Russian President Vladimir Putin is addressing the Federal Assembly - both houses of parliament, the cabinet and other dignitaries - outlining his stance on his policies for the coming year.
‘Putin made perfectly clear that Russia won’t be bullied by West’
RT.com December 04, 2014 15:23
The West was hoping that sanctions and the falling ruble would force Russia to shift its policy, but Putin made it clear during his Federal Assembly address that Russia will continue its course, Mark Sleboda of Moscow State University, told RT.
RT: Some strong words yet again from the Russian president. What kind of reaction can we expect from the West?
Mark Sleboda: We can expect more of the same. These are not new words, they are just the reiteration that Russia will continue the course that it is not deterred by sanctions, it is not deterred by the buildup of NATO forces on its border, and it is not determined by harsh rhetoric from the West. Russia will stay the course and it will not change its foreign policy or sense of national interests because of Western aggression in either economic or military form against it.
RT: President Putin has said that sovereignty is important for Russia and its Western partners should realize that. Do you think that is likely to happen?
MS: Of course no. I think Putin said it ironically for rhetorical effect. The US, the West in general, stopped believing in sovereignty of nations back at the end of the Cold War. And we have seen that repeatedly: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. Sovereignty is conditional in this new world order that was created when with aliment with Western foreign policy interests and hegemony. If you don’t have that aliment you don’t have sovereignty. This is what Russia is reacting against.
RT: Also the president said that the West would have found some other way to hold Russia back, even if it wasn't for Ukraine's crisis. What do you make of that?
MS: Not only would the West have found something else other than sanctions but the whole Ukraine crisis itself is not primarily directed at Ukraine, or the Ukrainian people which are of marginal interest to either the US or the EU, but at Russia and the reconsolidation of the Eurasian space and the economic union. That is the entire purpose of the Ukrainian crisis.
RT: Putin accused the US of always meddling in the affairs of Russia's neighboring states. So what kind of reaction to this can we expect from the West?
MS: Of course this won’t be accepted by the West and it is something that Western politicians, analysts don’t even acknowledge that it is happening and they never had during the whole spate of color revolutions all across the former Soviet space and most recently in Ukraine. We can’t forget that we saw US and EU politicians on the Maidan stage preaching to armed rioters that were calling for revolution against their country openly supporting them. That is an aggressive violation of Ukraine sovereignty and interference in its domestic political affairs. This whole putsch that happened, this whole propping up by the West, the arming of it - Russia is not going to forget it and Russia is not going to accept it.
From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma during a meeting with the heads of state and government of BRICS member countries, which took place before the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. (RIA Novosti)From left: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma during a meeting with the heads of state and government of BRICS member countries, which took place before the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. (RIA Novosti)
RT: Just before he made the address, America's President lashed out at Putin for leading an aggressive and dated policy, saying that Putin “has been improvising himself into a nationalist, backward-looking approach to Russian policy that is scaring the heck out of his neighbors and is badly damaging his economy.” What do you think will be Obama’s reaction to that?
MS: Not only the US but the EU, primarily Germany, were hoping that the sanctions, this most likely engineered collapse in global oil prices, the drop in the ruble, would force Russia to shift course. And Putin’s speech has made perfectly clear that Russia is not going to be bullied by the US and by Europe. Of course hearing the words “nationalist” and “aggressive” coming out from the US President who has military forces operating in a dozen countries around the world, and who had no respect for Ukraine sovereignty just a year ago when they were encouraging riots to overthrow the government, comes across as a little hypocritical.
RT: The Russian president also reiterated that Moscow will search for new partners. Who might that be? And does this mean further strengthening of the BRICS on the international scene?
MS: First of all, Putin is not addressing the West as partners anymore -we have to acknowledge this was said with a certain bit of irony- that is not the case anymore. It is not new partners. Russia has well developed relations particularly with the BRICS nations but also with the other countries around the world: Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, so on. It is the West that views itself as the world, and the West is not the World. And Russia has good relations with most of the rest of the world.
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2014 16:30:41 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
This is basically 1998 all over again, but the whole thing is happening gradually.
One lesson should be learnt well - never trust the RUB. Russian economics separely from oil exports, is a colossus with legs of clay, same as 14 years ago. Nothing has changed.
But how fares the fracking? They can't keep this up? And it's just a bubble that will burst n then the yanks are out of options methinks.
Russia limits American poultry imports.
RT.com December 04, 2014 12:10
The import of US poultry into Russia has been temporarily banned by the sanitary regulator after the discovery of “harmful and “illegal” substances in the products.
The temporary ban applies to all poultry and processed poultry products, Russia’s consumer hygiene authority, Rosselkhoznadzor, said in a statement Thursday.
The restriction comes into force starting December 5.
Russia has found “harmful residues and illegal substances coming from US poultry products, including the presence of antibiotics,” the statement says.
Rosselkhoznadzor deputy head Nikolai Vlasov has contacted the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) about the “gross violations of the requirements and regulations of the Customs Union,” which Vlasov says indicates the US isn’t properly controlling its products.
The hygiene authority suggests the situation could be resolved when representatives meet American colleagues January 15-17 in Berlin at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2015.
On Wednesday the regulator banned the import of poultry from Germany and cattle from Italy, Hungary and Montenegro over bird flu fears. Pork imports from Europe have been banned since an outbreak of swine fever in January.
Russia's agricultural watchdog has halted the import of vegetables from Albania starting from Dec. 8, over concerns it was acting as a conduit for EU imports to Russia via Belarus.
On August 7, Moscow announced a one-year ban on food imports from Western countries, including poultry from the US. The ban was aimed at all countries that have levied sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
But how fares the fracking? They can't keep this up? And it's just a bubble that will burst n then the yanks are out of options methinks.
I have no clue, but I hope so.
Some claim that the Saudis want to accelerate this with the low oil prices.
Saudis want to end fracking?
Cutting Russia out of SWIFT banking system would mean ‘war’ – head of VTB.
RT.com December 04, 2014 09:33
Excluding Russia from the global SWIFT banking transactions system is another form of sanctions and would mean “war,” said Andrey Kostin, head of VTB Russia’s second largest bank, adding that should it happen Russia has a “Plan B.”
"In my personal opinion, if such a sanction is introduced it would mean war," Kostin said in an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper. If Russian banks no longer have access to SWIFT, the American ambassador would leave Moscow the same day, he said.
Kostin added that the banking system is highly dependent on the dollar and euro, and is the most vulnerable part of the Russian economy. However, he said Russia has an alternative should the SWIFT system be no longer available to Russia. Last month the Bank of Russia said it’s going to launch an alternative for financial transactions in May 2015.
“There is much talk about the possibility of disconnection from SWIFT,” said VTB’s first deputy president Yuri Soloviev to Kommersant. He explained that 90 percent of all banking transactions are domestic that can be processed through alternatives to SWIFT.
"Problems may occur with the remaining payments passing through foreign contractor banks, but we are actively working on possible solutions," he added, saying VTB hopes disconnection from SWIFT won’t happen.
Earlier Andrey Kostin said that VTB is in talks with Sberbank on creating a new alternative to SWIFT.
After the US and EU imposed sanctions on Russian banks there were fears that the next stage would be cutting Russia off from the SWIFT system.
A call to shut down the SWIFT system in Russia first came from British Prime Minister David Cameron. A resolution in the European Parliament also included such a proposal.
However, SWIFT representatives said that they will not switch Russia off the company’s services despite political pressure, adding it has "no authority" to make unilateral sanctions decisions. The company said it can happen only if the EU takes the decision.
SWIFT is a global banking transactions system connected to more than 10,000 financial institutions in 210 countries. The daily turnover of payments made via SWIFT is around $6 trillion. Russia is the world’s second largest SWIFT customer after the US.
VTB Bank President and CEO Andrei Kostin (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)
Sanctioned Russian banks begin testing national payment system next week.
RT.com December 08, 2014 13:18
Russia’s Rossiya and SMP banks, which fell under Western sanctions, are among the eight lenders that will start testing the country’s new national payment system on December 15.
"The pilot project involves SMP Bank and Rossiya Bank, those for which the story is very critical and important. These are quite large banks,” the head of the Russian National payment system (NPS) Vladimir Komlev said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV.
The move comes as a part of Russia’s ambitious initiative to move away from the Western dominance of its financial markets. Last month the Russian Central Bank said it would have its own international inter-bank payment system, an alternative to the global SWIFT network up and running by May 2015.
Gazprombank, Rosbank, Alfa Bank and Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development are among eight other banks to join the pilot project. They were selected based on the size of business, location and technology platform, Komlev said.
Another bank involved in NPS testing is Russia’s second largest VTB. Recently its management has been vocal about the need to make Russia’s financial system more self-sufficient and ditch the US Dollar, Vedomosti reports.
The bank will soon connect to the NPS to test the system and be ready for any potential difficulties with payments in the future.
Komlev said the new system’s principle of operating will remain the same. The use of the existing formats will be more convenient for banks; they won’t have to reconfigure their software.
The latest version of the NPS technology is being tested by the Russian Openway Solutions company.
"The modules themselves are something unique, independent, only partly related to the Openway. Now all this belongs to us: our code, the knowledge of how the system is built, and its logic. We are able to develop it and provide support," said Komlev.
NPS was established in 2014 after a number of Russian banks were hit by US and EU sanctions. In March international payment systems Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing cards issued by the banks following the introduction of the sanctions.
