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By John Helmer in Moscow The US federal district court judge hearing the multi-billion dollar damage claim by Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) against LUKoil has been replaced this week in Colorado, after an ADC shareholder discovered that the judge, Christine Arguello, had once worked for a law firm which has been associated with LUKoil.

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We interrupt this news bulletin to bring you a broadcast from Captain Obvious on location live above the Kremlin

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By John Helmer in Moscow The chief executive of Russia’s pipeline company Transneft, Nikolay Tokarev (left), has told Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin that there is not enough Russian crude oil to make commercially feasible the proposed trans-Balkan pipeline to a new tanker terminal at Alexandroupoli. Tokarev’s opinion, conveyed privately last September, appears to have […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Banking sources in Moscow are reporting that the sale of the Lucchini assets of the Severstal group, controlled by Alexei Mordashov, is not imminent. According to the sources, a precondition of the transaction is a refinancing or renegotiation of the terms of Lucchini’s current debts, estimated to be about €800 […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Alrosa has signed a series of three contracts worth a total of $490 million at current diamond values with three Indian cutters, traditionally Alrosa’s largest clients in India. But industry sources in Moscow say they are concerned to find out whether the announcement presages a much larger flow of Russian […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Sovcomflot, the global tanker group run by Sergei Frank (left) and Russian government officials, received a negative rating report from the Moody’s international rating agency this week, as proceedings in the company’s half-billion-dollar claim against the former management wind up in the UK High Court in London. According to Moody’s […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The Chelyabinsk prosecutor has opened a criminal investigation into a lethal explosion this week at a coke battery of the Mechel group in Chelyabinsk. One worker at the battery was killed immediately, and three others are in serious condition in hospital after the blast, which occurred, according to a company […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The state diamond stockpile agency, Gokhran, will not be purchasing as many Alrosa rough diamonds this year as had been expected and budgeted for, according to a brief statement by the Gokhran head, Vladimir Rybkin. But before Gokhran sells any of its new stocks, Rybkin said the state agency will […]

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On February 24, 2010, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was critical of Mikhail Prokhorov for failing to meet his investment obligations in the electricity generating sector.

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By John Helmer in Moscow Two chickens were lying side by side in the refrigerator case of a Moscow shop in the Soviet year of 1988. One, American, was plump and cheerful; the other, Russian, was scrawny and sarcastic. “I’m so much fitter than you,” said the American to the Russian. “Well, at least I […]