The US imposes further sanctions on Russia

The Obama administration tightened economic pressure on Russia over its intervention in Ukraine by imposing further sanctions on some Russian individuals and companies. Most of the targeted groups were associates or bank subsidiaries of people and companies already sanctioned before by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The group includes 34 people or…

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EU plans to extend sanctions on Russia

An EU official told RFE/RL that the EU plans to extend sanctions against Russia when EU ambassadors gather for a meeting slated to take place on December 21. The sanctions to be officially extended until July 31, 2016 target Russia’s financial, oil and military sectors as well as specific individuals. A December 14 meeting of…

Russia: Central Bank lowers interest rates to 15%

Unexpectedly, Russia’s Central Bank cut its interest rate by two points, citing a lower risk for inflation given the impending recession and low growth rates. The ruble weakened again against the dollar after the announcement to 72, its lowest level since December. Western economists cited their surprise at this development, and expressed concern that the…

Russia: Economy Recesses, Ruble Falls Additional 6%

The Russian economy retracted for the first time since 2009, registering a fall of 0.9% in November. The lack of growth exacerbated the ongoing crisis surrounding the ruble, reducing the currency’s value by an additional 7%. Emergency stimulus injected into the currency by the Russian central bank seemingly stopped the currency free fall in weeks…

Russia: Ruble stabilizes after Putin’s speech

After Putin’s speech yesterday, the Russian ruble’s precipitous decline has stabilized somewhat. The President of Russia tacitly endorsed the central bank’s policy of interest rate inflation and kept outlook relatively focused on the currency crisis rather than declining government revenues and sanctions. The currency is holding steady right now at 61 rubles on the dollar,…

Iran Talks: Deadline Passed, Sides Consider Alternatives

Today marked the deadline for P5+1 and Iranian negotiators to come to terms on an agreement concerning the Iranian nuclear program. The probability that a “permanent” agreement would be reached in accordance with the deadline was virtually zero as Iranian negotiators had previously declared a deal before November 24 “impossible” and Western negotiators had already begun to…