potential importance. Russian delegates floated a proposal that the Caspian coastal nations of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan establish a Caspian Economic Cooperation Organization. If the organization comes to fruition, it could solve one of the most complex diplomatic stalemates stymieing the unbridled development of the Caspian’s offshore waters and seabed — an equitable division of the inland sea’s assets.

The issue has bedeviled relations between the five nations since the implosion of the Soviet Union in December 1991, and represents one of the most complex maritime issues in international law. A definitive agreement could advance some of Washington’s most cherished projects, such as the underwater Trans-Caspian and Nabucco pipelines. The U.S. administration since 1991 has persistently foisted the slogan “happiness is multiple pipelines” in its discussions with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, even as its tacit proviso is that such pipelines bypass both Russia and Iran.

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Russia’s budget surplus at $96.7 billion in Jan-Sep 08

Posted by Kris Roman on October 10, 2008

Russia’s budget surplus has been estimated at 2.5 trillion rubles ($96.7 billion), or 8.1% of GDP, in the first nine months of 2008, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

Budget revenues totaled 7.151 trillion rubles ($275 billion) in January-September 2008. Expenditure stood at 4.630 trillion rubles ($178 billion) in the first nine months of the year.

The latest government forecast for 2008 puts federal budget revenues at 9.897 trillion rubles ($380.7 billion), expenses at 7.413 trillion rubles ($285.1 billion) and budget surplus at 2.484 trillion rubles ($95.54 billion).

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Russia to sell over 400 armored vehicles to Greece

Posted by Kris Roman on October 6, 2008


Russia and Greece are drafting an intergovernmental agreement and a contract for the supply of 420 BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicles, a spokesman for Russia’s arms export monopoly, said on Monday.

The Rosoboronexport spokesman said that in early 2008 the Greek Defense Ministry had made an official request for the delivery of the armored vehicles from Russia, the second-largest arms exporter in the world.

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Russia backs Caspian economic cooperation organization

Posted by Kris Roman on October 3, 2008


Russia backs the idea of establishing a Caspian economic cooperation organization to oversee the littoral states’ joint projects in energy, transportation and trade, a Russian first deputy prime minister said on Friday.

“Russia supports this initiative,” Viktor Zubkov said, speaking at an economic conference of the Caspian states – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan – in the Russian city of Astrakhan, where the initiative was put forward.

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Kamchatka has 1,200 tons of gold, 8,000 tons of silver – expert

Posted by Kris Roman on September 26, 2008


Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula contains at least 1,200 metric tons of gold and 8,000 tons of silver, a geological expert said Friday.

Speaking at a scientific conference in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Viktor Okrugin of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the Russian Academy of Sciences, said Kamchatka is one of the most promising gold regions in northeast Russia.

“Simply comparing Kamchatka and Japan makes it clear that the region holds no less than 1,200 tons of gold and more than 8,000 tons of silver,” the expert said.

“A considerable part of Kamchatka is included in the system of Pacific island arcs holding the largest deposits of Japan and Indonesia. Another part – the Koryak Autonomous Area – is comparable to the geologic structure of Alaska, well-known for its gold deposits,” Okrugin said.

Throughout its mining history Japan has produced some 1,000 tons of gold and over 5,000 tons of silver, whereas less than 20 tons of gold has been mined in Kamchatka.

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Time for a gold rouble?

Posted by Kris Roman on September 25, 2008


John Laughland for RIA Novosti

There used to be a habit of framing old Tsarist bonds and putting them on the wall. Lenin’s decision to renege on the Russian imperial debt meant that it became mere paper, interesting only as a historical relic.

In the light of the recent financial crisis in the USA, could the same thing happen now to the bonds issued by the American government, and could the country which has dominated the world for the last half century now enter history as a bankrupt state?  And what can Russia do in the circumstances?

The decision by the US government to inject $700 billion into the financial system means that the already gigantic annual budget deficit of the American state (previously some $450 billion a year) will now rise by a factor of three. The total state debt of the USA will rise to well over $11 trillion. It is obvious that such a colossal debt can never be repaid. Instead, it will be serviced by more debt in the future. The contrast with Russia, which has painstakingly sanitised its state finances to the point that it now has more money to lend than the IMF, could hardly be greater.

