Nicolas Maduro, named as successor by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, won the early elections in the country on Sunday by a narrow margin of 1.6 percent. The results of the vote show that the death of the charismatic president has dealt a serious blow to the popular support for pro-Chavez forces.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Izvestia)
Russia and the United States may announce the resumption of talks in September, in the "2+2" format of delegations from defense and foreign ministries.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev agreed to hold a “special meeting” to discuss economic issues and the recent negative trends in the global economy. The agenda is now being laid down, but macroeconomic developments are seen as the most likely topic for discussion..
(Kommersant, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov to discuss the consequences of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan for Central Asian states and Russia.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s office refused to send its representative to a session of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights to discuss the recent inspections of Russian non-governmental organizations. Council members criticized the move as “disrespect” to the council and the president, while prosecutors explained it was “impractical” to discuss the checks before they are over.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will deliver his first report to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, on Wednesday
As prices for a barrel of Urals oil dipped to less than $100, the ruble has weakened and stock markets started to slide. Analysts say the Russian budget will survive a short-term downturn, but urgent reforms will be needed if negative trends persist for a longer period.
METALS & MINING
Mechel, one of Russia’s biggest metallurgical enterprises, was the last to deliver its annual report on its 2012 results. The company reported the biggest losses in the industry, totaling almost $1.7 billion. Experts say the outlook for the market in general is negative.
OIL & GAS
Rosneft is set to acquire another oil processing asset in Europe - the state-run company is set to buy 13.7 percent of Italy’s Saras and place an offer for another 7.28 percent. The deal is estimated at 225 million euro in total.
Yury Urlichich, the former chief designer of Russia’s controversial GLONASS satellite navigation system who was appointed as an advisor to the Russian Space Systems corporation after being fired last year, has lost this post too
VEHICLES & ENGINEERING
Russian truck maker Kamaz, which already produces about 3 percent of its products abroad, is set to open a production facility in Brazil.
TELECOMS & IT
Search engine Yandex may become Russia’s largest media outlet. The company's profit almost equalts to that of the current market leader, the state-run Channel One, but the internet company's growth is way faster.
The Russian government may sell small stakes in Russia’s largest lender Sberbank as part of its 2013 privatization plan.
A decline in global military expenditure was recorded last year for the first time in 14 years. According to SIPRI, a Swedish think-tank, military spending fell 0.5 percent worldwide, to $1.75 trillion in 2012. Among the countries which did not follow the trend are Russia (defense spending up 16 percent), China (up 7.8 percent) and Saudi Arabia (up 12 percent).
A court in Kirov will start hearing the case of Russian opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny, accused of assisting in embezzlement of 16 million rubles from a local enterprise.
Amendments have been introduced to a law making public actions that offend religious feelings a criminal offense punishable by up to one year in prison.
According to a report by the International Labor Organization, young people aged below 29 years have been hardest hit by the European financial crisis and unemployment.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.