The Russian government has submitted to the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, a draft of its 2014-2016 “austerity” budget. Russia is set to record a budget deficit of 391 billion rubles ($12 billion) in 2014, rising to 817 billion rubles the following year. The budget is based upon an average oil price of $93 a barrel in 2014 and $95 a barrel in 2015 and 2016, as well as average annual inflation of 5 percent in 2014 and 4.5 percent in 2015 and 2016.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, The Moscow Times).
The Communist faction in the State Duma is planning to submit a draft motion of no-confidence in Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s government in October to coincide with consideration of the new state budget proposal in the lower house of parliament.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the upcoming congress of the ruling United Russia party but could meet with delegates on the sidelines of the event.
Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov talks about his views on the Russian opposition, the Syrian crisis, the Uralkali “blackmail” case, his love for leopards, basketball and ballet in an exclusive interview.
Lawyers for 22 detained Greenpeace activists who took part in a protest near a Russian oil platform in the Arctic earlier this month have appealed their arrest, which they said followed serious violations of procedural rules.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Unilever, one of the world’s leading consumer goods companies, is changing its top management for businesses in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. An interview with Unilever CEO outlining the company’s plans for these markets.
Russian companies Rosneft and Novaport are engaged in negotiations over the acquisition of Moscow-area airport Domodedovo for $4.5-$4.7 billion. If the deal is struck, Rosneft would receive the airport's refuelling facilities and Novaport would receive the terminals.
Russia’s Communications Ministry has proposed putting the largest domestic IT firms in the category of strategic enterprises to prevent their acquisition by foreign investors. The owners are not happy about this initiative.
Russia’s Trade and Industry Ministry has ordered the development of an engine that would allow sea- and river-going ships to use liquefied natural gas as fuel. The officials are expecting that the new technology will help reduce transportation costs by 15 percent while reducing pollution by 20 percent.
The Defense Ministry is expected to call up about 150,000 young men for military service during the fall draft that begins Tuesday, but promises to cut the number of conscripts next year if the planned quotas for professional soldiers are fulfilled.
Russia will bring into force Tuesday amendments to the Civil Code that further protect the rights of citizens to privacy.
All Russian schools will be required to have both print and electronic versions of textbooks included in the school program, starting in 2015. Teachers and pupils will have a choice between the versions depending on their preferences.
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The solution to the Ukrainian problem will directly depend on how the military operations unfold in Donbass. If the militia fighters take over the strategic initiative, win back Donbass and extend the war to the Zaporozhye and the Kharkov regions, then Kiev will be more amenable to a compromise