Russian Ministry Moves to Ban Personal Imports of Parmesan and Jamon – Reports

Russia is considering banning certain meat and dairy products, including parmesan and jamon, over health concerns tied to infectious diseases, the Vedomosti business daily reported. Wholesale imports of fresh EU food products were banned in 2014 in retaliation to Western states imposing sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.…

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Germany, Poland Halt Oil Imports From Russia Over Quality Concerns

Poland and Germany have suspended imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality and triggering a rare crisis over supply from the world’s second-largest crude exporter. Halting imports from the Druzhba pipeline could trigger legal claims by Western buyers against Russian suppliers, who would in turn seek compensation from Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft, three traders…

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Russia’s Passport Offer to East Ukrainians Slammed in Kiev, Washington

President Vladimir Putin’s order simplifying the procedure for residents of separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine to obtain a Russian passport prompted condemnations from Kiev and the United States. Putin’s decree on Wednesday eases the path to Russian citizenship for an estimated 3.7 million people living in the self-proclaimed Donetsk  and Luhansk republics after five years of war…

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Reuters Corrects Story Saying Venezuela Is Avoiding U.S. Sanctions by Funneling Oil Sales Through Russia

Reuters has corrected a story it published on April 18 saying Venezuela is funneling cash flow from oil sales through Russian state energy giant Rosneft to evade U.S. sanctions after Rosneft threatened to ban the international news agency from operating in Russia. The story, datelined Mexico City, said Reuters had uncovered a scheme whereby Venezuelan…

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Putin’s Closest Ally Fears Takeover as Kremlin Plots Succession

President Vladimir Putin may look beyond Russia for a mechanism to keep power after his current term ends. That’s making Moscow’s closest ally nervous amid spiraling tensions over Kremlin threats to slash economic subsidies. After years of spending billions of dollars to support Belarus’s state-dominated economy, Russia is intensifying pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko to…

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First Russian Found Guilty Under ‘Disrespect’ of Authorities Law – Reports

Russian authorities have issued the first guilty verdict under a new law criminalizing “blatant disrespect” toward the authorities for online posts calling President Vladimir Putin an expletive. A Novgorod region court 570 kilometers northwest of Moscow found a local resident guilty and fined him 30,000 rubles ($470) Monday for posts calling Putin “a fantastic f——”…

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Putin Unveils World’s Longest Nuclear Submarine at Shipyard Ceremony

President Vladimir Putin has unveiled a submarine capable of carrying six thermonuclear warheads on Tuesday ahead of its deployment in 2020-2021. Russia’s naval submarine called “Belgorod” will be the world’s longest submarine ever built, measuring 184 meters, The Barents Observer has estimated. The Belgorod will be able to carry six underwater “Poseidon” drones, the state-run…

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Russian Auditor Finds $12Bln in Government Spending Violations

Russia’s public finance watchdog has uncovered 772.7 billion rubles ($12.12 billion) in government spending violations last year. The volume of total violations has decreased substantially from 1.87 trillion rubles in 2017 as detections increased by 43 percent, the RBC news website reported Tuesday. Procurement accounted for the highest share of budget violations at 294.6 billion…

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Russian Lawmaker Says Bans Are Freeing and Civil Rights Are Restrictive

An outspoken Russian lawmaker has turned heads for arguing that civil rights are restrictive, while bans are a form of freedom. Yelena Mizulina, who successfully lobbied for Russia’s 2012 “gay propaganda” law and spearheaded efforts to decriminalize domestic violence, made the statement in defense of recent internet restriction laws. On Monday, Russian senators backed tighter…

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Putin Won’t Congratulate Zelenskiy On Ukraine Presidential Win, Kremlin Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not officially congratulate Ukrainian president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his landslide victory, the Kremlin said on Monday. Ukraine has entered uncharted political waters after near final results show Zelenskiy, a comedian, winning Sunday’s presidential election by a landslide, dramatically upending the political status quo in the ex-Soviet republic. It’s “too early”…

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Ukraine’s Election Result Pleases Both Russia’s Opposition and the Kremlin

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian and actor with no political experience, swept to victory on Sunday in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, in a race that has fascinated the country’s looming neighbor to the north. The victory triggered speculation in Russia on Sunday that relations between the neighboring countries might improve. It also presented…

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U.S. Calls On Countries to Deny Airspace to Russian Planes Destined for Venezuela

The U.S. State Department spokesperson has called on countries to “follow Malta’s example” and block Russian military planes en route for Venezuela from using their airspace. On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Malta refused a Russian request to use its airspace to fly military aircraft from Syria to Venezuela on April…

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Kremlin Says Mueller Report Shows No Evidence of Russian Meddling

The Kremlin said on Friday that U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report did not contain any evidence the Russian state had meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Mueller’s report, released on Thursday, details extensive contacts between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian operatives who, it said, sought to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. However,…

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Putin Ally to Ukraine’s Probable New Leader: Do Deal and Get Territory Back

Ukraine’s new president could regain control over the separatist-controlled east of his country within months and get cheap gas and major investment from Russia if he repairs ties with Moscow, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine said. Viktor Medvedchuk, a prominent figure in Ukraine’s Russia-leaning opposition, outlined the prospect in an interview before a presidential election runoff in…

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Mueller Probe Did Not Establish Trump Coordination With Russia, U.S. Attorney General Says

U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday offered some details of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia‘s role in the 2016 U.S. election before making it public, emphasizing that it found no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow. Barr, a Trump appointee, gave a news conference ahead of the planned release of the…

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Abramovich Partner’s Marijuana Business Returns Him to Forbes’ Richest Russians List

A marijuana business has helped Roman Abramovich’s associate Andrei Bloch return to Forbes magazine’s list of richest Russians. Bloch briefly served as president of oil producer Sibneft from 1998 until Abramovich sold it to Russia’s state energy firm Gazprom in 2005. Bloch and another partner bought Abramovich’s Unimilk dairy business in 2004 — which merged…

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Internet Added $60Bln to Russia’s Economy in 2018, Study Says

Russia’s internet sector has contributed 3.9 trillion rubles ($60.8 billion) to the overall economy last year, an 11 percent increase from 2017, according to the Russian Association of Electronic Communications. The study correlates with Kremlin estimates that Russian internet companies account for about 4 percent of gross domestic product. E-commerce accounts for half of Russia’s…

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