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Past Issue
May, 2014

The USRCCNE Monthly Newsletter
For those with interests bridging the US and Russia

USRCCNE Welcome!
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE

As US-Russia relations settle in for what appears to be a long-term cooling, the major benefactor appears to be China. A raft of major new agreements has been signed including a $400 billion dollar gas deal. Most analysts seem to agree that this was a great deal for the Chinese and perhaps much more a way of Russia continuing to win political favor for other concerns and to simply keep investment coming in and currency circulating within the Russian economy. Other significant deals included currency cooperation, allowing the two countries to bypass the US dollar in transactions made between their countries. This will help strengthen the ruble and yen, while weakening the dollar. China will also now have much greater access, which it has long sought, to investments in Russian natural resources and Russian agriculture. Russia was long hesitant about granting these rights, preferring to keep its connections with China limited for political reasons. However, with the threat of growing Western sanctions, Russia has become much more willing to consider China's proposals.

 

We continue to believe that Russia offers considerable economic potential for American companies. As the playing field changes, however, American companies will have to perform careful due diligence to minimize the risk that American sanctions now pose. They can also expect greater competition from Chinese firms.

 

Below are several articles on these and other developments of concern to those with investments and connections with Russia. We will continue to monitor the situation in this monthly newsletter.

 


Don't Miss This Month!

As always, this newsletter is dependent on you. If you have an announcement or a news item to be included in our newsletter, or if you would like to subscribe to this free publication, please contact us.

Upcoming Events

Seminar: Deoffshorization & Transfer Pricing
(May 27, 2014 - Moscow, Russia) