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Before modernization

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By John Helmer in Moscow In the long history of collapsing empires, there is a golden rule. If and when the outflow of wealth to the foreign concessions or colonies exceeds the wealth that flows back to Empire HQ, the empire is on its last legs. There is one modification of this rule; it’s for [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow When the Kremlin decides to privatize strategic resource assets, it makes a habit of quietly arranging the buyers in advance. Although such privatizations are always announced as serving the requirement of the state treasury to maximize the asset value and take in the largest amount of cash possible for the [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Negotiations are close to a deal announcement for the takeover of the Donetsk Electrometallurgical Works (DEMZ) by Russia’s Mechel group, controlled by Igor Zyuzin (right figure). A report today from George Buzhenitsa, steel analyst at Unicredit Securities, discloses that Mechel is “in the final stages of completing the acquisition”. He [...]

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Before Mmm-Modernization

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By John Helmer in Moscow Evraz, Russia’s largest steelmaking and mining group, owned by three Russian oligarchs, continues to wage commercial war against a single Ukrainian oligarch on a Dniepropetrovsk railway track, and through the Evraz group’s Moscow press office. The contest is on home ground for Igor Kolomoisky (bottom image), who went to school [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Crew Gold, the Toronto and Oslo-listed junior miner whose gold reserves and mining operations are mostly in the West African republic of Guinea, is facing a legal challenge from Guinea’s mining minister, Mahmoud Thiam. The bad news from Guinea has landed immediately after Crew Gold’s controlling shareholder, Norwegian Jens Ulltveit-Moe [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Embattled Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou (left image) met in Moscow on Tuesday with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (right image) in hope of reviving Russian plans to deliver a new crude oil pipeline from Burgas, on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, to the Greek terminal of Alexandroupoli, on the [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Mahmoud Thiam, the US investment banker who has served for the past year as Guinea’s Minister of Mining, Energy and Hydraulics, has been reappointed to his post, according to an official government announcement from Conakry, the Guinean capital, late last night.

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Question: What measures are being taken to ensure the safety of foreigners [in Russia]? Prime Minister: That is a big problem. Unfortunately, we have all heard of very sad cases, even tragedies, that happened to foreign students in our country in the past. I think the authorities have shown a response that is commensurate with [...]