Russian central bank hikes key interest rate to 10.5% to combat inflation, plunging ruble.
RT.com December 11, 2014 10:38
The Russian Central Bank has increased borrowing costs to 10.5 percent to avoid a further rout of the ruble. The currency has lost more than 40 percent this year, and annual inflation is slated to reach 10 percent.
Rising inflation spurred the aggressive rate hike. The bank sees inflation hitting 10 percent for 2014. As of December 8, inflation stood at 9.4 percent, according to the Central Bank.
“Consumer prices continued to accelerate in November and the beginning of December. The increase in inflation and the expectation of devaluation creates a significant risk for inflation,” the bank said in a statement, released Thursday.
The regulator increased the rate by 100 basis points, bringing this years’ total increase to 500 basis points. At the beginning of the year the benchmark interest rate was 5.5 percent.
The bank’s board met for the last time in 2014, and said that it will continue to raise interest rates to curb rising inflation.
The bank only sees a chance of recovery in economy activity in 2017. It has revised its 2014 growth forecast to 0.6 percent.
Russia's slowed growth has been complicated by the fast slide of its currency, the ruble, which has lost more than 40 percent against major hard currencies this year. The ruble has so far reacted neutrally to the bank's decision, only dropping about 0.5 percent at 14:00 MSK, with the ruble trading 55 per USD and nearly 69 to the euro.
@schuldensuehner Bank Of #Russia Raises Interest Rates. Ups Key Rate By 100 Bps To 10.5%. Ruble little changed, now 55.13
Even though Russia has the world's third largest foreign currency reserves at just over $418 billion, it is at a four-year low and $100 billion less than this time last year. The Ukraine crisis and massive capital outflow have forced the bank to spend over $70 billion to prop up the ruble this year.
'Close to zero growth'
In 2015-2016, the Central Bank forecasts close to zero annual growth, a major revision from just September, when it predicted economic growth of 1 percent in 2015 and 1.8-2 percent in 2016. However, this forecast was based on oil prices recovering to $100 per barrel. Brent crude is currently trading under $65 per barrel.
Low oil prices threaten the Russian economy, as revenue from oil and gas exports account for more than half of the country’s budget. The Kremlin’s 2015 draft budget assumed Russia’ key Urals export blend at $100 per barrel, which has now been revised to $80 per barrel. The Brent price has lost more than 40 percent since its peak in June of $115.
The slowdown in the Russian economy is due to structural reasons, the bank said. Negative factors reducing economic activity include a low oil price, and Russia being cut off from western financial markets, as part of Western sanctions.
Russia’s counter-sanctions banning agricultural imports have contributed to rising inflation, as well as increasing the competitiveness of Russian goods. Domestically, Russia faces labor shortages, which is stunting productivity.
'Ready with $85 billion'
Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina, who has been at the helm since June 2013, said the ruble is currently undervalued by 10-20 percent and in 2015 it will strengthen. At present, the exchange rate doesn't take into account 'agitation' such as low oil prices, she said.
"We have several models; we expect fluctuations from the base demand. According to our estimates, currently such fluctuations at the current oil price range from 10 to 20 percent," Nabiullina said, as quoted by TASS.
If oil prices continue to drag down the ruble, the Central Bank has $85 billion on hand to distribute to banks in 2015 in a so-called 'stress scenario', should oil prices remain at $60 per barrel.
Another collapse of RUB, it broke trough the 55 RUB per USD threshold and in the last 3 days skyrocketed to 58 RUB per USD.
Not only the situation isn't stabilizing, the collapse is gaining speed, right now its basically one RUB more per USD every DAY.
State Duma is reviewing a new law on urgent measures to help prop up the collapsing RUB mainly to force oil exporters convert their cash into national currency at least partially - no sane businessman stores his profits in RUB unless under a barrel of a gun.
Ruble rumble: Currency gains ground after Tuesday trauma.
RT.com December 17, 2014 07:10
The Russian currency remains volatile Wednesday after it suffered its own ‘Black Tuesday’ losing about 20 percent. The ruble strengthened to 61 rubles per 1 USD, before settling near 62 at market close in Moscow.
After the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) intervened early Tuesday morning, the ruble jumped six percent, briefly trading at 60.51 to the dollar. Before that, the currency, which lost more than 20 percent on Tuesday, continued to dip in early trading.
On Monday the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) spent about $2 billion in currency interventions, the regulator said. This compares to about $774 million spent during all of November.
The Russian financial system is in turmoil with volatility high amid deregulation and uncertainty among traders.
The Russian currency has been tumbling since the CBR abandoned its long-time regulation policy and left the ruble to free float. This week the ruble experienced its worst plunge, with officials saying the situation is as the 2008 financial crisis.
