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German machine builders fear Russia might start imports from Asia

German machine builders fear Russia might start imports from Asia

28 August 2014 | 19:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. In view of the EU sanctions, Russia might start to import machines from Asia and Latin America. Eckhard Cordes, Chairman of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, which represents German business, made the comment, citing the results of research the Committee conducted, RIA Novosti reported.
”While the deliveries of whole machines does not cause concern, we begin to be worried in connection with the deliveries of spare parts because of the possibility for them to be used in the military sphere,” Cordes said, as quoted by the press service of the Committee.
”We fear big part of the Russian trade system will be directed towards Asia or Latin America,” he added and proposed the EU specify the parameters of the sanctions and provide individual permits for trade with Russia to the companies.
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Ukraine parliament sends anti-Russian sanctions bill to president for signature

Ukraine parliament sends anti-Russian sanctions bill to president for signature

27 August 2014 | 13:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Oleksander Turchynov has sent a bill on anti-Russian sanctions adopted by the country’s legislature to President Petro Poroshenko for signature, the local TV company TSN reported on Wednesday, as cited by ITAR-TASS.
The TV company did not specify when exactly the anti-Russian sanctions law had been submitted to the presidential administration.
The Ukrainian parliament adopted a package of anti-Russian sanctions by 242 votes on August 14.
The law gives Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council the right to block assets, restrict trade operations, stop, fully or partially, the transit of resources, air flights and haulages via the Ukrainian territory; prevent an outflow of capital, suspend the implementation of financial and economic obligations and annul licenses.
In addition, the anti-Russian measures may ban or restrict Russian sea vessels from calling at Ukrainian ports and entering Ukraine’s territorial waters and bar planes from entering the Ukrainian airspace and landing at Ukraine’s airports.
Ukraine is supposed to terminate all trade agreements with Russia, stop all joint projects and industrial programs in certain spheres, including defense and security.
The measures also provide for stopping cultural exchanges, scientific cooperation, educational and sport contacts, entertainment programs; denying visas to the residents of foreign countries and cancelling official visits, meetings and talks for the conclusion of treaties and agreements.
Prior to the final vote, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that a ban of mail services and restrictions on media and printed editions should be excluded from the anti-Russian package. “Such decisions can be passed in Ukrainian courts,” the premier explained.
At the same time, the Ukrainian government suggested imposing sanctions against 174 Russians and citizens of other states, as well as 65 Russian companies.
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Ukraine expects NATO to offer 'practical help' at summit: PM

Ukraine expects NATO to offer 'practical help' at summit: PM

27 August 2014 | 13:07 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Wednesday that Kiev expected NATO to act to help Ukraine at a summit next week, AFP announced.
"We expect our Western partners and the alliance to provide practical help and take crucial decisions at the summit in September," Yatsenyuk said at a government meeting.
"We need help," he said.
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European Parliament fails to calculate impact of sanctions prior to implementation

European Parliament fails to calculate impact of sanctions prior to implementation

27 August 2014 | 11:34 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. The European Parliament did not conduct any of its own official studies on the impact of its sanctions against Russia prior to their implementation or to this day, said Director-General of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) Anthony Teasdale and Secretary-General of the European Parliament (EP) Klaus Welle on Tuesday, as cited by RIA Novosti.
“On sanctions, no we have not, in the European Parliament Research Service, done any analysis on the financial implications,” said Teasdale in response to a question from RIA Novosti at a Wilson Center event on EU economic integration.
He said there had been no requests from parliamentary committees, noting that “the committees have not been meeting for the last three or four months, because we’ve been having European elections.”
On July 31, the European Commission officially adopted stricter sanctions against Russia. According to the EP officials, this was done without a comprehensive study of the costs to Europeans. The sanctions barred access to secondary capital markets, the arms trade, and trade in technology used in oil exploration and production. Numerous European countries have already argued that the Western countries' sanctions and the food import ban imposed by Russia on August 7 are damaging the economy.
“I was surprised myself that we hadn’t produced this,” said Welle of an outside study citing the impact, specifically, of the European oil trade with Russia being cut back. “On the question of did we calculate the effect of the sanctions specifically on this end, I am not aware of that.”
On August 7, Russia imposed a ban on food imported from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway in response to the Western sanctions. The ban targets meat, seafood, dairy products, fruit and vegetables and other food, and is expected to last one year.
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Russian minister urges deficit spending to beat sanctions

Russian minister urges deficit spending to beat sanctions

25 August 2014 | 16:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Russia's economy minister urged Monday an easing of budget rules to allow a bigger deficit to finance investments needed to overcome Western sanctions, AFP reported.
"With a responsible planned increase in the budget deficit we would unleash a new wave of economic stimulus, which is so important in this tense geopolitical situation," Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said.
His remarks came in a commentary in the business daily Vedomosti.
"We have a real opportunity to set right the work of key sectors of the economy and it is very important that we use it," he added.
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Merkel says 'cannot rule out' new Russia sanctions over Ukraine

Merkel says 'cannot rule out' new Russia sanctions over Ukraine

23 August 2014 | 17:37 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she could not rule out new sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, following talks with President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev, AFP reported.
"We cannot rule out thinking about further sanctions if things do not progress," Merkel said, calling also for a "bilateral ceasefire and effective border controls" to help end the conflict in the east of the country.
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Merkel, Obama warn of 'dangerous escalation' in Ukraine

Merkel, Obama warn of 'dangerous escalation' in Ukraine

23 August 2014 | 03:49 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Friday that Russia was triggering a "dangerous escalation" of the conflict in Ukraine due to its military presence and shelling there, AFP reports.
In a telephone call with Merkel, Obama said the conflict "has continued to deteriorate" since a Malaysian airliner was downed last month over rebel-held territory in Ukraine.
The West accuses Russian-backed separatists of shooting down the plane, while Moscow blames Ukraine.
Obama and Merkel "agreed that Russia sending a convoy into Ukraine without Ukraine's approval is a further provocation and a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the White House said.
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Fitch downgrades Ukraine's LC IDR to 'CCC'

Fitch downgrades Ukraine's LC IDR to 'CCC'

23 August 2014 | 03:08 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. Fitch Ratings has downgraded Ukraine's Long-term local currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'CCC' from 'B-' and affirmed its Long-term foreign currency IDR at 'CCC', the agency announced, as cited by Reuters.
The Country Ceiling has been affirmed at 'CCC' and the Short-term foreign currency IDR at 'C'.
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U.S. says Russia must pull convoy from Ukraine or face more sanctions

U.S. says Russia must pull convoy from Ukraine or face more sanctions

23 August 2014 | 01:20 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. The United States demanded Moscow remove an aid convoy it sent into rebel-held eastern Ukraine without permission on Friday, accusing Russia of a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of its former Soviet neighbor and threatening more sanctions, Reuters reports.
Moscow, which has thousands of troops close to the Russian side of the border, warned against any attempt to "disrupt" the convoy, which it said was purely humanitarian. It did not say what action it might take if the Ukrainian military intervened.
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UN Security Council meets over Russia aid convoy

UN Security Council meets over Russia aid convoy

22 August 2014 | 23:13 | FOCUS News Agency
New York. The UN Security Council met for emergency consultations on Friday after Russia sent an aid convoy rolling into eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow rebels are fighting Kiev's forces, AFP reports.
Lithuanian Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite, whose country requested the urgent meeting, said the incursion of scores of Russian trucks into Ukraine without Kiev's consent was a "violation of Ukraine's sovereignty."
Ukraine described the convoy as an "invasion" while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced his deep concern and called for restraint.
Council members began the talks behind closed doors at 3 pm (1900 GMT) and were to hear a briefing from senior UN official Oscar Fernandez-Taranco on the convoy that the West fears could be used to help separatist forces.
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Militia place roadblocks for security of Russia humanitarian convoy

Militia place roadblocks for security of Russia humanitarian convoy

22 August 2014 | 17:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Donetsk. Militias have placed roadblocks for safe delivery of a convoy of trucks with Russian humanitarian aid sent to residents in east Ukraine, the army headquarters in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Friday, cited by ITAR-TASS.
“Militias have placed traffic control posts and roadblocks for delivery of a convoy of trucks from Russia which is sending humanitarian aid to residents in Novorossia [unrecognized federative union state of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics]. Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops continue massive artillery shelling on Luhansk and Novoselovka which is situated on the convoy’s route,” news agency Novorossia quoted representatives of Donetsk People’s Republic as saying.
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Germany blames economic decline on Russia sanctions

Germany blames economic decline on Russia sanctions

22 August 2014 | 14:37 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. Germany’s sudden second-quarter economic contraction was probably due to Russian sanctions and confidence eroded by the crisis in Ukraine, Reuters news agency quoted the finance ministry as saying on Friday, cited by ITAR-TASS.
The ministry’s monthly report obtained by Reuters shows that Europe's largest economy shrank by 0.2% between April and June after growing 0.7% in the first quarter thanks largely to an unusually mild winter that gave a boost to construction activity at the start of the year.
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Kiev accuses Russia of 'direct invasion' over aid convoy

Kiev accuses Russia of 'direct invasion' over aid convoy

22 August 2014 | 13:53 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukraine's security chief on Friday accused Russia of a "direct invasion" after Moscow sent a disputed aid convoy into the war-torn east of the country, Interfax reported.
"We are saying that this is a direct invasion. Under the cynical guise of the Red Cross these are military vehicles," Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, the head of Ukraine's SBU security agency, was quoted as saying by Interfax Ukraine news agency.
Another security official said that Moscow was "exclusively responsible" for the security of the convoy as it crosses rebel-held territory.
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Russia targets McDonald's in expanding East-West trade war

Russia targets McDonald's in expanding East-West trade war

21 August 2014 | 13:33 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Russian authorities launched nationwide inspections of McDonald's restaurants Thursday after shutting several wildly-popular Moscow locations on apparent government orders aimed at striking back against biting Western sanctions, AFP reported.
It was the latest salvo in Russia's escalating and economically-bruising trade war with Europe and the United States over the conflict in Ukraine that has already sent East-West relations into what some have dubbed a "new Cold War".
Russia has a long history of using food safety concerns as a political weapon against unfriendly countries.
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Russia sanctions over Ukraine 'must continue': Merkel

Russia sanctions over Ukraine 'must continue': Merkel

18 August 2014 | 17:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Riga. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said Western sanctions against Russia "must continue in order to show how serious we are" on the Ukraine crisis, AFP reported.
"If we sit still and allow the situation to escalate, that would not be a desired situation," she said in the Latvian capital Riga after talks with the Baltic state's Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma.
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Russian sanctions decreased the prices of fruit and vegetables

Russian sanctions decreased the prices of fruit and vegetables

18 August 2014 | 02:56 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Wholesale prices of some fruit and vegetables are dropping, as registered by the Bulgarian Commodity Exchange and Wholesale Markets State Commission, 24 Chasa daily reports.

There is a 33.6% decrease in the price of Polish tomatoes, 20% drop in the price of apples; decrease is registered also with prices of cucumbers, peppers, cabbage and carrots. There is unofficial information among experts that the reason for the cheaper prices is the Russian embargo on EU agricultural exports, the daily writes.
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New NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

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