Economy & Politics

Moscow to Create a Joint Russia-Armenia Military Group

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By Marina Romanova

az-qa-location-enPresident Vladimir Putin has approved a proposal to create a joint Russian and Armenian military group, two countries media reports, quoting the decree. The military cooperation project was proposed by the Russian Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and other federal agencies involved.

According to the document, dated 12 November and published on Monday, November 14th, Putin has ordered the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to hold talks with Armenia on reaching an agreement on a subject matter.

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E-learning Market to Grow in Russia

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By Marina Romanova

gfk501Online education industry, also known as elearning, is growing fast in Russia, and according to the experts forecast, is expected to grow by 25 percent a year, Russian daily Kommersant reports. Statistics reveal that the world e-learning market is worth around US$107 billion and one of its major markets – Eastern Europe – is driven by Russia.

Although Russia, according to the J’son & Partners Consulting research, is responsible for only about US$162 million market share, nation e-learning market has a vast potential and continue to grow despite of the current economic crisis. Quite the contrary, the economic crisis is prompting more and more Russians to learn foreign languages. As many as 7.2 million Russians at least ones were enrolled in e-learning, Stanislav Korolkov, head of the Russian e-learning center Unibrains, told Kommersant daily.

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Russia to Have the Most Orchestrated State Duma Election

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By Marina Romanova

125_199This Sunday, September, 18th Russia holds parliamentary elections in ‘toxic cocktail of voter apathy and institutional bias towards the ruling party’, as Sky News phrase it.  Most of domestic and international observers agree that the Russian Duma elections outcome is easy to predict: the president Putin’s party, United Russia, will retain its dominance and only docile pseudo-oppositionist parties will win some numbers of seats, while real power opponents will be left with nothing.

The irony of predicted and rather pessimistic election outcome is the fact that in reality only 31 percent of national electorate actually supports United Russia. Popular dislike for the notorious ‘party of crooks and thieves’ was revealed by the recent poll of the Levada Center, national pollster, which was afterwards proclaimed to be a ‘foreign agent’.

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Alrosa to Double Diamond Sale to Asia in 2018

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By Marina Romanova

CrV6ASvUIAAIIH5A day ahead of the Second Eurasian Economic Forum, Russian PJSC Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds, has open its Eurasian Diamond Centre in Far Eastern port-city of Vladivostok. According to the miner press release, the company wants to boost gem sales to Asia-Pacific nations, including China, India, Japan, and Singapore; and improve cooperation with companies in the region.

The new trading platform will provide an infrastructure cluster to unite diamond industry companies and cater to export-import operations. The Centre will also be in charge for the search of “potential new partners and investors to set up manufacturing facilities for industrial grade diamonds and production of diamond cutting industry equipment.”

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Karimov’s death to affect Moscow-Tashkent thaw and Eurasian Security

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By Marina Romanova

caucasus-map78-year-old Islam Karimov, who had ruled Uzbekistan since 1989 before the fall of the Berlin Wall and who allegedly died on Monday afternoon, is still not yet officially dead as of Friday morning, September 2, 2016.

The respected Central Asian Fergana news has announced Karimov’s death earlier this week after his younger daughter Lola revealed the news on Instagram of her father – in hospital since last Sunday – had suffered a brain hemorrhage.  Although, the Uzbek government did not confirm the reports but funeral music (pieces of classics) was played on state channels – Soviet time invented tradition to mark the decease of a leader. Earlier the statement saying that president’s health had “sharply deteriorated” was announced by the government.

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Novosibirsk to Ban Foreigners from 16 Jobs

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By Marina Romanova

media_preview56142_710x423Immigrant laborer will no longer be allowed to teach in schools, to drive a bus or cab, to work as timber merchants, lawyers or accountants in Siberian region of Novosibirsk, Russian media reports.

The ban was imposed this Monday by Novosibirsk governor Vladimir Gorodetsky and must be enforced over the next three months of this year by “every employer contracting in the region.” Employers now have a deadline to ensure they comply with the legislation concerning 16 professions in total.

