Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that a compromise deal that will allow the completion of a Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further U.S. sanctions is “good for Ukraine,” the Associated Press reported. The U.S. and Germany announced the deal on Wednesday and committed to countering any Russian attempt to use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political weapon. They also agreed to support Ukraine and Poland, both of which are bypassed by the project and fear Russia’s intentions, by funding alternative energy and development projects.

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The U.S. and Germany on Wednesday announced a deal to allow the completion of a controversial Russian gas pipeline to Europe without the imposition of further U.S. sanctions, the Associated Press reported. The agreement aims to stanch fears about European dependence on Russian energy, but it was immediately assailed by critics who said it doesn’t go far enough. Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. and Germany committed to countering any Russian attempt to use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a political weapon.

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The Biden administration has reached a preliminary agreement with Germany over a controversial Russia-to-Europe gas pipeline that is vehemently opposed by Ukraine and Poland, as well as both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the Associated Press reported. Congressional aides briefed on the outlines of the deal said it would allow the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline without either Germany or Russia facing new U.S. sanctions. In return, the U.S. and Germany will make certain concessions to Ukraine and Poland, although it was not immediately clear if those would be welcomed.

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Restaurants and cafes in Moscow on Monday began requesting that patrons provide proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test as the Russian capital faces a surge of new infections, the Associated Press reported. According to a decision by city authorities last week, all Moscow restaurants, cafes and bars must only admit customers who have been vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months or can provide a negative coronavirus test from the previous 72 hours.
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The Edmond de Rothschild bank’s old Luxembourg offices were as fancy an address as you could get in the rich European duchy. On a side street by the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy, the turreted villa exuded prestige and security in equal measure. Two decades ago this month, senior officers there signed the paperwork with Russian oil magnate Sergey Bogdanchikov that entrusted his growing fortune to the storied bank.
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Russia's largest standalone oil processing plant, the Antipinsky oil refinery, was sold on Tuesday for almost 111 billion roubles ($1.50 billion) as part of bankruptcy proceedings, an online sale platform showed, Reuters reported. The online platform showed that a company called Rusinvest completed the purchase of the plant located in West Siberia. Most of Russia's oil refineries are controlled by big oil companies, such as Rosneft and Lukoil.
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Russia’s debt chiefs are working on a mechanism that will allow the government to retire costly ruble bonds sold to raise emergency funds during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported. “The goal is to restore the right structure of the portfolio so that in the next crisis, government debt can be used to conduct an active economic policy again,” Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov said in an interview. The ministry is considering possible funding sources for the buybacks, he said, without elaborating on the timing or the amount of money that might be earmarked.
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The European Union’s foreign policy chief said Monday that in the face of the big military buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine’s borders, it will only take “a spark” to set off a confrontation, the Associated Press reported. In a glum assessment of relations with Moscow, Josep Borrell also said that the condition of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was “critical” and that the 27-nation group would hold the Kremlin accountable for his health and safety.
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The Biden administration on Thursday announced tough new sanctions on Russia and formally blamed the country’s premier intelligence agency for the sophisticated hacking operation that breached American government agencies and the nation’s largest companies, the New York Times reported. In the broadest effort yet by President Biden to give more teeth to financial sanctions — which in recent years have failed to deter Russian activity — the actions are aimed at choking off lending to the Russian government. In an executive order, Mr.
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Russia is looking at introducing measures to cool a rally in steel prices to the highest in more than a decade and support the construction industry, Bloomberg News reported. One option may include a mechanism that could be used to tax sales over a certain price to provide funds to aid the construction sector, according to two people familiar with government discussions. Such a move has been proposed by the Industry Ministry.
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