• Moscow: Kiev is aggravating the situation in Transnistria

    Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Grigory Karasin, expressed Moscow’s concern over the lack of progress in the negotiations on the Transnistrian issue, stating that the Ukrainian position has a negative impact on the situation in the region.

    "The change of Kiev's position on the Transnistrian issue supports the delay of an appointment of a new Ukrainian representative in the "5 + 2" negotiation that was supposed to happen in May of 2015. We are concerned about the …

  • 40 tons of Belgian pears destroyed at Russian border

     Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB) agents and Roskomnadzor’s employees found two batches of pears at the Troitsk checkpoint in the Chelyabinsk region. The shipment of pears falls under the Presidential Decree issuing retaliatory sanctions, the Rosselkhoznadzor press service reported.

    Fresh pears from Belgium were imported to Russia by two cars from Kazakhstan. Kazakh certificates, indicating Serbia as the country of origin, were attached to them. The total weight of the two batches was 40 …

  • Internal strife becoming a major problem for Russian-backed separatists

    The conflict is rapidly developing in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), both in terms of skirmishes with Ukrainian forces and internal power struggles. Certain DPR military units, under the auspices of the Russian Federal Security Bureau (FSB), have been engaged in “mop up operations” of other militant units, effectively removing belligerent commanders, Tyzhden.ua reported.

    “We observed the arrival of unknown special units in Dokuchaievsk, apparently for disciplining several …

  • Waszczykowski: War in Donbas one of the main threats to Poland

    The Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Witold Waszczykowski, stated in a radio interview that the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, initiated by the Russian Federation, is one of the main threats for Poland in 2016. “It wasn’t Poland that created the ice age, nor was it responsible for attacking other countries and it was not us who sent little green men to other countries in order to take away part of their territory,” Waszczykowski said.

    “Therefore, if we are talking about problems, they …

  • Turkish citizens no longer have visa-free entry to Russia

    Russia suspended the visa-free policy with Turkey effective the 1st of January 2016. The Presidential decree suspending the visa-free policy with Turkey is now in force. As noted by RSN Ankara, in response to Moscow's decision, Turkey is now refusing visas for Russian citizens. The bilateral visa-free agreement has been in place since 2011.

    As previously reported, Russian authorities announced the abolition of the visa-free regime after a Russian Su-24 bomber was shot down by the Turkish Air …

  • Medvedev approves gas discount for Ukraine

    Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev signed a decree detailing the discounted price of natural gas shipments from Russia to Ukraine. The tariff rates will remain the same until March 31, 2016. The documentation was posted on the official legal information web portal on Friday, January 1st.

    The decree provides a formula that makes it possible to calculate the rate of fees on imports of low-carbon, “blue fuel” gas to Ukraine.

    Most economists agree that, based on the contract price of gas at …

  • EU-Ukraine free trade agreement comes into force

    The Free Trade Area between Ukraine and the European Union came into effect on Friday, January 1st. The accord is part of a broader EU Association Agreement that was signed in 2014, but the parties took a one-year pause on Russia's request for consultations with the country, which failed.

    The agreement eliminates 97% of tariffs on Ukrainian goods and reduces the average tariff on Ukrainian exports from 7.6% to 0.5%, according to Ukraine's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

    The free …

  • Ukrainian ceasefire violated on first day of 2016

    The Ukrainian Army and the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine have accused each other of violating the "Christmas Truce" on January 1st.

    The truce came into force on December 22nd and was mutually agreed upon by the opposing forces. In the last few days, according to the Ukrainian command, the Ukrainian Army’s position was shelled 22 times with mortars and grenade launchers. Government troops have suffered no casualties yet.

    Separatists reported that one person was killed in their …

  • Putin's son-in-law received $1.75 billion Russian state loan

    A Reuters report on information taken from public records about the government and the Sibur Company indicates that Russian President Vladimir Putin's son-in-law has received government funds for a lucrative construction project.

    33-year-old Kirill Shamalov owns one fifth of the largest petrochemical company in Russia, Sibur Gas Processing and Petrochemicals. In December, Sibur received funds from the National Welfare Fund (NWF) for the construction of a large complex in the Tyumen region near …

  • Russia to end Ukraine’s supply of electricity to Crimea

    It appears as though Moscow will end a contract with Kiev that ensures the delivery of electricity to the Crimea. Having illegally annexed the peninsula in early 2014, Russia insists that Ukraine remove any language from the contact that stipulates that the Crimea is part of Ukrainian territory. Kiev is determined not to give in.

    Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov asserted that if Ukraine does not agree to change the wording, Russia is most likely to abandon the contract. "It can be assumed …