The recent financial crisis itself grew out of this American culture of debt. To some extent, all countries share it: since 1914, all countries use paper currencies, i.e. debt instruments which are never redeemed. Whereas before the First World War, bank notes were essentially vouchers for specific amounts of gold cash, now the “promise to pay the bearer” (which remains inscribed on British bank notes) is in fact hollow.

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International investment forum opens in Russia’s Sochi

Posted by Kris Roman on September 19, 2008


The 7th International Investment Forum opens on Friday in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

The investment forum will see discussions of Russia’s investment opportunities and large-scale investment projects in the country, including the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The issues of special economic zones, the setting up of gambling areas, and the possibilities of partnership between the government and private business will also be discussed.

The investment forum will be opened by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

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Two Estonian farms establish ‘Soviet republic,’ seek recognition

Posted by Kris Roman on September 3, 2008


Two farms in north-east Estonia have joined forces to declare an independent “Soviet republic” and intend to seek Russia’s recognition, a Russian communist organization said on Wednesday.

“We no longer want to live in bourgeois Estonia, where nobody cares about the common people…with raging unemployment and corruption, and where everything depends on NATO and the Americans,” Russian communists from St Petersburg, who are assisting the ‘republic,’ quoted its founder, Andres Tamm, as saying.

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Russia harshly criticizes Group of Seven members for their hypocrisy

Posted by Kris Roman on August 30, 2008

G7 countries united against Russia and issued a joint statement in which they condemned Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.


Foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA and Great Britain said that Russia had violated the territorial integrity in Georgia, as well as the resolution of the UN Security Council regulating relations between Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“Russia’s decision has called into question its commitment to peace and security in the Caucasus,” the counties’ foreign ministers said in a statement. “We deplore Russia ‘s excessive use of military force in Georgia and its continued occupation of parts of Georgia.”

The ministers urged Russia to withdraw its troops from Georgia to the positions where they had been stationed before the conflict.

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Russian international reserves up $5 bln in week

Posted by Kris Roman on August 7, 2008

Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves increased by $5 billion, to $597.3 billion, in the week of July 25 – August 1, the Central Bank of Russia said Thursday.

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Russia to launch production of Tu-334 airliner within 6 months

Posted by Kris Roman on August 3, 2008

Commercial production of a new Russian short-haul passenger airliner, the Tu-334, will start within the next six months, the manufacturer said Thursday.

Sergei Ilyushenkov, managing director of the Tupolev joint-stock company, said the Tu-334, including its business-class version, would be assembled at the Kazan aircraft plant.

The project will be funded by a private investor.

The executive said the airplane, which seats up to 102 passengers, was unique and had “no match either in Russia or elsewhere.”

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Libya seeks arms deals, closer energy ties with Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on August 3, 2008

Libya’s prime minister told his Russian counterpart on Thursday that his country plans to buy more Russian arms, and wants to step up cooperation in nuclear power as well as and oil and gas production.

Vladimir Putin said after hosting talks with Libya’s al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi: “We are committed to continuing cooperation in the military-technical sphere, among others, especially since the Libyan leadership has confirmed its interest in buying quality products from the Russian defense industry.”

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Russian international reserves up $10 bln in week

Posted by Kris Roman on July 24, 2008

Russia’s gold and foreign currency reserves increased by $10 billion, to $588.3 billion, in the week of July 11 – July 18, the Central Bank of Russia said Thursday.

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Visa woes may force 30 TNK-BP experts to leave Russia this month

Posted by Kris Roman on July 10, 2008

Around 30 foreign specialists working at TNK-BP will have to leave Russia by July 30 when their visas expire, the Russian representative of British oil major BP said Thursday.

The Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP is embroiled in a shareholder conflict in which BP and its Russian billionaire co-owners have clashed over strategy, management and control of the company.

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The Caspian Sea: a new economic profile

Posted by Kris Roman on July 5, 2008

Igor Zonn for RIA Novosti) – The Caspian Sea is becoming a hub of the world’s economy.

Western corporations are increasingly tapping its oil and gas resources and pumping them to the rest of the world. They pump them not only through oil and gas pipelines running through Russia, but also via lines bypassing Russia: Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa, and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum. This undermines Russia’s monopoly on the transportation of hydrocarbons from this geostrategic area. But its attempts to build a parallel line next to the CPC (Caspian Pipeline Consortium) oil pipeline and a Caspian gas pipeline are mired in bureaucratic red tape.

