#AceGuestNews – BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Europe had shown great unity on the Ukraine crisis but it had not been an easy decision to impose sanctions on Russia for a referendum in occupied Crimea and its refusal to talk to the government in Kiev.
“It was a decision that nobody took lightly,” she told a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
(Reporting by Stephen Brown and Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Noah Barkin)
“It wasn’t our aim. We wanted talks and a diplomatic solution but the clear violation of international law yesterday with the so-called referendum meant we had to take this step and I am glad that Europe showed such unity,” Merkel said.
AceFinanceNews – SIMFEROPOL – Crimea has announced the Russian rouble its official currency, which will be in circulation along with the Ukrainian Hryvnia until January 1, 2016.
Crimea will also temporarily use Ukraine’s Budget and Tax Codes pending the adoption of its own budget and tax legislation. Tass
#AceFinanceNews China is the only country who will stand to gain if the European Union slams economic sanctions on Russia, Eckhard Cordes, Chairman of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, said in Berlin on Tuesday.
“In that case, Russia will start turning away from Europe more and more while China will be the only one to benefit from the crisis situation,” Cordes went on to say, adding that Russia was in less favourable position in terms of investments.
The Eastern Committee of the German Economy represents the interests of about 6,200 German companies operating in Russia.
#AceFinanceNews – BERLIN – Philipp Missfelder, the foreign policy speaker of the Christian Democratic Union-Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, has warned against introducing large-scale sanctions against Russia.
“In imposing sanctions we should make sure that they will not backfire,” Missfelder said on Monday in an interview with Germany’s Suedwestfunk radio station.
“It probably makes no difference to the American people and the American society,” he said. “However, they do not maintain such trading relations as Germany and Russia traditionally do.”
Missfelder added that the British government was also sceptical about sanctions “given that London’s finance sector gained a big profit from Russian money and Russian capital, whether in real estate or monetary contributions”.
#AceFinanceNews – United States, Russia, Germany, China and France were the major arms suppliers over 2009-2013, goes the newly released report on arms trade by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The countries made up 74% of global weapon exports, with a 56% niche occupied by the US and Russia.
“Russia has maintained high levels of arms exports despite the crisis in its arms industry in the post-cold war period,” said senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Program Siemon Wezeman.
“In 2009-13 Russia delivered major arms to 52 states. Russia’s most significant export in 2013 was that of an aircraft carrier to India.”
Russia has also become a major arms exporter to India with 75%, whereas the US follows with a huge 7% lag, for the first time down to the second place by supplies to India.
“Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations,” said Wezeman. “In particular, China and the US appear to be using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region.”
The report highlights a considerable increase in arms imports by the Arab states of the Gulf — 23% over 2008-2013, with Saudi Arabia up from 18th to 5th place among the major arms importers.
These are largely (45%) exported by the US.
According to SIPRI, Washington has clinched a number of major deals aimed to retain this level further on. For instance, last year the US government for the first time authorized US companies to supply the region with long-range air-launched cruise missiles.
#AceFinanceNews Crimean residents should not face any additional requirements and financial expenditure when obtaining Russian citizenship, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma (lower house of Russia’s parliament) Sergei Zheleznyak told reporters on Monday. The bill, simplifying the admission of a new entity to the Russian Federation, was submitted to the Duma by members of the A Just Russia faction.
Referring to the bills on a simplified procedure for getting Russia’s citizenship, the deputy speaker noted that “all the factions will support the priority consideration of these bills.” “We will certainly support the idea that the procedure of getting Russian citizenship by Crimean residents should not entail an additional burden for them,” Zheleznyak said.“They [Crimean residents] should get it [Russian citizenship] without any additional requirements or financial expenditure,” he stressed. According to him, the faction had not determined its position on the bills so far. “We are awaiting the end of the dispatch in order to decide not on the basis of that or other authorship, but based on the degree of their development in the legal sense,” Zheleznyak said. #AFN2014