A Russian Wake Up Call

Consider the cumulative weight of these facts: A Dutch court rules that Yukos was illegally auctioned, the European Court of Human Rights finds that Russia violated Platon Lebedev’s rights, and the Swiss Federal Tribunal denies Russia mutual legal assistance in the Yukos and Khodorkovsky investigations due to political persecution. We are looking at the establishment […]

Dutch court voids YUKOS bankruptcy in Netherlands

Below is the coverage from Reuters about the Dutch court decision which found the Russian government’s forced bankruptcy and liquidation of assets to be illegal. There is also coverage by RIA Novosti and AFP. Dutch court voids YUKOS bankruptcy in Netherlands AMSTERDAM, Oct 31 (Reuters) – A Dutch court nullified on Wednesday all decisions taken […]

The Cuban Missile Crisis Analogy

Remember when Vladimir Putin compared the current proposed U.S. shield plans to the Cuban missile crisis? Some don’t quite agree with the analogy: Comparing U.S. plans to put defensive missiles in Eastern Europe to Khrushchev’s placement of offensive missiles in Cuba 45 years ago is like saying arsonists and firefighters both pour liquids on flames. […]

Russia’s Tango with Tehran

I recently praised President Putin’s success in making Russia an indispensable player in the Middle East vis-à-vis the situation in Iran, but it remains to be seen how Moscow will use its new influence to advance their interests. Running interference on the UN and protecting Tehran from sanctions will likely have a limited shelf life […]

Vladimir Milov: The Legal Results

Below is an exclusive translation of an important article by Vladimir Milov published in Vedomosti today. The Legal Results By Vladimir Milov Vedomosti, October 31, 2007 One of the important results of the Putin’s presidency is a menacing degradation of legal institutions in Russia, a total loss of any role that law has had in […]

Kremlin Retirement Fund Looking to Enlist European Leaders

Rarely do we see Moscow’s message communicated so clearly as in the article below: Treat us well while you are in office, and we will reward you handsomely in retirement. Financial Times: Observer: Table for four: Putin hosts the exes Published: October 31 2007 Vladimir Putin, Russia’s action man, who likes to break new ground […]

Tom Nicholls: The only way is up

Oil futures could soon be changing hands at $100 and over Oil prices are set to top $100 as speculators continue to drive prices higher, say analysts and industry figures. Daniel Yergin is the latest energy expert to warn that oil prices could exceed $100 a barrel. Chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consultancy, […]

RA’s Daily Russia News Blast – Oct. 31, 2007

Russian President Vladimir Putin hugs Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II while visiting Butovo, a site south of Moscow, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007. The Butovo firing range was used for executions from 1930 until after Stalin’s death in 1953. Some 20,000 people, including priests and artists, were killed there in 1937-38 alone. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, Pool) […]

The Return of Price Controls

There’s an entertaining article on Slate today about the return of price controls in Russia and elsewhere. Surely everyone else already read our interview on this subject with economist Craig Pirrong? Slate: Exhibit B: Russia. When you have the visible hand of a former KGB-nik running the government, who needs Adam Smith’s invisible hand? As […]

Combustible Russia

From a column by Alexendros Petersen of CSIS in the Wall Street Journal: The third combustible state may at first seem surprising, but it presents the greatest threat to U.S. strategic interests in the long term. According to the conventional view, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s growing authoritarian grip has brought stability and prosperity — hence […]