• Rate of theft by Russian officials reaches more than $7 million per day

    The total damage in the corruption cases concluded in the first eight months of 2019 in Russia is approximately 102 billion rubles, around $1.6 billion at current exchange rates.

    These figures were cited on Monday by Dmitry Sevastyanov, deputy head of the division for combating the misuse of budget funds at Russia’s Chief Directorate for Economic Security and Opposing Corruption, Kommersant reports.

    The average rate at which money leaked from the budget on various levels was thus around $200 …

  • Ukrainian film director Sentsov: EU could take stronger measures against Putin

    During a press conference in Spain, Ukrainian film director and former political prisoner Oleh Sentsov said that the European Union could take stronger measures against Putin and confront him harder, reports Ukrinform news agency.

    "[European] countries continue to buy Russian gas and oil, and because of that, Putin is still in power and does what he wants," said Sentsov.

    Sentsov is participating in the events organized by the Bureau of the European Parliament in Barcelona. Together with the …

  • Russia threatens Belarus with economic crisis for refusing to integrate

    Refusing to enter into a union with Russia will drive Belarus into an economic crisis, said Konstantin Zatulin, deputy chair of the State Duma committee for the CIS, Eurasian integration and relations with Russian nationals abroad. The Russian politician was commenting on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s decision not to sign any documents to deepen integration with Russia that might deprive Minsk of its sovereignty.

    Russia wants Belarus to transition to a full-fledged union state …

  • Poland notifies Gazprom of intention to terminate gas supply contract

    The Board of Directors of the Polish national  oil and gas company PGNiG notified Russian gas giant Gazprom of its intention to terminate the binding contract for the purchase and sale of natural gas. The so-called Yamal contract was signed on September 25, 1996 and expires on December 31, 2022.

    In the Declaration of PGNiG, it is noted that deliveries of liquefied natural gas and fuel from other countries will replace the Russian gas supply.

    In the first half of 2019, Poland reduced purchases …

  • Young Syrian Kurds throw Molotov cocktails at Russian patrol in Syria

    During a joint patrol by Russian and Turkish forces in northern Syria, a group of teenagers threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the patrol vehicles. No soldiers were injured, the vehicles remained operational, and the convoy continued its patrol, RBC news agency reports, citing a representative of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria.

    “In order to prevent possible accidents, the convoy’s seniors decided to go around this group of young people and continue …

  • Kyiv: Russia returning captured boats is not an act of goodwill

    Russia returning the three captured Ukrainian naval vessels should be considered nothing more than the implementation of a court ruling, wrote Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodniuk on Telegram.

    “It is not an act of goodwill… I consider these developments nothing other than the aggressor-state implementing the May ruling of the International Sea Tribunal,” Interfax-Ukraine cites him as saying.

    The head of Ukraine’s defense department noted that specialists will soon examine the ships …

  • Gazprom officially offers Ukraine one-year gas transit contract

    On Monday, Gazprom sent Naftogaz of Ukraine an official offer to extend the current gas transit contract by one year or to sign a new one-year contract, Interfax reports.

    As a precondition, all lawsuits and claims in international arbitration courts must be withdrawn.

    This would also include the withdrawal of the Ukrainian Anti-Monopoly Committee’s fine against Gazprom for economic competition violations and of Naftogaz’s motion to have the European Commission investigate the Russian company. …

  • Macron and Putin discuss Donbas 'special status' during phone call

    French President Emmanuel Macron held a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Presidents discussed the situation in Ukraine in advance of the Normandy Four Summit, which is scheduled for December 9 in Paris, reports the Kremlin's press service.

    Macron and Putin noted that "holding such a meeting should contribute to the quick and full implementation of the Minsk agreements."

    "In this context, the importance of Kyiv to fulfill its obligations on the political …

  • Belarus hopes for lower priced Russian gas

    Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko said that Belarus expects that the price for Russian gas imports will be reduced in 2020, reports the BelTA news agency.

    "For the coming year, we expecting to move towards lower prices, which we are negotiating about. We made our proposals," said Lyashenko. He noted that Belarus' ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko, as well as Belarusian Energy Ministry and Belneftekhim Gas Concern, are consolidating the work on the preparation of  oil and gas …

  • India calls French Rafale fighters superior to Russian Su-30MKIs

    India is purchasing French 4th generation Rafale fighters instead of Russian Su-30MKI fighters because the former’s capabilities are superior to the latter’s, The Economic Times reports.

    The Indian news outlet writes that the Rafale’s extended loitering ability is 50% greater than the Su-30MKI’s. The former’s flight range is 780-1055 km, as opposed to the latter’s 400-550 km. The French fighter can also be scrambled up to five times a day compared to the Russian fighter’s three times. …