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Who benefits from the shower of petrodollars in Russia?

Posted by Kris Roman on July 5, 2008

RIA Novosti political commentator Maxim Krans

The 12th annual World Wealth Report, published the other day by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, points to a sustained growth in the number and wealth of high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) in Russia.

“Russia was also home to one of the world’s 10 fastest-growing HNWI populations, despite growth decelerating from 15.5% in 2006 to 14.4% in 2007,” the report says. The world’s average growth was 6%.

In 2007, the number of wealthy Russians grew by 17,000 to 136,000, or 10% of Russia’s population, largely due to skyrocketing energy prices. Does this mean the living standards of the rest of the people have improved too?

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Medvedev Says Vital To Make Ruble Into Regional Reserve Currency

Posted by Kris Roman on June 29, 2008

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that turning the Russian ruble into a regional reserve currency was an important strategic objective.

“In a period of global financial instability, we need to press ahead with the strategic objective of making the ruble one of the regional [reserve] currencies,” the president said at a meeting with the chairman of Russia’s state-run VTB Bank, Andrei Kostin.

Kostin replied said that VTB branches in five former Soviet states already carry out ruble transactions. With the dollar being too unstable to be a reliable reserve currency, the ruble has already begun to play the role of a reserve currency in these countries, which he did not name.

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Russia restricts Turkish food imports

Posted by Kris Roman on June 16, 2008

RIA Novosti economic commentator Vlad Grinkevich

Late last week the agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor introduced restrictions on the import of Turkish fruit and vegetables. The supply of tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, lemons and grapes is bound to plummet, and food prices will rise yet again.

Turkey exports fruit and vegetables all year round, but its firms have more than once been caught at supplying low-quality products. This year alone, the Russian agricultural authority has detected excessive concentrations of nitrates, pesticides and nitrites as well as pests in 86 batches of Turkish fruit and vegetables, coming to nearly 4,000 metric tons of food.

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Russia drops issue of early debt repayment to World Bank

Posted by Kris Roman on June 15, 2008

Russia is unlikely to pay off most of its $4.5 billion debt to the World Bank early, a Finance Ministry official said on Sunday. Russia’s Finance Ministry earlier said it expected to prepay most of its debt to the World Bank in the second half of the year.

“The issue has been taken off the immediate agenda as it is no longer a top priority for the ministry,” said Andrei Bokarev, deputy director of the ministry’s department for international financial relations, state debt and government financial assets.

Bokarev said penalties for early debt redemption could reduce the effect of saving money on interest payment.

In August 2006, Russia completed the repayment of its 23.7 billion Soviet-era debt to the Paris Club of creditor nations ahead of schedule.

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Alexei Miller

Posted by Kris Roman on June 12, 2008

Alexei Borisovich Miller (Алексей Борисович Миллер) is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Management Committee (CEO) of Russian energy company Gazprom.

He was born on 31 January 1962 to Jewish parents in Leningrad, Soviet Union.

He obtained a PhD in Economics in 1989 from the N.A. Voznesenskii Leningrad Finance and Economics Institute. From 1991 to 1996 Alexei Miller served with the Committee for External Relations of the Saint Petersburg Mayor’s Office under Vladimir Putin.

From 1996 to 1999 he was Director for Development and Investments of the Port of Saint Petersburg. From 1999 to 2000 he served as Director General of the Baltic Pipeline System.
In 2000 Alexei Miller was appointed Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, and since 2001 he has served as Chairman of the Management Committee of Gazprom.

In December 2005 Miller was named Person of the Year by Expert magazine, influential and respected Russian business weekly. He shared the title in 2005 with Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the board of Gazprom.

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Tycoon pulls his money out of Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on June 11, 2008

Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov has reportedly sold his holdings of domestic assets, including stakes in Gazprom and Sberbank. The world’s 36th weathiest man (according to the Forbes rich list) is believed to have bought substantial stock in overseas financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and UBS.
The Russian business newspaper Kommersant reports that Kerimov’s shares in Gazprom and Sberbank have been sold over the past few months.

Referring to unofficial information, the daily says the tycoon’s assets management company Nafta-Moskva held a 4.5% stake in Gazprom at the beginning of the year, worth an estimated $US 15.37 billion. At the same time, it owned 6% of Sberbank, valued at $US 5.4 billion. It’s believed he has retained very few assets in Russia.

