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By John Helmer, Moscow Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that his government cannot raise bilateral financing from the European Union (EU) or the NATO allies, and now requires $50 billion, triple the $17 billion agreed with the IMF last April. At a meeting on Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland, with [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Roman Abramovich has bought two houses, and is negotiating for at least one more, on East 75th Street in New York for about $70 million. The New York papers are reporting that Abramovich is planning to live there with his family because his wife prefers it for her work. Abramovich’s spokesman [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Ksenia Yudaeva, the first deputy governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) in charge of Russia’s reserves and the foreign exchange rate, was sacked on January 14. A notice appeared on the Tass wire in the evening of the Old New Year’s holiday, quoting Governor Elvira Nabiullina (above). She defended [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The case for foreign investment in Ukraine is to be made by a specialist in sado-masochism, cosmetic surgery, and undress. Jaanika Merilo (above), 35, a member of the Estonian parliament of Ukrainian origin with US and UK training, was appointed the government advisor on foreign investment in Kiev on January 5. [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The response of President Vladimir Putin to this month’s killings in Paris was immediate and unequivocal; so too Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (image, left). But on receiving French President Francois Hollande’s invitation to participate in the head of state, head of government demonstration in Paris on January 11. Putin declined, and [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow President Vladimir Putin’s summons to the oligarchs for dinner on December 18 turned out to be a teddy bears’ picnic. And why not – they got all they came for, and more. The country outside got decidedly less, but for the time being how little is a state secret.

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By Ajay Goyal The Russian rouble has plunged over 52 per cent this year yet the Russian economic crisis might represent a unique opportunity for Cyprus to secure a major trade relationship with Russia without stepping outside the sanctions regime. The Russian government and central bank might impose capital controls to stem the flight of [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow MiningMaven of London is a leading source of analysis for the global mining, minerals and metals sector. For this week’s interview on what will happen next in the war against Russia, pocket your telephone, and toss your paper. Tune in here.

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By John Helmer, Moscow Soviet-era officials had a peculiar standard of professional morality and ministerial responsibility, as this is known in the political democracies. Make a colossal mistake, the red directors used to say — take the blame on yourself. Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev was the last Russian official of rank to do so. The anniversary [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Once upon a time when the US Government used to plot the overthrow of allied European governments, Ronald Reagan was President, and George Shultz his Secretary of State. On March 25, 1986, Shultz arrived in Athens, intent on delivering an ultimatum for the Greek Prime Minister, Andreas Papandreou; Shultz thought he [...]