The jobs now barred to foreigners also include preparation of children’s food; work in kids day care, in mining or fisheries. Moreover, new ruling will see the migrants banned from working in finance, law, translation, editing, bookkeeping and audit, consulting and management, The Moscow Times read in the article oddly entitled ‘Russia’s Novosibirsk Region Bans Low-Skilled Migrants’. Although, many migrants are doing menial work in Russia, yet many occupations from the governor’s 16 jobs list are rather qualified personnel positions.

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Moscow to Restore Ties with Ankara Contrasting Public Opinion

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By Marina Romanova

fpvyfTurkish president Recep Erdogan travels to St. Petersburg on coming Tuesday, August 9th, to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to restore two nations’ economic ties being down since Turkish air force dropped Russian Su-24 fighter jet near the Syrian-Turkish border in November 2015. The followed termination of Moscow-Ankara affairs painfully hit public relations, economic affairs and trade.

Food, Agro Products and Joined Projects

Initially Ankara has been one of the beneficiaries of Russia’s food embargo against the west. In 2014, bilateral trade in agricultural products increased by 19 percent to US$4 billion. When Moscow has embargoed a range of products and foodstuffs, including shipments of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts, poultry and salt, food exports from Turkey were in serious trouble. Nearly 20 percent of Russia’s vegetable imports are provided by Turkey, and about US$31 billion in bilateral trade was at risk amid deteriorating relations between the two countries.

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Quo vadis Russia: Moving Toward or Away from the WTO?

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By Marina Romanova

155303As the last “Report on the Implementation and Enforcement of Russia’s WTO Commitment” phrase it, Russia took the myriad steps – adopted laws, regulations, resolutions, decrees, and other measure – to bring its legal regime governing international trade into conformity with the WTO Agreement, but what are Russia’s achievements so far?

Being a 6-largest global economy, Russia has finally joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) as its 156th member in August 2012, following unprecedented nearly two decades of negotiations.

4 year later, both domestic and international observers consent Russia’s achievements as a new WTO member are relatively insignificant due to number of reasons. Among them are lack of domestic qualified experts and personnel; state officials’ unfamiliarity with potential export opportunities; and the domestic producers’ indifference in entering foreign markets. Furthermore, the recent devaluation of the ruble creates an additional protection from imports which frees local producers from transnational competition.

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Russian middle class to continue buying real estate abroad yet in smaller numbers

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By Marina Romanova

maxresdefaultRussia’s shrank yet still present middle class will linger to invest in real estate property abroad in 2016 as investors seek to protect their capital from domestic risks.

“Most Russian-speaking investors are successful entrepreneurs, owning and operating businesses in Russia and/or CIS countries. Due to the volatile financial situation in the region, they are looking for income-generating property with moderate yields and stable returns in a dependable currency,” George Kachmazov, managing partner of Tranio.com, an overseas property broker, explains.

The broker firm has noticed stable activity in cross-border transactions for investment property, particularly in terms of income-generating buy-to-let residential and commercial premises. The overall total of cross-border remittances gained 9 percent quarter-on-quarter by Q1 2016, rising from US$5.8 billion to US$6.4 billion. Continue reading…

Azerbaijan to simplify visa issuance for foreigners

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By Marina Romanova

azerbaijan_map_markedAzerbaijan ministry of culture and tourism is about to finish all needed preparation to launch new e-visa issuing system called ASAN Visa, www.abc.az reports. The ASAN Visa is scheduled to begin operating since September 1, 2016.

Abulfaz Garayev, the head of the ministry of culture and tourism, has stated that the technical conditions of the system have already been approved, while added that “the introduction of new system does not envisage the elimination of the current system of issuing e-visas through travel agencies, and the latter can continue accepting orders and provide tourists with a visas”.

Functionally new e-visa system would be available online for all applicants and would support the following operations: it will accept applications, process them (including the collection of state fee) and then issue e-visa. According to the ministry, applicants should expect their e-visas to be emailed to them in 3 working days. ASAN Visa will be integrated with entry-exit system.

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