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By John Helmer, Moscow Ukrainian government and commercial interests are lobbying the US Government to support a stealth sanction against VSMPO-AVISMA, the Russian supplier of titanium to Boeing and other US aerospace companies. Instead of VSMPO, the Ukrainians are seeking US government financing for the establishment of new high-grade titanium production lines at Zaporizhye Titanium [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The sanctions programme adopted against Russia to date aims, according to this week’s declaration by US President Barack Obama, at curtailing the capabilities of the Russian government to field men and arms on or across Russian borders; and to penalize individuals and corporations for sustaining the Russian economy while the war [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Three years of litigation in New York and Delaware between Severstal and US steelmaker RG Steel over a failed Maryland steelmill, for which Alexei Mordashov paid $810 million, will be finalized at a US court hearing on July 15. Moscow and US sources report that lawyers for the two sides are [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In the New York and London markets brokers and bankers explain that they are being discreetly called by US Treasury officials with this message: buying Russian equity or debt paper is legal, but in the event there is a new round of sanctions, it will be illegal to re-sell them, so [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Nudelman is the real name of Victoria Nuland, co-author of the February 21 coup d’etat in Kiev; and author of the four-letter expletive by which she disposed, almost, of Germany’s objections to the war against Russia which has followed. In Yiddish, Nudelman is generally thought to refer to the culinary trade [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Two Russian steelmaking oligarchs, Alexei Mordashov (above, left) of Severstal, and Igor Zyuzin (right) of Mechel, went to court early this month over a debt of $4 million. The debt stems from a contract for delivery of Mechel-made metallurgical coke to Severstal’s steelmill in Dearborn, Michigan. The court is the US [...]

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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 disclosure that Severstal is planning to sell its remaining two US steelmills has taken the Russian steel industry by surprise, triggering speculation the Kremlin has asked for the move as part of the ongoing conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. For the time being, Severstal’s owner and chief [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Vladimir Lenin was one day asked about the ethics of a party member who was marrying an heiress. The party wasn’t a “finishing school”, Lenin said, but the money would come in handy, no matter how the lady in question, or her parents, acquired it. “A scoundrel,” Lenin recommended, “may be [...]

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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 [...]