Saturday, July 5, 2014

Trade between Russia and China may reach $200 billion before 2020

Trade between Russia and China may reach $200 billion before 2020


Russia-China trade may reach $200 billion earlier than 2020, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Monday.

"We have a task set by the leaders of Russia and China to raise the volume of our trade and economic relations to $200 billion by 2020," Rogozin said at a meeting of Russian and Chinese vice-premiers with governors and business circles from both countries at the first Russia-China EXPO that had opened in Harbin.

"But I believe that if we proceed at such high rates and develop large, primarily infrastructural projects to help unite energy of Russia and China, then we believe that this figure can be achieved before that time," Rogozin said.

Bulgaria president denies banking crisis

Bulgaria president denies banking crisis


Bulgaria's president denied on Sunday its banks were on the verge of collapse as six people were arrested for "spreading false information" about the health of the country's financial institutions, AFP reports.

"There is not a crisis in the banking sector. There is a crisis of confidence and a criminal attack," President Rossen Plevneliev said after announcing a declaration of support from Bulgaria's main political parties for central bank governor Ivan Iskrov.

Six people were arrested over the weekend for "spreading false information", the National Security Agency said.

Russia able to withstand EU's toughest sanctions scenario

Russia able to withstand EU's toughest sanctions scenario


Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has drafted three variants of forecasts of the country’s economic development in case sectorial sanctions are imposed against Moscow over the situation in Ukraine, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Saturday.

"We have developed three variants which differ by the degree of toughness. The first variant includes luxury articles, caviar, furs, the second one is tougher and the third one includes the entire complex - metals, fertilizers, oil, gas and so on, taking into account the factors of price and volume," Ulyukayev said.

Further sanctions against Russia may have negative impact on European banks

Further sanctions against Russia may have negative impact on European banks


Tightening of European sanctions against Russia may adversely affect activities of the Italian Bank Unicredit and the whole European banking sector, an adviser to the Italian Bank, member of the Board of Directors, Gianni Franco Papa said today in an interview with the German Handelsblatt newspaper

"We are waiting for an EU decision and will treat it with respect, but if the sanctions are tightened, of course, it will be a blow not only on our interests, but also on the whole of Europe. Russia is too important a market," he said.

Russia mulls restrictions on PayPal

Russia mulls restrictions on PayPal


The Russian lawmakers are mulling restrictions on foreign payment systems offering money transfer and transaction services on the Internet, the Moscow-based Izvestia newspaper reports.

The proposed restrictions may concern the US PayPal and London-based Webmoney payment systems.

PayPal received a license from Russia’s Central Bank last May.

A bill on changes to the existing legislation regulating the activity of online payment systems is currently being prepared by the State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes.

Ukraine ready to sign package agreement on gas with Russia

Ukraine ready to sign package agreement on gas with Russia 


Ukraine is prepared to sign a package agreement on gas with Russia's Gazprom and to continue to work only in the framework of that agreement, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Minister Yuriy Prodan said.

"Ukraine is prepared to sign a so-called package agreement with Russia today on those proposals that the European Commission made at the last round of talks in Kiev, and to work only in the framework of this package agreement," Prodan said on his arrival in Brussels for talks with the European energy commissioner, Gunther Oettinger, Interfax reports.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Putin forecasts Russia's GDP to grow higher than expected early in 2014

Putin forecasts Russia's GDP to grow higher than expected early in 2014


Russian President Vladimir Putin expects that Russia’s GDP growth would be higher than it was expected in 2014. "Last year, Russia’s GDP grew by not very much - 1.3%. This is slightly less than the year before, but still there was some growth. I think this year we will reach more significant figures than we predicted in the beginning of this year," Putin said at a meeting with Russian and Austrian business leaders in Vienna on Tuesday, reports Interfax.

"In general, rather good dynamics is being observed in the economy at the present time, he said.

US opposed to South Stream because of interest in supplying gas to Europe - Putin

US opposed to South Stream because of interest in supplying gas to Europe - Putin


The US is trying to disrupt Russia's gas pipeline project, South Stream, because it wants to supply gas to Europe itself. "We are in talks with our partners over contracts, not with third countries. That our US friends are unhappy about South Stream, well, they were unhappy in 1962 too, when the gas-for-pipe project with Germany began. Now they are unhappy again, nothing has changed, except the fact that they want to supply to the European market themselves," Putin stated.

"I can reassure you, it will not be cheaper than Russia's: piped gas is always cheaper than liquefied," the Russian president said.

On this issue, the US acts as Russia's rival, Putin said.

"This is a normal situation. They do everything to disrupt this contract. There is nothing unusual here. This is a normal competition. A competition which uses political methods among others," he said.

