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By John Helmer, Moscow There are two reasons why  the aluminium metal markets are not making long-term bets on the price of the metal, the alumina required to make it, and the share prices of the metal producers, including Russia’s aluminium monopoly United Company Rusal. The first reason is that the US Treasury Secretary Stephen […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A politician becomes a psychopath when he or she acts without calculating the consequences for approval rating and voter support. The same thing goes for ministers and their advisers who urge military operations abroad which make voters feel unsafe at home. Fear and insecurity aren’t good for incumbents. President Donald Trump […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow US President Donald Trump didn’t mean to start a revolution. President Vladimir Putin tried persuading him not to. But on April 14 the revolution was launched by American warplanes, surface ships and a submarine. The outcome is that the US can no longer count on air superiority anywhere in the world […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow There are many Russian reasons why no Russian, man or woman, has trusted Oleg Deripaska (lead picture, on the wall), control shareholder and chief executive of the state aluminium monopoly Rusal (Russian Aluminium), for more than a few months at a time. The reasons have varied from business to business, contract […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow US Government economic sanctions have a hundred-year long history in US statutes and court cases, starting in 1917 when the US was at war with Germany. Trading with the Enemy Act was what the first statute was called.   It was clear then who the enemy was, and there was a […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Dmitry Pumpyansky (lead image, left), the 53-year old oligarch who dominates the Russian steel pipes business, knows how to pay for protection. Last week the US Treasury listed him as an oligarch whose corruption record and closeness to the Kremlin may qualify him for sanctions, according to Section 241 of the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow As midnight tolled in Washington, DC, and January 29 slid into January 30, the deadline for the US Government to produce a report to the Congress listing Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin slipped by in the darkness. No dog barked.* Required by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow On January 10, Oleg Deripaska (lead image, front left), the Russian oligarch who controls the state aluminium monopoly Rusal and electricity producer EN+, ordered his personal lawyers, Bryan Cave, into the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. There, court papers reveal that Deripaska is charging Paul Manafort (rear left) and […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Last week, the first week in the life of Russia’s EN+ Group on the London Stock Exchange, Oleg Deripaska (lead images), control shareholder and chief executive, took $500 million in cash for himself, then triggered a $112 million loss for the other shareholders led by the Russian state bank, VTB.   […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A new group of US lawyers has advertised its services for suing the Russian state bank Sberbank, claiming they will earn large cash settlements for families of those killed when the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. The law firm is known as […]