Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

10 June 2008. Out and About…

Russia’s first-quarter foreign trade is up 31 percent over the same period in 2007

Russia’s first-quarter foreign trade is up 31 percent compared to the same period in 2007, to 227 billion dollars (5.361 trillion roubles. 145.831 billion euros. 115.726 billion UK pounds). The main exports are oil, gas, metals, pulp, timber, and engineering products. The main imports are machinery, industrial equipment, and food. Main trading partners are Germany, the Netherlands, and China.

6 June 2008


Amount of foreign investment in Russia this year may reach 60 billion dollars

Economics Minister Elvira Nabullina (1963- )

The amount of foreign investment in the Russian economy this year may reach 60 billion dollars (1.417 trillion roubles. 38.546 billion euros. 30.588 billion UK pounds), said Minister for Economic Development and Trade Elvira Nabiullina. She spoke during a Russia-US roundtable meeting in St Petersburg. Ms Nabullina said the US is always tardy in reacting to any positive change in the Russian economy. The United States accounts for a mere 4 percent of Russian overall trade turnover, whilst the European Union accounts for more than 50 percent.

7 June 2008


Russia’s vast reserves, stable finances make it immune to global credit crunch

President Dmitri Medvedev (1965- ) addressing the St Petersburg Economic Forum

Russia believes its vast reserves, stable finances, and sound macroeconomic management make it immune to the global credit crunch. Appearing before the St Petersburg economic forum on the opening day Saturday, President Medvedev also spoke about plans to make this country a financial hub and elevate the Russian rouble to an internationally-recognised reserve currency. He dismissed speculation about economic aggression by Russia and argued that Russian investment abroad creates jobs, brings forward free trade in oil and natural gas, and helps Europe stabilise its energy market. Mr Medvedev offered Russian help in organising a global financial conference and in tackling the global food crisis. He also criticised so-called “economic nationalism” for replacing pragmatism with myopic politics. He blamed the mounting financial problems around the world on the overblown economic role of the United States.

7 June 2008


Patriarch Aleksei serves molieben on the 125th anniversary of Christ the Saviour Cathedral

The Interior of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow (Fyodor Klages, 1883)

The first hierarch of the MP, Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias, served a special molieben in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on the 125th anniversary of its consecration. Amongst the participants were pilgrims who arrived in Moscow in 8 religious processions honouring the unity of Russian Orthodox Church. About 1,000 faithful started procession from Kolomensk Park early in the morning and moved towards the cathedral, which is near the centre of Moscow. The cathedral, which was built in the honour of the victory of 1812, was consecrated on 8 June 1883, an event timed to the coronation of Tsar Aleksandr III.

8 June 2008


Russian role in global cooperation shall grow

Vice Premier Aleksandr Zhukov (1956- )

The role of Russia in global cooperation shall continue to grow. Expressing this viewpoint in a TV interview, Vice Premier Aleksandr Zhukov said many are accustomed to see Russia as a major fuel supplier, and here its influence is very strong, but, it is developing faster than other countries and is setting new aims, for one, to become a world financial and business centre and a competitive player on technological and food markets. Mr Zhukov stressed the importance of the political and economic multi-polarity of modern world in which Russia would emerge as a powerful regional centre.

8 June 2008


Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses start “Russian Week”

On the Terrace (Konstantin Korovin, 1920)

Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses are putting up unique artworks for a week-long auction to sell off canvases by Russian painters. Trading kicks off in London today. Coming up for auction, among others, are such masterpieces as Still Life with Fruit by Natalia Goncharova, Alla by Marc Chagal, and A View from the Terrace by Konstantin Korovin. In all, Sotheby’s is putting up for sale 670 lots totalling 60 million dollars (1.417 billion roubles. 38.546 million euros. 30.588 million UK pounds). The pictures that shall uncork a surprise at Christie’s auction on Wednesday are The Crucifixion by Natalia Goncharova, Tatsuro Kawarasaki, a Japanese Actor by Pyotr Konchalovsky, and The Road by Isaak Levitan.

9 June 2008


Russia urges the EU to pressure Latvia and Estonia to end unfair treatment of ethnic Russians

Konstantin Kosachov (1962- ), RF Gosduma deputy

Russia urged the European Union to pressure new members Estonia and Latvia to end unfair treatment of ethnic Russians. Konstantin Kosachov, the Lower House’s foreign affairs head, argued the problem is more than a simple bilateral affair and must be addressed by all of Europe. Some 400,000 Russian-speakers in Latvia and 420,000 in Estonia are still denied civil rights. Estonia’s non-nationals account for 30 percent of the total population of that small Baltic country. The figures are from Amnesty International.

9 June 2008


This autumn Moscow to host meeting on global energy problems

Arkady Dvorkovich (1972- ), assistant to President Medvedev

This autumn, Moscow host a meeting of officials from 13 countries to focus on global energy problems, said Russian presidential assistant Arkady Dvorkovich, who attended the recent economic forum in St Petersburg. The forthcoming energy dialogue is in the 8 plus 5 format, that is, the G-8 countries plus China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and Mexico. The decisions made by the forum shall form part of a package of proposals for next year’s G-8 summit. Mr Dvorkovich added that the parties to this year’s G-8 summit in Japan would concentrate on energy and food security.

9 June 2008


Voice of Russia World Service


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