On Tuesday the dollar hit 80 rubles, while the euro passed the 100-ruble benchmark, although they dropped back to 68 and 85 rubles respectively by the end of trading.
Still the bank refuses to impose stricter regulation of currency markets like going back to massive market interventions or forcing exporting companies to sell a share of their profits in the market. Taking these actions “was not discussed in any way,” according to Economy Minister Aleksey Ulyukaev, who took part in an emergency meeting with government members and central bank officials on Tuesday evening.
The US tech giant Apple Inc. was quick to react, saying Tuesday it is suspending online sales in Russia due to the rapid descent of the ruble.
"Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing," Apple public relations representative Alan Hely told Bloomberg.
This is the second currency-related move by Apple since the ruble started its free fall. In November the company raised the price of the iPhone 6 by 25 percent in Russia.
Another warning came from the MSCI investment company that said Russia may be excluded from the MSCI Emerging Markets Index amid the recent economic distress.
It said Russia may be taken off the index if the Russian government chooses to start controlling capital flows or currency transactions, as "freedom of capital inflows and outflows is one of the main classification criteria for an emerging market."
So far Russia has said it will not introduce any form of capital controls.
The Russian government believes the ruble is currently undervalued and will rebound soon, as the rush to sell the currency eases and companies start buying it to pay taxes later this month.
The weakening of the ruble comes as a result of several factors, including the dropping price of oil, Western sanctions against Russia that made it much harder for Russian financial system to obtain foreign credit, and a panic that hit traders amid the market volatility.
Less trade with west is best and rely on domestic market more too! Russia will, in time, come out of this stronger and the west weaker with fewer cards!
Russia: Putin urges businesses to invest in assets.
RuptlyTV Dec 19, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the country's leading businesspeople to participate in the diversification of the Russian economy, promising them assistance from the state, he said during a meeting in Moscow on Friday.
Zormovich: Russia thinks it can win by brute force and that it can enslave other countries. It can only enslave weak Russians who are scares to fight for their own freedom in their country. All ture Slavic people will gladly kill all Russians. Stay being a slave.
Apr 7, 2022 14:36:30 GMT -5
Zormovich: You hate ukranians for no reason other than wanting Russians to rule them and power. Cannot wait for your mixed Mongolian blood to sstarve soon. Enjoy your corruption and cheap Chinese food.
Apr 7, 2022 14:38:18 GMT -5
SlavsAgainstNaziRussians: This Tsar talking about serfdom when russian people starve and are killed by their own government. hahahah Russians are slaves living in fear everyday 🤣
Apr 7, 2022 18:12:29 GMT -5
BanningFreeSpeech: Hey morons, banning me means nothing. You are Nazi like your government you are slave to. Get on your knees and suck off your local officials slaves.
Apr 8, 2022 13:02:44 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Considering how EU destroyed east european industry after the cold war, you think ukraine will get some marshal plan when eu has screwed over everyone so far? I mean, you are probably braindead americans who know nothing about anything..
Apr 9, 2022 19:18:34 GMT -5
Chorny-Vor: Zormovich, my Russian ass and your traitor tongue could become good friends.
Apr 12, 2022 13:49:08 GMT -5
Igor Malinovski: 70 days, and they're still fighting for Mariupol.
May 4, 2022 13:18:31 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: If it wasn't for Russian civilians, they could have carpet-bombed the area, turned it into a parking lot, in general there has been very small scale mass bombings, far below what they are capable of..
May 16, 2022 23:13:49 GMT -5
Lupul Dacic: Tanks seem to be quite outdated. They are too easy targets for drones and javelins.
May 25, 2022 6:08:38 GMT -5
Lupul Dacic: On the other hand, I know a shit about that.
May 28, 2022 4:40:48 GMT -5
구경꾼: Well by the looks of it, I believe that Ukraine will inevitably win the war. No way that the Russkies are going to get this far.
Jun 15, 2022 13:20:10 GMT -5
구경꾼: It is quite pathetic to support Russia unconditionally.
Jun 15, 2022 13:39:03 GMT -5
구경꾼: All their supporters rely on is their own echo chambers of misinformation.
Jun 15, 2022 13:39:32 GMT -5
구경꾼: Antagonisation of the West will only bring you down.
Jun 17, 2022 0:59:44 GMT -5
Boro: This war is a tragedy, and "the West" contributed a lot to the escalation.
Jun 19, 2022 1:18:23 GMT -5
Boro: Tsar, what's up?
Jun 25, 2022 17:41:13 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: hello, sorri, been busy, will be free whole july, will update posts fer sure then, or before then
Jun 27, 2022 10:16:49 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: seems like Russia is crushing the ukrainian twitter warriors
Jun 27, 2022 10:17:22 GMT -5
Boro: Don't be sorry. Life has priority. Take Care.
Jun 28, 2022 15:35:39 GMT -5