Russian News: March 14th, 2008!

RBC, 14.03.2008, Kiev 15:34:43.During today’s press conference in Kiev, Ukraine’s PM Yulia Timoshenko suggested signing a long-term gas agreement with Russia, RBC Ukraine reported. Commenting on the contract signed by Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom on Thursday, Timoshenko said that the document was only valid until the end of 2008, while a strategic agreement for up to ten years was needed.

RBC, 14.03.2008, Moscow 15:03:36.The current situation on the Russian stock market is quite favorable for making investments, as Russian securities are lagging behind the global oil price dynamics, experts told RBC TV today. Oil companies are expected to show better financial performance in the first quarter of 2008, analysts note. Meanwhile, trading activity is rather low in second-tier stocks, although demand for certain securities is relatively high, experts say.

RBC, 14.03.2008, Kiev 13:40:33.Gazprom can sell 7.5bn cubic meters of gas directly to Ukrainian consumers only in 2008, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko told a press conference today, commenting on an agreement reached between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom. She added that the document had been signed for one year, and that liabilities under the deal would end at the end of the year. Timoshenko also expressed hope that another long term agreement would be concluded with the Russian state gas company.

RBC, 14.03.2008, Moscow 13:27:35.Ukraine will return 1.4bn cubic meters of gas to Gazprom in the second and third quarters of 2008 as part of its debt payback for the supplies of Russian gas, Naftogaz of Ukraine chief Oleg Dubina told a press conference today. According to his statement, talks are still underway for returning a further 3.5bn cubic meters of gas for 2007.

RBC, 14.03.2008, Moscow 12:10:41.Evraz Group S.A. is poised to purchase Canadian divisions of the steel maker IPSCO specializing in steel sheet and pipe production for $4.03bn from Sweden’s SSAB, the Russian steel and mining group said in a statement today. Meanwhile, a number of seamless pipe facilities are expected to be sold to Russia’s pipe producer TMK for $1.7bn. Evraz intends to finance the deal by means of raising loans. Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs are to act as financial advisors for the deal.

RBC, 14.03.2008, Moscow 11:22:20.According to the Russian IT and Communications Ministry’s estimates, investments in the country’s IT industry are expected to surge sevenfold from $80m in 2007 to $500m-$600m in 2010, the RBC Daily newspaper reported today. Such investment growth is achievable thanks to the government’s current policy directed towards raising the industry’s competitiveness and investment appeal.

RBC, 14.03.2008, Moscow 10:25:21.At the opening of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the weighted average exchange rate stood at 23.64 RUB/USD, which is RUB 0.05 lower than the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for March 14. Therefore, the ruble has extended its gains against the dollar into the third day in a row. The dollar slid RUB 0.17 against the ruble over the two previous sessions and has been sliding again at a slightly slower pace today. The current developments on MICEX can be attributed to the situation on international exchanges, where the dollar has been depreciating against the euro. The latter is now trading at USD 1.5616, up from USD 1.5558 at the same time on Thursday and USD 1.5364 on Wednesday. Consequently, the European currency has gained 0.4 percent against the dollar on the global market since yesterday and 1.6 percent since March 12.

RBC, 14.03.2008, Chisinau 09:54:49.Russia’s Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is prepared to visit Moldova in April 2008, the Moldovan government’s press office told RBC, citing Russian Ambassador in Moldova Valery Kuzmin’s statement during a meeting with the republic’s PM Vasile Tarlev.

RBC, 14.03.2008, Kiev 09:28:19.Gas production fell 0.8 percent to 3.47bn cubic meters in Ukraine in the first two months of 2008 compared to the same period a year earlier, the government said in a statement. Ukraine’s natural gas production (excluding associated gas) shrank 0.5 percent to 3.303bn cubic meters, while output of oil with gas condensate dropped 4.7 percent to 715,600 tonnes in January-February 2008 from the same two months of the previous year.

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Russia: Human Rights!

Hello,

This article, “Hits it on the nail head!”

Once again, “The Pot Calling the Kettle Black!”
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Russia Slams U.S. Report as ‘Foreign Policy Tool’

The Associated Press

MOSCOW — Year after year, the U.S. issues a troubling assessment of human rights in Russia.

Year after year, Russia lashes back, accusing the U.S. State Department’s annual report on human rights practices around the world of twisting reality and warning that Washington has no right to preach.

With relations at what could be a post-Cold War low, it is no different this time around.

In a sometimes bitter, sometimes sarcastic statement Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry said the portrayal of Russia in the 2007 report was prejudiced, mistaken, poorly sourced and counterproductive.

The ministry said the report reflected the “double standards” of a country it claimed uses human rights as a “foreign policy tool” while balking at scrutiny of its own actions.

“How else can one explain that the United States — which has essentially legalized torture, applies capital punishment to minors, denies responsibility for war crimes and massive human rights violations in Iraq and Afghanistan, refuses to join a series of treaties in the sphere of human rights — distorted comments on the situation in other countries?” it said.

“Meanwhile, the U.S. uses the struggle to spread democracy and the defense of human rights as a cover, with no regard to systemic problems within its own country,” it said.

The U.S. report, released Tuesday, said that centralization of power in President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, corruption, selective law enforcement and onerous restrictions on aid groups and the media were among factors that “continued to erode the government’s accountability to its citizens” in Russia. It also noted human rights abuses in war-scarred Chechnya.

The Foreign Ministry said “the State Department’s latest opus” contained a “hackneyed collection of claims” about human rights in Russia.

“The document, unfortunately, abounds in groundless accusations, citations of unverified and deliberately biased sources, mistakes and juggling of facts,” the statement said. It did not offer specifics.

It said that “many passages were copied from previous reports: One gets the impression that the State Department just selected material to fit conclusions formed in advance.”

Russia took issue with the report’s reference to problematic elections and to a leading international observer group’s criticism of its December parliamentary elections. It accused the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s vote-monitoring body of “politicized approaches” and the U.S. of resisting reform.

Through eight years as president of an assertive country enjoying largely energy-fueled economic growth, Putin has made a point of shrugging off growing Western accusations of backtracking on democracy, and warned the U.S. against interfering in Russia’s affairs.

The Foreign Ministry criticized what it called the “mentorish tone” of the U.S. State Department report.

“We are convinced that politicizing the rights-protection issue and distorting the human rights situation in various countries will lead not to the resolution of existing problems, but to the devaluation of the principles and goals of international cooperation in this area,” it said.
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Looks like the Kettle is getting tired of being analyzed by the Pot……

One thing that I can say from experience in America, “The issue of Human Rights in my home country of the USA is an appalling dangerous situation, the Government level of conspiracies are at a all time high! Freedom & Rights, are becoming lost words in America! “

Kyle

comments always welcome.

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