Voices from Russia

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Russia Overtakes American Position in World Agricultural Market

00 LNR 2015 23 farm harvest

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Due to several factors, including the rise in the US Dollar, American agricultural products are becoming too expensive and uncompetitive. Meanwhile, Russian farmers are seizing leading positions in the market. This year, the international agricultural market saw significant changes due to such factors as a stronger dollar, the collapse of oil prices, and better crops. According to the Wall Street Journal, as a result, leading exporters gave way to new players. Recently, Canada and the USA, the world’s biggest agricultural exporters, lagged behind Russia in overall production of wheat. This year, Russia plans to export 23.5 million tonnes of grain. Canada expects to export 20 million tonnes and the USA projects exports of 21.8 million tonnes. These former agricultural market leaders could see their lowest rates of export in 44 years. Michael McDougall, director of agricultural commodities at Société Générale SA in New York, said:

Unless emerging-market currencies stop falling, the USA will lose more export market share and will begin to see more foreign products coming in.

Currently, international consumers aren’t very enthusiastic about buying American grain due to the stronger dollar, especially now that fierce competition on the international food market considerably lowered the cost of products in general. Chad Hart, a grain market analyst at Iowa State University (ISU) Extension, said:

The dollar’s strength is be­­coming a bigger issue for farmers than we’ve seen for a while. It’s really having an impact this year.

Meanwhile, the WSJ noted that Russia managed to balance prices and grab a larger share of established markets, such as Egypt. That includes markets traditionally dominated by the USA, so, American farmers will need to get ready for diminished demand and a downslide in prices.

8 February 2016 (MSK)

http://sputniknews.com/business/20160208/1034379322/russia-oertakes-americas-position-in-world-agricultural-market.html

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Journalist Fred Weir pointed up that Moscow’s retaliatory sanctions against the EU helped Russian farmers revitalise their country’s agricultural markets. He thinks that Russia’s “small domestic farmers” managed to “step up” due to Moscow’s retaliatory sanctions against the EU. In his article published in the Christian Science Monitor, Weir specifically quoted one such farmer, Aleksandr Sayapin, who said:

Russia’s near-complete ban on food products, including dairy imports from the EU, created an opportunity. We tripled our production in the past year; we carved out a place in the market.

Weir wrote:

Despite persistent economic woes, Russia’s agriculture seems to have rebounded briskly. The growth came due to a comprehensive subsidy programme aimed at promoting private farming. The programme began in 2012 and includes low-cost loans, controlled prices for fertilizers, support for producers of domestic farm machinery, and state financing for other vital elements of agricultural infrastructure. This clearly had an impact, and that Russia, which previously was one of the largest importers of chicken and pork from North America, became a net exporter of pork for the first time in history in 2015. Russian agricultural exports were [worth] 20 billion USD (1.55 trillion Roubles. 131.52 billion Renminbi. 1.358 trillion INR. 27.78 billion CAD. 28.23 billion AUD. 17.93 billion Euros. 13.79 billion UK Pounds) last year , more than international arms sales, and should grow further this year. The sanctions also boosted the revival of traditional Russian cuisine and a favourable environment for Russian producers of old ingredients like beets, cabbage, buckwheat, tvorog (Russian-style farmers cheese), and kefir (a yogurt drink).

Weir interviewed a former Soviet military officer-turned-businessman Andrei Davidov, who now runs a cattle farm in the nearby city of Kaluga in central Russia, saying:

Davidov has about 150 Hereford cattle at his farm, which he butchers himself, and he makes a comfortable living supplying a supermarket chain and a couple of restaurants in Kaluga.

Davidov said:

I remain upbeat about my country’s future, as far as raising beef cattle is concerned. What this country needs are 800,000 private farms raising cattle, like in the USA; then, maybe, we’d be an agricultural superpower.

Moscow’s sanctions came in response to Western punitive measures levelled two years ago over Russia’s alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis. Repeatedly, Kiev and the West accused Russia of backing the Peoples Republics in the Donbass, in the former eastern Ukraine. Moscow vehemently denies the allegations.

3 February 2016

http://sputniknews.com/russia/20160203/1034149635/russia-sanctions-farmers.html

Sputnik International

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VRNS Statement on the Upcoming Meeting of Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francisco

00 give peace a chance francisco and kirill 161115

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The media office of the Worldwide Russian People’s Council (VRNS) issued a statement:

The VRNS applauds the news of the upcoming meeting of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias and Pope Francisco, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. At such a difficult moment in history, such a meeting is a timely and vital. We remain convinced that Orthodox and Catholics should unite their efforts to resist de-Christianisation, the destruction of the traditional family and morality, anti-religious vandalism, and sacrilege, despite continuing theological differences between Eastern and Western Christians. Of particular importance is for us to jointly oppose the Christian genocide unfolding in the Middle East, which equally affects Eastern Orthodox, Catholics, and Oriental Orthodox, who’ve lived for thousands of years in Arab countries. The severe persecution they face recalls the fate of the early Christian martyrs, beaten down by pagan tyrants. Orthodox and Catholics should unite their efforts and appeal to major world leaders to demand an end to the genocide against Middle Eastern Christians. We also hope that the meeting of Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francisco will positively influence the Ukrainian situation, where the canonical Church now experiences harsh times.

7 February 2016

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/4370649.html

V R Legoida: “Meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with Pope Francisco isn’t Connected with the all-Orthodox Sobor”

00 Great Minds Think Alike! 27.11.13

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V R Legoida, head of the MP Synodal Department of Relations with Society and the Media (OVTsOS), said on a broadcast of Светлый вечер (Svetly vecher: Bright Evening) on Radio Vera (Radio Faith):

The meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with Pope Francisco, due for 12 February in Cuba, isn’t connected with the upcoming all-Orthodox Sobor. The decision to hold the all-Orthodox Sobor in Crete on 19 June came during the late January meeting of First Hierarchs of the Local Churches and their representatives in Chambésy [in Switzerland]. This was a joint decision of the parties to the Sobor; some took it out of context with a schedule of meetings involving only First Hierarchs. The necessity for a meeting between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis has its roots in a singular tragedy… the situation stemming from the genocide of Christians in the Middle East and in North and Central Africa.

5 February 2016

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/4370418.html

Colombian Volunteer Alfonso Received DNR Medal “Warrior-Internationalist”

00 Alfonso. DNR. Colombia. soldier 01. 060216

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00 Alfonso. DNR. Colombia. soldier 02. 060216

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00 Alfonso. DNR. Colombia. soldier 03. 060216

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Our Colombian brother Alfonso received the Medal “Warrior-Internationalist” from DNR Defence Minister V P Kononov. Alfonso arrived in autumn 2014, he fought with us all the way… from Panteleimonovka, to the airport, to Spartak… as one of the scouts in the “Khan” Battalion. He distinguished himself as a brave, strong, and disciplined fighter; he holds it as his holy duty to fight on the Russian side, as they helped the Spanish Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. After the death of a fellow Colombian volunteer on 17 January, Alfonso decided to stay here until victory. He found our synthesis of communism and Christianity sensible and inspiring. In summer 2015, Alfonso accepted the Orthodox faith. Congratulations on your award, dear brother!

5 February 2016

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