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By John Helmer in Moscow The Russian government now leads the international naval powers’ tablewith 29 pirates under arrest, 14 more than the number being held by France, which has taken an estimated 71 Somalis in all; sent 11 to prison in Kenya; killed 4; and returned the rest to the Somali shore. The US [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow In the global marketplace for potash — one of the vital nutrients for plant growth, food production, and fertilizer fortune — noone is sharper at spotting a bargain than China. That’s because Chinese farmers, and the state fertilizer distributors, comprise the world’s largest consumers and importers of potash. And more [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russia’s maiden LNG terminal became operational in late 2008, after years of controversy over seismic and ground contamination onshore; threats to whale habitats at sea and tax evasion claims in Moscow. Gazprom, Russia’s dominant gas producer and monopoly exporter, now has shareholding control of the project operator, Sakhalin Energy, replacing [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Confirmation this week by Mechel of its takeover of the West Virginia coal producer, Bluestone, has drawn fire from Moscow bank and brokerage analysts, who claim the price paid exceeds the value of the deal. The Mechel announcement was issued on April 22, confirming details of a transaction which first [...]

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April 18-19, 2009 Ben Fenton of the Financial Times, London, for “Standard’s new owner adopts hands-off approach”: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a8989b3a-2bb0-11de-b806-00144feabdc0.html Letter

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Deripaska’s cashflow chart By John Helmer in Moscow Clark’s Nutcracker is the name of a bird, a member of the crow family, and one of the most famous in the world for a feat of intelligence few human beings, even certified public accountants, can match. Ornithologists have observed that this fellow can remember hundreds of [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow For the first time since Russian goldminer listings began on the London Stock Exchange more than a decade ago, Russian shareholders have taken a major Russian goldminer to the UK regulator, alleging asset stripping and share value dilution, along with the charge that no justice is possible in the Russian [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow President Dmitry Medvedev will make his first visit to Africa in June, with stops planned in Egypt, Nigeria, and Angola. The disclosure of the Russian President’s first Africa trip was made in an interview with Business Day by Mikhail Margelov, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow If the senior management of Alrosa, the world’s number-2 diamond miner, mounted the review platform above Lenin’s tomb in Red Square, and stood in line for a two-hour military review, the goings-on inside the corporate executive suite wouldn’t be any clearer. But the body language might signal whether the company’s [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow A report issued this week warns that Russian steelmills may try to export their way out of the current global economic crisis, exploiting their low-cost power and raw material advantages, and creating a potential glut in global steel supplies for another twelve months or longer. Steel analysts from the Swiss [...]