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By John Helmer, Moscow The British Court of Appeal has issued a ruling to deny the Sovcomflot group and its Novoship subsidiary the right to appeal a corruption judgement to the Supreme Court, the highest of the British courts. The judgement puts an end to nine years of attempts by Sovcomflot group chief executive Sergei [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In a unanimous three-judge ruling issued on Friday, the UK Court of Appeal has rejected a claim from Novoship, the state shipping company which is part of the Sovcomflot group, for recovery of more than $243 million in profits and interest. Novoship had claimed the money was earned corruptly by vessel [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The US Navy’s current Russia containment tactic in the Black Sea has been unable to negotiate refuelling from naval or civilian fuel tankers while under way at sea, and requires port calls for fuel every seven days. The Navy has announced that its missile cruiser, USS Vella Gulf, put into the [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The USS Vella Gulf is the latest US Navy warship to be deployed in what Washington is calling its “mission to reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners of America’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working towards mutual goals in the region… It demonstrates our commitment to our … [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The latest but one in the US Navy deployments to the Black Sea ended on Monday when the frigate, USS Taylor, sailed south through the Bosphorus Straits. Three days before on May 9 the cruiser, USS Vella Gulf, had been reported as due to steam north through the straits and into [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The US Navy has announced that it has called back its frigate, USS Taylor, from the Souda Bay repair dock in Crete, and ordered her into the Black Sea from April 22. The Navy announcement says the mission is a routine one “consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law. Taylor’s [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow On Thursday President Vladimir Putin described NATO missile batteries aimed at Russia’s Black Sea coastline as threatening the nuclear defences of southwestern Russia. It was the first time the president or Russian defence officials have put Crimea into Russian strategic survival doctrine. US Navy deployment in the Black Sea of ships [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow From the affairs of the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), once chaired by Igor Sechin and run by his protégé Roman Trotsenko, much of significance flows, if not a great many new ships. And if it weren’t for the significance of those two names, not much would follow from the case [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A Russian declaration of war and the despatch of troops to secure the Crimea would be very serious things, if they materialized. The Financial Times reporter, Kathrin Hille (image), is the only person in the entire world who claims to have been told by “a senior government official”: “If Ukraine breaks [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If Ziyavudin Magomedov hadn’t persuaded a Moscow business newspaper to report yesterday that he is in negotiations with Rosneft, world’s largest publicly traded oil producer, the news that Vitol, world’s largest oil trader, has abandoned a 3-year old venture to build a new Rotterdam oil terminal with Magomedov would have been [...]