Mr. Kerimov has conducted all the deals through western investment banks, mostly Morgan Stanley of London and Credit Suisse.

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OPEC blames speculators for rising oil price

Posted by Kris Roman on June 11, 2008

The price of crude oil could hit $US 250 per barrel in the foreseeable future, according to the head of the Russian energy giant Gazprom. In response, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries assured the markets that there is no shortage of oil.
Twenty days before France assumes the EU presidency, the stage is set for a burning debate on energy matters.

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Speech at the 12th Petersburg International Economic Forum

Posted by Kris Roman on June 11, 2008

June 7, 2008
Saint Petersburg

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, dear friends!

Once again I would like to welcome you sincerely to the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum.

For more than a decade now this international gathering has drawn the attention of delegations from around the world. And the presence here of well-known politicians, businessmen and experts indicates not only the growing interest in the Forum itself but also a clear desire for mutual cooperation.

And, of course, I am particularly pleased to see my colleagues here, the leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States, along with other heads of state and government. Despite your busy schedules you have found the time to come to the Forum in Saint Petersburg, and we are deeply grateful to you for having done so.

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Russia stands up for new world without America

Posted by Kris Roman on June 10, 2008

The XII World Economic Forum, which took place last week in St. Petersburg, will be remembered for its daring statements made by Russia’s top economic officials. The opening speech made by President Dmitry Medvedev produced a furore.

“Today Russia is a global player. Realizing our responsibility for the fate of the world, we would like to participate in the creation of new rules of the game not because of the notorious imperial ambition, but because of the fact that we have official opportunities and resources,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev’s statement is based on the extremely unfavorable situation in the world economy. According to Medvedev, the economic crisis, which may become the hardest crisis in history, shows that the system of global financial institutes in its current state does not correspond to present-day challenges. There is virtually no international organization where decisions could be developed and made. Global institutes managing international finances are incapable of showing influence on the strategies of financial market members.

Dmitry Medvedev did not hesitate to point out the major initiator of the unfortunate situation. He believes that the formal role of the United States of America in the global economic system does not comply with its real possibilities.

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Russian economy overheating – German Gref

Posted by Kris Roman on June 8, 2008

The Russian economy is overheating, the CEO of Russian state savings bank Sberbank, who was the Russian economic development minister for seven years, said on Saturday.

“The economy is not close to or on the verge of overheating, it is in the process of overheating. Such high inflation is a consequence of overheating,” German Gref told the Russia Today international news channel.

Russia’s Central Bank confirmed on Thursday its 10.5% inflation forecast for 2008 but said the probability of this projection was low.

“The Central Bank’s estimate of 10.5% remains. The forecast remains but the quality of this prediction in the current conditions is quite low,” Central Bank Deputy Chairman Konstantin Korishchenko said.

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Over 40 foreign auto-component plants to be built in Russia

Posted by Kris Roman on June 8, 2008

Over 40 foreign auto-component manufacturing plants are to be established in Russia, a government official said on Saturday.
“We have already signed 21 investment agreements with component makers,” said Dmitry Levchenkov, director of the economics ministry investment policy department.

He said these agreements would make it possible eventually to halt the import of auto parts.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier this week urged car makers to localize production and manufacture as many auto parts in Russia as possible.

Russia aims to manufacture at least 60% of all auto parts domestically by 2012.

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Russia’s international reserves up $71 bln as of June – CBR

Posted by Kris Roman on June 6, 2008

Russia’s international reserves have grown to $547.4 billion as of June 1, up $71 billion since the start of 2008, the Central Bank of Russia said on Friday.

As of May 1, reserves amounted to $534.4 billion, the Central Bank said on its website.

The international reserves are composed of foreign currency, gold, special drawing rights (SDRs), a reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other assets.

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EU approves JV between SolVin (Solvay), BASF and Sibur

Posted by Kris Roman on May 19, 2008

The European Union said on Monday it had cleared the joint venture between SolVin, owned by the Solvay Group, BASF, and the Russian energy giant Gazprom’s Sibur.

Solvay Group, which owns 75% of SolVin, employs more than 28,000 people and had around $15 billion of sales in 2007. SolVin is mainly specialized in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and PVDC (polyvinylidene chloride) production. The remainder of SolVin is owned by BASF, a major chemical company with $90 billion of sales in 2007 and about 95,000 employees.

