Connect to share and comment

Putin says sanctions hurt Russian economy, but not critically

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that sanctions were hurting the Russian economy but that the damage was not critical. "Overall they are causing (damage), because (credit) ratings are being reviewed, loans could become more expensive and so forth. But this is of no critical character," Putin said of sanctions imposed over Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Obama says Russia not abiding by Geneva agreement on Ukraine

President Barack Obama said Thursday Russia was not abiding by the letter or the spirit of the Geneva deal to ease tensions in Ukraine, and said new sanctions against Moscow were already teed up. The president weighed into an increasingly bitter US-Russian dispute over the actions of separatist militias in the east of the country Washington says are backed by the Kremlin, during his tour of Asia.

Putin warns of consequences of Ukrainian use of army

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that if Kiev authorities have used the army against pro-Russian activists in east Ukraine there will be consequences. "If these people have advanced to the so called 'acute phase' (of confrontation with protesters), this is not an acute phase, it is just a punitive operation and it will of course incur consequences for the people making these decisions, including (an effect) on our interstate relations," Putin said in a televised meeting with regional media.

Kiev's actions in east Ukraine will 'have consequences'

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that deployment of military in east Ukraine by the Kiev authorities was a crime against its own people that will "have consequences." "If Kiev really began to use the army against the country's population... that is a very serious crime against its own people," Putin said. If the pro-West Kiev authorities are resorting to force, "it is of course some kind of junta," he said.

Putin blocks Russia relaxing budget policy for Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the government not to relax its budget policy in order to finance the newly-annexed territory of Crimea amid fears of a new economic crisis in the country, a report said Thursday. Russia's government is split between senior figures arguing for a more relaxed policy to release funds for Crimea and fiscal hawks arguing strongly for prudence at a time of slumping growth and the risk of recession.

Putin foe faces threat of jail in new trial

Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny goes on trial Thursday in a major case that his supporters fear will end in a lengthy jail sentence for President Vladimir Putin's top critic. The 37-year-old anti-corruption blogger was convicted of embezzlement in July and sentenced to five years in jail but walked free the following day in a surprise move that allowed him to run a high-profile campaign for Moscow mayor.

Founder of Russia's leading social media network quits company, flees country

MOSCOW - The founder of Russia's leading social media network — a wunderkind often described as Russia's Mark Zuckerberg — has left his post as CEO and fled the country as cronies of President Vladimir Putin have made steady inroads into the company's ownership. The slow-motion ouster of Pavel Durov from the network known as VKontakte, or "In Contact," is the latest sign that independent media outlets in Russia have become increasingly imperiled.

Libel conviction adds to pressure on Putin foe Navalny

By Maria Tsvetkova MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was convicted of libel on Tuesday in a ruling his lawyer said could potentially lead to the jailing of the anti-corruption blogger who is one of President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critics. The verdict added to the pressure on Navalny, who is serving a suspended five-year sentence on a theft conviction he says was orchestrated by the Kremlin and faces trial on a separate theft charge later this week.

Russia ready to face new Western sanctions over Ukraine

Russia is ready to face a new round of Western sanctions over Ukraine, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday. "I am sure we will be able to minimise their consequences," he said in a televised speech to parliament. "The government is ready to act in conditions when the priority of our work becomes protecting the economy and citizens from such unfriendly acts that could follow due to the escalating foreign policy situation." am/txw

Biden pledges support for Ukraine's pro-Western leaders

Vice President Joe Biden said the United States stood by Ukraine's new pro-Western leaders Tuesday in the face of "humiliating threats" as Washington and Moscow traded blame over the crisis in the ex-Soviet country. "You face very daunting problems, and some might say, humiliating threats," Biden told a group of lawmakers in a meeting at Ukraine's parliament. The US would "stand with" Ukraine ahead of a presidential poll scheduled for May 25 that "may be the most important election in Ukrainian history," he said.
Syndicate content