• Gazprom: Ukraine's Transit Fine Is an Attempt to Exert Pressure

    Gazprom claimed that the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) has no authority to regulate the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. This was reported by Interfax, citing the press service of Gazprom on Friday, January 22nd. The Russian gas giant said that the decision of the AMCU to impose a $3.47 billion fine upon Gazprom was an "attempt to exert pressure."

    "This arouses extreme surprise, because Gazprom does not carry out any business activities on the territory of Ukraine by passing …

  • Poroshenko and Aliyev Agree On Trade Route to Bypass Russia

    At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, agreed on the need to develop a transit route that bypasses Russia.

    The Presidents were pleased to learn about the successful departure of the first container train from Ilyichevsk that will follow the Ukraine-Georgia-Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan–China route. Poroshenko and Aliyev’s coordinated efforts need to work further in this direction, according to the press service of the …

  • Russian Court to Consider Extending Natalia Sharina's House Arrest

    The Russian investigative committee is asking the court to extend the house arrest of the Director of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, Natalia Sharina, for another three months, her lawyer Ivan Pavlov reported.

    "On January 27th, the Presnensky Court of Moscow will consider the extension of the house arrest of Natalia Sharina. The investigative committee asked the court to extend this period for another three months," Pavlov said. According to him, the court will begin hearings …

  • US Withdraws Accreditation of 5 Honorary Russian Consulates

    The United States closed five Honorary Russian Consulates in response to the closing of the American Center in Moscow, Interfax reported, referencing the Press Secretary of the Embassy of the USA to Russia, William Stevenson, on Friday, January 22th.

    "This action is taken in response to the continued Russian interference in our diplomatic consular activities in Russia" the American Embassy stated.

    The US withdrew accreditation from five of the six Honorary Consulates in the USA: in California, …

  • Russia places Crimean Tatar leader on wanted list

    A court in Simferopol arrested Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev in absentia and placed him on the Russian Federation’s wanted list. Dzhemilev was one of the organizers of the blockade placed against the occupied Crimean Peninsula.

    According to his lawyer, Jamil Temishev, Dzhemilev is suspected of violating Russian law on three counts, though he did not elaborate which articles exactly Dzhemilev is suspected of violating.  The warrant for the arrest of the former Leader of the Crimean …

  • New Ukrainian embargo on Russian goods to come into force in February

    An extended embargo on newly listed banned goods from Russia will take effect in early February as stated in the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers decision № 28 from 20 January. Added to the extended list of banned goods approved on December 30th 2015 were onions, green tea, prepared or preserved fish, white chocolate, pellets, candies containing alcohol, chewing gum, marmalade and jelly, corn flakes, biscuits and crisp breads, soya and tomato sauce (ketchup).It is worth noting that the list of …

  • Kiev Fines Gazprom $3.4 Billion

    The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) fined Gazprom 85 billion Hryvnia (around 3.4 billion dollars) for an abuse of dominance in the gas transit market in Ukraine, as reported on 22 January, by the head of AMCU, Yuriy Terentyev.  “The decision has just been made concerning the abuse of the dominant position in the market by the monopoly gas producer Gazprom. The amount of the fine is 85 billion Hryvnia," wrote Terentyev on his Facebook page. Yaroslav Teklyuk, Director for Legal and …

  • Poroshenko Refuses To Answer Questions Asked By Russian Journalists in Davos

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ignored Russian journalists at the World Economic Forum in Davos. As reported on Friday, January 22nd by RIA Novosti, reporters tried to get a comment from the Ukrainian leader several times, but upon learning that they were Russian media representatives, he flatly refused to communicate.

    A Russian journalist from the news agency Sputnik posed a question in English. Poroshenko asked what country he was from, and learning that he was from Russia, the …

  • Lavrov, Kerry discuss Syrian peace talks

    US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have spoken over the phone about the upcoming UN-sponsored Syrian peace talks in Geneva. The talks will be the largest effort yet to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian Civil War that has raged for almost 5 years.

    Kerry’s call to Lavrov comes three days after a face-to-face meeting between the two in Zurich, following which a joint statement was released saying "particular attention was given to the need to form a …

  • Russian Justice Ministry defines ‘political activity’ to amend ‘Foreign Agent Law’

    In 2012, the Russian State Duma adopted a law requiring all nongovernmental organizations engaged in political activity that receive funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents” with the Ministry of Justice, a designation that severely hinders an NGO's ability to operate in the Russian Federation. While the law initially provided a vague definition of "political activity", the Ministry of Justice adopted a new amendment on Friday defining it as any work in the sphere of federal or …