#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – May 06 – The Russian Defence Ministry is planning to deploy additional forces in Crimea as part of beefing up the Black Sea fleet under a $2.5 billion program. The need for new deployment emerged after the formerly Ukrainian peninsula joined Russia.
“Before year’s end we will form new units of air defence and marine troops at the sites of our fleet’s deployment,” Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said Tuesday. “The fleet will receive new submarines and surface ships of new generation this year. This requires our attention.”
The minister stressed that the Navy beef-up program for the Black Sea fleet was extended due to Crimea, the fleet’s base, becoming part of Russia in March. The ministry plans to spend more than $2.4 billion for the purpose by 2020.
The announcement of deployment plans comes after Russia voiced concerns of the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea. The alliance deployed aircraft and warships as well as ground troops, saying it was needed to instil confidence in its members like Poland, Romania and the Baltic states.
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – May 05 – Ukraine’s Raiffeisen Bank Aval, a subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International, has temporarily closed branches in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the bank said on Monday( Itar-tass) reported.
“Three branches of Ukraine’s Raiffeisen Bank Aval in the Luhansk region and 22 branches in the Donetsk region have been closed down temporarily on May 5,” Leonid Zyabrev, a spokesman for the bank said, adding that customers could access their money from cash machines and could still use their credit cards.
Earlier, Ukraine’s biggest bank, Privatbank, also halted operations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, saying the situation in eastern Ukraine posed a threat to staff safety.
The bank said its clients could access their accounts via the Internet and mobile devices, use their cards in shops and make cashless transactions at self-service terminals.
#AceFinanceNews – LONDON – May 01 – /ITAR-TASS/. U.S. Administration has rebuked Bahrain, a Gulf state with which it has a close strategic relationship, for signing an investment cooperation deal with Russia, which Washington and its European allies are trying to subject to punitive economic measures at the moment.
“With Russia continuing its efforts to destabilize Ukraine, this is not the time for any country to conduct business as usual (with Moscow),” an official at the U.S. Department of State told Reuters Wednesday.
He said Washington had raised concern over the signing with the Bahraini government.
Russian Direct Investment Fund issued a statement Tuesday saying it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mumtalakat sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain on expanding both countries’ investment opportunities.
The statement said, among other things, that the Bahraini fund’s CEO, Mahmood al-Kooheji would join the RDIF international advisory board and would help formulate its strategic guidelines.
The deal was signed at the end of Wednesday’s visit to Moscow by Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad al-Khalifa who was received by President Vladimir Putin.
International analysts point out the symbolism of the deal. According to Reuters, it suggests that Western sanctions “may not deter other countries from continuing to expand business ties with Russia.
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – April 29 – Visa international payment system stops servicing Russia’s SMP Bank and Invest Capital Bank.
“On April 28, 2014, several more Russian individuals and organizations, including SMP Bank and InvestCapitalBank, were added to the list of specially designated nationals, or SDN’s.
In compliance with the US legislation, Visa International Service Association stopped servicing the above mentioned financial institutions,” a spokesperson for Visa told ITAR-TASS.
#AceFinanceNews- KIEV – April 28 – Ukraine is ready to pay the price of 268 US dollars per 1,000 cubic metres of Russian gas, parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said on Monday, April 28.
This is 45% below the established price of gas.
If Moscow disagrees, Kiev will be prepared to contest its debt in court, he said.
Yatsenyuk told reporters that a “note” had been sent to Russia’s Gazprom, which “states the price”.
If Gazprom accepts the proposed terms, Ukraine will pay the gas debt of 2.2 billion US dollars immediately.
If no solution is found within 30 days, the dispute will be taken to court.
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – April 22 – Russia’s aid for Ukraine during the entire post-Soviet period was worth approximately a quarter of a trillion dollars, the Voice of Russia radio quoted Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as saying.
Commenting on the statements of Russian MPs in the State Duma on Tuesday, he said that about $250 billion was a fair figure.
“This is the size of the support that we may have provided to our Ukrainian friends and brothers during the entire post-Soviet period at the expense of all sorts of preferences, including the non-market conditions for gas trade,” Medvedev said.
Tass – RT – VoR
#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES – April 21 – US fund managers have warned of risks shareholders could face from current or future Western sanctions against Russia, as Washington move to impose more sanctions on Moscow over their dispute on Ukraine.
Since April 4, securities filings have outlined potential problems for funds including the $124.6 million ING Russia Fund, the $841.1 million SSgA Emerging Markets Fund and a number of iShares exchange-traded funds offered by BlackRock Inc.
The filing for the SSgA fund noted that sanctions by the US or the European Union could result in the depreciation of the Russian currency, Reuters reported Friday.
According to the report, US securities regulators contacted fund firms with holdings in Russia last month to make sure they were properly managing risk and disclosing the assets to investors.
US has however promised that if the situation does not get sorted in the Ukraine, they will consider further sanctions on funding and other financial institutions.
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – April 20 – The report in The Times on potential sanctions targeting President Vladimir Putin’s alleged secret personal wealth, is “apparently a hoax” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Ekho Moskvy radio.
In the article it claimed the president had $ 40 billion in the accounts in Swiss banks. Presidential spokesman denied the presence of Vladimir Putin that kind of money.
In an interview with “Echo of Moscow” Dmitry Peskov said that the president should not fear sanctions. Earlier, the U.S. imposed sanctions against several dozen Russians, including the environment of Vladimir Putin.
“Why would anyone be scared of sanctions, especially as absurd as these?” Peskov commented.
“This can only be joked about.”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on being sanctioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin:
“I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost, and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen. Nonetheless, I will never cease my efforts on behalf of the freedom, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea.”
The British newspaper reported that American financial investigators, who previously traced Al-Qaeda funding, would find the secret $40 billion of Putin’s money in numbered Swiss bank accounts, so that it can fall under US sanctions.
More soon ………………………………
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1. PRESS RELEASE – John Mc Cain – http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=fb0cfcb4-99c3-4ee5-b4ee-c761faa766a3
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – April 19 – If Kiev does not settle its gas debts with Moscow within a month, Gazprom will be forced to switch to a system of advance payments, President Putin has said, adding that the measure has nothing to do with May’s upcoming presidential election in Ukraine, RIA Novosti reports.
“Moscow is willing to tolerate” the continuing absence of payments for another month, Putin said during a live Q&A session on Thursday, adding that this is stipulated in the existing contracts.
“We don’t mix economics with the political process in Ukraine,” the President continued. “We were simply awaiting the receipt on April 7 of the money owed for the March for gas in March… this was $525 million. Not a cent… by the way, it was being transported at the lowest price, with all possible discounts.”
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – April 17 – Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
Europe cannot stop buying Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if the US tries to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer.
If the West tries to damage Russia’s influence in the world energy market, efforts will likely backfire, the Russian President said during his twelfth annual televised question and answer session.
To really influence the world oil market a country would need to increase production and cut prices, which currently only Saudi Arabia could afford, Putin said.
The president added he did not expect Saudi Arabia, which has “very kind relations” with Russia, will choose to cut prices, that could also damage its own economy.
If world oil production increases, the price could go down to about $85 per barrel.
“For us the price fall from $90 to $85 per barrel is not critical,” Putin said, adding that for Saudi Arabia it would be more sensitive.