Gazprom to increase shipments via Nord Stream, Yamal-Europe if Ukraine siphons gas off - CEO

Gazprom to increase shipments via Nord Stream, Yamal-Europe if Ukraine siphons gas off - CEO


If Ukraine is siphoning off gas, Gazprom will increase shipments via Nord Stream and the Yamal-Europe gas pipelines, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"If Ukraine is siphoning off gas, then we will increase shipments via Nord Stream, and we'll load up Yamal-Europe at a maximum," he said.

Gazprom signs South Stream Austria shareholder agreement

Gazprom signs South Stream Austria shareholder agreement


Russia’s Gazprom and Austria’s OMV oil and gas companies on Tuesday signed an agreement on the creation of a joint-stock company, South Stream Austria, outlining the principles for the construction and exploitation of the Austrian stretch of the South Stream gas pipeline.

The agreement was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Vienna.

Gazprom and OMV CEOs Alexei Miller and Gerhard Roiss put their signatures under the document.

Fire at "General Motors" in Indiana: four people injured

Fire at "General Motors" in Indiana: four people injured


An explosion occurred yesterday at the factory of American automaker "General Motors", located in Marion (Indiana). According to local authorities, as a consequence of the accident, four people have been affected.

The reason of the explosion has not been established yet. According to media reports, the company could leak of chlorine and other chemicals. At the scene of the accident, there are several fire brigades, all staff were evacuated.

Ukraine regime fails to understand longing to freedom its former parts

Ukraine regime fails to understand longing to freedom its former parts


President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko announced that the ceasefire in the south-east of the country stops, saying that "the protection of the territorial integrity of Ukraine "requires not only defensive, but offensive action."

"We will attack and we will liberate our land," he said, adding that Kiev "is ready to return to the ceasefire at any time, when we see that all parties adhere to the implementation of the basic points of the peace plan." Read the article on the current state of affairs in Ukraine at voiceofrussia.com and make sure to leave your feedback.

Ukrainian attorney general, interior minister's secret correspondence revealed

Ukrainian attorney general, interior minister's secret correspondence revealed


Hackers claim to have cracked open correspondence between top Ukrainian officials about rebellious moods brewing among troops sent to fight the self-defense forces of the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in the east. The screenshots of the messages acting Defense Minister Mikhail Koval and Attorney General Vitaly Yarema exchanged on June 20 have been posted on the Internet.

Earlier, even a Ukrainian TV channel showed National Guard fighters complaining about the poor quality of bullet-proof vests offering no protection against bullets and about musty bread supplied to troops in the east. In their messages, Yarema and Koval speak of a "mutiny of captains" or those refusing to participate in military operations in eastern Ukraine, discuss ways of bolstering troop morale and express fears that things might grow worse. Here is an excerpt from their correspondence.

US, Iran expected to continue P5+1 nuclear talks in Vienna

US, Iran expected to continue P5+1 nuclear talks in Vienna


US Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns is expected to attend talks between Iran and six powers in Vienna this week that aim to strike a nuclear deal by July 20, Reuters reports. The new round of talks starts today and will continue until at least July 15.

The presence of the American diplomat  who led secret negotiations between Iran and the United States would open up the possibility of bilateral talks between the two diplomatic rivals.

Lavrov to meet with Germany, France, Ukraine's FMs in Berlin

Lavrov to meet with Germany, France, Ukraine's FMs in Berlin


Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov is expected to take part in a meeting Wednesday with the Foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Ukraine. The talks are to take place in Berlin and are aimed to boost efforts towards settling the Ukrainian crisis.

Russia's Foreign Ministry official said on Tuesday night that Lavrov, during a telephone conversation with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had welcomed the idea of meeting in such a format:

French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy charged with corruption and influence peddling

French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy charged with corruption and influence peddling


Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been charged with corruption and influence peddling in a criminal investigation, French prosecutors said Wednesday. The decision came after Sarkozy was questioned for 15 hours, marking the first time a French head of state has been taken into custody.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was detained on Tuesday for questioning in a corruption probe, AFP reports. A day before Sarkozy’s lawyer and two magistrates were detained.

Russia never annexed Crimea, no plans to intervene in Ukraine, it's a Western delusion - Putin

Russia never annexed Crimea, no plans to intervene in Ukraine, it's a Western delusion - Putin


On June 6 Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. Ahead of his visit to France the Russian leader gave an extensive interview to Radio Europe 1's news program author and frontman, Jean-Pierre Elkabbach and, anchor of the evening news on TF1 TV channel, Gilles Bouleau covering burning issues from Ukraine and Crimea to US foreign policy. The interview was recorded on June 3 in Sochi.

On what happened in Ukraine: