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Against the odds: The USSR and East-West Germany energy relations

... attempted to convince European leaders not to accept any further natural gas supplies from the USSR (sounds familiar 1,2,3). The failure to convince his European partners left the Reagan Administration with the only remaining option – to impose sanctions on gas compressor station elements, that were produced in the US. This eventually led to a major political crisis and the sanctions were removed several months later. The Urengoy pipeline constructions continued and as a result of the previously ...

06.06.2016 12:08:00

Germany and Russia Intensify Gas Cooperation Despite Political Tension

The quality of the commercial cooperation between Russian and Western European companies in the energy sector has remained significant, despite the sanctions regime. Strong economic rationale seems to prevail over politics. The German-Russian relations have been the most prominent in the region and have long-existed under the mutual awareness of interdependence. This perceived paradigm has led to ...

27.05.2016 12:32:00

Circumventing sanctions: Yamal LNG becomes a precedent

The Yamal LNG project has recently demonstrated that Russia’s eastward pivot may in fact provide a solution to the financial constrains, imposed as a result of the Ukraine-related Western sanctions against Russian companies and individuals. Russian, French and Chinese investors have found a way to guarantee the completion of the Yamal LNG project, despite Washington’s eagerness to halt Russian energy companies from developing the ...

16.05.2016 10:22:00

The European Sanctions, Italy and the Russian Federation: How Rome Can Help Moscow inside the EU

... peninsula with Moscow. The last initiative made by the European establishment against the Russian Federation reaffirmed, once again, the deteriorated status of bilateral relations between the Kremlin and Brussels, aggravated by the long lasting adoption of sanctions and counter-sanctions. The European message is clear: the dialogue with Russia, for now frozen, will only be reopened in case of return of Crimea to Ukraine, an option that currently seems extremely far from reality. If the EU’s position ...

06.05.2016 11:31:00

“Shields up – Red Alert!” The Wall’s in Europe are suddenly going back up

... inflaming an already intense situation, by allegedly planting snipers, in unmarked uniforms, around Maiden Square, during the public meeting in February 2014 and then having their hired guns, pick off people in the crowd. Mr. Putin gets the blame – sanctions are initiated The EU leaders and the US admin then immediately blamed Mr. Putin as culprit, for initiating that incident: with both Secretary of State, John Kerry and President Obama going on a withering verbal, undignified and wholly undiplomatic ...

20.10.2015 20:56:00

A Year of sanctions against Russia – and now what?

A few days ago the Centre of Strategic and International Studies published a detailed analysis on the results of the economic sanctions imposed on Russia. Its author, Simon De Galbert, gave also some policy recommendations in case some future scenarios will materialize. Here I report the main points. • Transatlantic sanctions adopted against Russia, a strategy of hard ...

12.10.2015 00:19:00


Last week I attended a conference titled “Russia’s food market in 2015”; it was the first of a series of panels that took place in occasion of the 24th World Food Exhibition, a well-known event which brought to Moscow more than 1500 firms from over 70 countries. At the discussion participated the Presidents of many Russian Commercial Unions in the food sector from one side and spokesmen of the Russian and Belarusian Ministries of Agriculture on the other. Issues such as the politics...

23.09.2015 18:10:00

Russian Food Embargo: Between Political Myths and Economic Realities

Interview with professor Sonin, esteemed economist of the University of Chicago Russia has back fired to the western sanctions by banning the import of a wide range of food products in the context of the Ukrainian crisis. According to Russian authorities, this is a two-fold policy: on the one hand, it is economically non-profitable for the targeted countries, whereas,...

16.09.2015 23:11:00

Public Opinion, Lobbies and Sanctions

... the Malaysian airplane MH17 in July 2014 marked a clear turning point in the context of the Ukrainian crisis. The EU leaders put aside their divisions and adopted a resolute approach on Russia for the first time. Russia’s partial isolation, the sanctions’ escalation and the crucial deterioration of the relation with the EU began with that. More than a year has passed since then but tensions are far from ending. Amid Russia’s veto for setting up a UN backed tribunal prosecuting ...

02.09.2015 16:12:00

Behind Russia’s self-imposed food ban

On August 4 last year, Vladimir Putin responded to the latest round of sanctions levied against his regime by imposing a ban on the import of food products from the EU, the US, and their supporters. The disruption of commerce was worth approximately $12 billion to the Russian economy, with secondary effects in the targeted ...

26.08.2015 18:09:00

SPIEF 2015: Economic Opportunities in Russia Trump Western Political and Security Concerns

... security and business interests over Russia limits the West's success going forward vis-à-vis Moscow. Political differences continue to clash in Europe regarding Russia, despite the fact that EU foreign ministers unanimously extended sanctions against Russia through January 2016. But that level of coherence is even less visible in the business sector. European and American companies, despite scaling back their exposure to the Russian market, have largely committed to maintaining ...

26.06.2015 16:07:00

How Italy is Paying a High Price for Anti-Russian Policies

Just a few days ago the European Union has confirmed that the economic sanctions against the Russian Federation were extended for another year, or specifically up to 19th January 2016. Despite attempts to minimize the perceived impact of this policy on the economy of the EU in the eyes of the public opinion, the price being ...

25.06.2015 13:34:00

Go East and List

... being outside of the MMoU had been a major issue for Russian companies considering capital raising in China, and fears were expressed as late as January that, amidst ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russia's signing of the MMoU might be further delayed. Sanctions have been most effective in squeezing Russian banks and businesses by preventing them from meeting their borrowing needs. In April of last year Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Russian companies to delist from Western stock exchanges,...

27.02.2015 00:11:00

A Chess Match for the Control of Oil

... operation. Breaking another economy through a oil price war alone might prove a risky endeavor when the attacker is highly dependent on oil themselves, but chances of success could be improved if pressure is applied by other means, namely if economic sanctions are added to the equation. So, talking about the real targets, Russia is the only one really mentioned by the Minister, and given the tones of West's foreign policy, there was no need to dissimulate this occurrence, because doing so ...

30.12.2014 21:27:00

Germany, Europe and Russia: Walls Instead of Bridges

... the risk is the same expressed by an old Latin brocard, which is simply: together they stand, together they fall. It is just the case to point out that the hit suffered by the German industry is ironically emerging after the enactment of the economic sanctions against Moscow, of which Chancellor Merkel was a most strenuous advocate. This kind of measures produces effects after the elapsing of a latency period, and they have a very high likelihood of backfiring, an occurrence which was likely produced ...

17.11.2014 18:41:00

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Poll conducted

  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
     33 (31%)
    U.S. wants to deter Russia’s military and political activity  
     30 (28%)
    U.S. wants to dissolve Russia  
     24 (22%)
    U.S. wants to establish alliance relations with Russia under the US conditions to rival China  
     21 (19%)
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