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By John Helmer, Moscow New records of the Myre Seadiver’s ill-fated stay at Lagos, Nigeria, have been made available, showing the Lagos port authorities and the Nigerian Navy gave permission for the Russian security vessel to enter the port with a stock of small arms, and that these remained on board at an anchorage in [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The relatively new President of France is visiting Russia today for the first time since Francois Hollande’s election nine months ago. At the personal and policy levels relations between Hollande and President Vladimir Putin couldn’t be much worse. They disagree over which regimes they should support, and which they should topple. [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Russian government relations with Nigeria have collapsed after negotiations have failed to free from five months of detention the Russian fleet tender vessel, Myre Seadiver, and its 15-man Russian crew. They have been charged with arms smuggling. The case is now viewed in Moscow as a repeat of the African Pride [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Rusal has lost another round in its international litigation against Andrei Raikov, the former head of bauxite and alumina supplies for Rusal’s smelters, as a New York judge ordered last week more disclosures of secret Rusal bank payments by the Bank of New York. Raikov, a 20-year friend of Oleg Deripaska, [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If you believe what the Washington and London think-tanks want you to believe, Russia’s days as the world’s dominant oil and gas exporter, blackmailer of Ukrainian independence, extortionist of the hypothermic Germans are numbered. Gazprom is on the rocks! Igor Sechin will shortly be yesterday’s man!! For those who believe, the [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander — the English proverb is not about birds or cooking, but about equal treatment. When it comes to operating tanker fleets in and out of Russia’s ports, foreign-owned vessels have been enjoying equality of access for some time. That may be [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Ziyavudin Magomedov’s hold on the ports of Novorossiysk and Primorsk, and the oil which flows into and out of them, deteriorated suddenly and publicly this week. This has triggered new concern in The Netherlands that Magomedov’s Summa Group will be unable to find the money to break ground, as scheduled next [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Yury Borisovich Rogov was such a long, close and faithful friend of Oleg Deripaska’s that he was invited to stand on Deripaska’s right at his wedding in 2001. To the left of Deripaska’s wife, Polina Yumasheva, are her parents, Valentin Yumashev and Tatiana Dyachenko — the former aide to ex-President Boris [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Last week Mother Nature delivered a once-in-a-billion-geological-year event — one of the largest natural diamonds ever found in Russia, at Alrosa’s Yubileynaya (Jubilee) mine in fareastern Sakha (Yakutia) (image right). The American diamonds found to date have been peanuts by comparison. Then ПРИРОДА МАТЬ despatched a meteorite at 54,000 kilometres per [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last week took a tour of Africa – Algeria, Mozambique, South Africa, and Guinea — in part because President Vladimir Putin told him to, ahead of Putin’s own visit to Africa in March. In part, Lavrov went to the Republic of Guinea at the bidding of [...]