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  • Russia Loses Allies

    MOSCOW – The Kremlin has not had a good week with its putative allies. Russia’s ban on imports of Belarussian dairy products (under claims they failed technical requirements) has stirred a strong political response from Minsk. The excuse of their failure to meet technical requirements has stirred a strong political … More

    Quo Vadis, Russia?

    MOSCOW – The June 4-6 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum shed a spotlight on Russia’s economic situation, clearly indicating that the Russian leadership is uncertain about the scope of the economic downturn and how to deal with it. President Dmitry Medvedev’s much anticipated keynote address was a great disappointment. He … More

    Roadblocks on Russia Path to WTO

    MOSCOW – In conjunction with the St Petersburg Economic International Forum, speculations over Russia’s accession to WTO have picked up steam. On the sidelines of the Forum, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said Moscow stands a good chance of joining WTO by year end. The negotiations with the European Union … More

    Russia vs EU’s Eastern Partnership

    Moscow is viewing  the EU’s new project – the Eastern Partnership – with suspicion. The Kremlin believes the decision to establish the group (made up of the six post-Soviet nations – Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia) would weaken Russia’s clout in the post-Soviet space and hurt Moscow’s politic … More

    Russia-NATO Relationship Worsened, Missing Chance to Normalize

    This past April saw signs that Russian-NATO relations, frozen in the wake of the Russian-Georgian August 2008 conflict, might start looking up. A diplomatic meeting in the Russia-NATO format even took place in Brussels. But parallel to this event the Russian news media unleashed an unprecedented campaign protesting the NATO  … More

    Russian Economy Dramatically Impacted by Economic Downturn

    Unemployment is increasingly raising its profile in Russia’s crisis-hit economy. Last March it was at a record 40-percent high. The official data show that its level over the first quarter jumped from 6 to 7.5 million people, which is around 10 percent of Russia’s labor force. According to independent assessments, … More

    Counter-terror Operation in Chechnya Completed: What Next?

    Last week the Kremlin formally announced its decade-long anti-terror operation in Chechnya over. In practical terms, it translates into puling out the federal forces and repealing stringent restrictions related to freedom of movement for civilians in Chechnya. This measure aroused little enthusiasm in Russia, though. In point of fact, the … More

    Medvedev Flirting with Democracy: What Stands Behind

    The past week saw an unprecedented number of President Dmitry Medvedev’s public acts towards civil society institutions. He was interviewed by the opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, met with representatives of civil rights NGOs and had a protracted televised talk on NTV channel deemed the most liberal of the government-run television … More

    Taxation amid Crisis: Statist and Market Approaches

    Amid a severe economic crisis Russia, along with many other nations, is facing grave difficulties in replenishing the federal budget. With the government continuing to task the government agencies in charge of the budget with ensuring maximum revenues, Federal Tax Service, the Economics Development Ministry and the Finance Ministry are … More

    New Round of Russia-Ukraine Gas Conflict

    The past week saw a specter of a gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine rising again, reviving fears of dramatic economic and political consequences for both the two nations and Europe at large. These developments were caused by an agreement between the European Union and Kiev designed to overhaul its … More