The venture, called RusVinyl, with 650 million Euro of scheduled investment, will be a PVC production complex to be built in the Nizhny Novgorod Region, in central European Russia.

The EU’s European Commision said the transaction was reviewed based on ‘simplified’ merger procedures which the commission believes do not create competition concerns.

Dmitry Konov, Sibur’s president, said earlier that the JV products would constitute around 30% of the Russian market. The plant, which is expected to produce around 330 tons of PVC annually, is scheduled for construction by the third quarter of 2010.

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Medvedev signs decree on measures to counter corruption

Posted by Kris Roman on May 19, 2008

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree on measures to counter corruption, the Kremlin said on Monday.

The decree envisions the establishment of an anti-corruption council subordinate to the president.

Speaking on Monday during a presidential conference, Medvedev said it was necessary to draw up a national action plan to counter corruption, and appointed Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Naryshkin to head an interdepartmental anti-corruption working group. The Prosecutor’s General Office will coordinate its activity.

“We need a package of measures…we need a national anti-corruption program,” Medvedev said, singling out three major sectors.

First, he said, anti-corruption laws should be updated. Secondly, the national program should include measures to fight economic and social corruption, as well as preventive measures. Thirdly, Medvedev said, a mentality of anti-corruption needed to be encouraged in the country, and people needed to be educated on the legal aspects of the issue.

Medvedev, who was inaugurated as president on May 7, focused on corruption in his election speeches. He first voiced the idea of drafting a national anti-corruption program at an economic forum in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk in mid-February.

Medvedev also announced in late February that a program would be ready within several months, and held a special conference in early April to discuss its organizational and legislative aspects.

According to research carried out by the Indem Foundation, led by Georgy Satarov, a former aide to Russia’s first president Boris Yeltsin, corruption in Russia annually deprives the national economy of at least $2.8 billion.

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Moscow’s airports battle it out

Posted by Kris Roman on May 16, 2008

Moscow’s three international airports have long been in competition to attract client airlines. Now airlines are looking to create hubs with alliance partners, thus hoping to improve airport infrastructure.


Moscow’s Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports have been battling to attract airlines in Russia’s booming air travel market.

Lufthansa is currently the number one foreign airline in terms of Russian passenger traffic, with nine destinations and over 120 flights to and from Russia. On April 1 it moved its operations from Sheremetyevo to Domodedovo airport.

Domodedovo is Russia’s largest airport in terms of both cargo and passenger traffic with 18.76 million passengers in 2007 – up 22% from the year before.

The creation of airport hubs seems to be putting an end to the so-called “airport war” in Moscow, with airlines working with their partners to establish more efficient centres for terminal and transfer travel.

As foreign carriers are presented with more options in the capital’s airports, they’re searching for those with the best infrastructure, in the hope of attracting vital passengers in a market with shrinking margins.


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Sukhoi Superjet 100 conducts pre-flight runway tests

Posted by Kris Roman on May 15, 2008


The first Sukhoi Superjet 100 medium-haul passenger airliner made test runs on a runway in Russia’s Far East as part of final preparations for its maiden flight, the manufacturer said on Wednesday.

“During the test runs [in Komsomolsk-on-Amur] the plane reached the take-off speed of 162 kilometers per hour,” a Sukhoi Civil Aircraft official said. “According to the crew and engineers, it performed very well.”

The plane completed ground tests in April and has been cleared for its first flight.

“It is an excellent aircraft. Its handling and ergonomics are comparable to those of Airbus and Boeing planes,” said Alexander Yablontsev, a chief test pilot, who has over 8,000 hours of flying time with various passenger aircraft, including Boeing-737, Airbus A319 and A320.

The Superjet 100 project is a family of medium-range passenger aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau in cooperation with major American and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace, and Honeywell.

The company plans to manufacture at least 700 Superjet 100s, and intends to sell 35% of them to North America, 25% to Europe, 10% to Latin America, and 7% to Russia and China.

Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi’s general director, said in January that the company had secured 73 solid orders for the aircraft.

The list price of a 95-seat base model is $28 million, but the company is currently working on both smaller and larger capacity modifications.

The market for the Superjet 100 is estimated at around $100 billion for around 5,500 planes, through 2023.


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Russia eyes $4 bln arms contract with Saudis

Posted by Kris Roman on May 15, 2008

Кussia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport is preparing a $4 billion arms contract with Saudi Arabia, the Gazeta daily reported on Tuesday.

A preliminary agreement on the purchase of Russian weaponry was reached in November 2007, during a meeting between then-president Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Sultan Ibn Abdel Aziz Al Saud in the Kremlin.

Riyadh reportedly intends to buy 150 T-90S main battle tanks, worth around $500 mln, a large consignment of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, over 100 Mi-35 (Hind) transport/attack and Mi-17 (Hip) multirole helicopters, and around 20 Buk M2E surface-to-air medium-range missile systems.

Experts say the helicopter contract alone is worth around $2 billion.

Even if the deal with Saudi Arabia goes ahead, it is just a drop in the ocean compared to the market share enjoyed by the U.S. and the U.K., who jointly control 90% of Saudi arms purchases.

The arms contract with the Saudis could also boost Russia’s admission to the World Trade Organization. During ongoing bilateral negotiations with Moscow, Riyadh demanded access to Russian hydrocarbon deposits and pipelines.

Moscow’s chief WTO negotiator Maxim Medvedkov said recently an agreement with Riyadh could be finalized in June.

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Russian laptop batteries last 10 hours

Posted by Kris Roman on May 12, 2008

Russian scientists have developed a laptop battery that can work up to 10 hours without recharging, according to RIA Novosti news agency.The new battery is based on fuel cells technology. That means it is fed with substance for electrochemical reaction – usually methanol or hydrogen – from outside.

Such power units can work as long as they are fed and do not need recharging.

“This is a sci-tech and market revolution based on Russian engineering designs,” said Prof. Lev Trusov, the project developer.

Trusov believes a modern laptop battery should weigh no more than 100-150 grams, and the Russian invention of a thin multi-layer nanostructure solves the problem of high energy density per volume unit.

The developers aim to make the new batteries to a high safety standard for users.

Trusov said a joint production agreement has been already signed.

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China eyes Russian farmlands in food push

Posted by Kris Roman on May 12, 2008

Chinese companies will be encouraged to buy, or take on lease, farmlands abroad to help guarantee food security, under a plan being considered by Beijing. The move comes amid a food crisis in China.China has about 40 per cent of the world’s farmers, but just 9 per cent of the world’s arable land.

Africa and South America are among the most likely directions. Russia’s also in the list. However, according to the country’s constitution, foreign companies aren’t allowed to buy Russian land, though still possible to lease.

Acquiring farmlands abroad is now becoming a trend around the globe. Oil-rich but food-poor countries in the Middle East and North Africa explore similar options. Libya is now in talks with Ukraine about growing wheat in the former Soviet republic, while Saudi Arabia says it will invest in agricultural and livestock projects abroad to ensure food security and control commodity prices.

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Is it time to free the rouble?

Posted by Kris Roman on May 9, 2008

The appreciating rouble is an attractive asset for international investors. However to become a real reserve currency the rouble has to break free from Central Bank control. President Medvedev previously voiced his support for the move, but experts doubt the time for it has yet come.The rouble is becoming more attractive to investors, both Russian and foreign. The dollar remains weak and analysts suspect the euro’s bull run may be nearing an end.

The rouble has a managed exchange rate. The Central Bank of Russia allows the rouble to gain only gradually against the dollar-euro currency basket and it has even intervened to hold the rouble down.

“I think the rouble’s stability itself is a good symbol of how strong the Russian economy is,” believes Matthew Vogel, managing director at Barclays Capital.

However, the Central Bank of Russia is against any rapid appreciation in the currency – at least for the moment.

“What we know for sure is that from the macroeconomic view, rouble appreciation is quite reasonable now, mainly to knock off inflation – especially as the moment is favourable regarding capital inflow into Russia. But Russia’s Central Bank is against this policy,” explains Nikolay Kashcheev, VTB’s head of treasury research.

President Medvedev has talked about freeing the rouble from Central Bank control. A free float would be one step on the way to making the rouble a reserve currency.

But analysts say that’s a long way off. A stronger rouble would attract speculative capital, creating asset bubbles and destabilising the economy.

For now, analysts say, the most likely policy is for the Central Bank to let the rouble appreciate, but only in the order of, say 2 per cent, over the next six months.

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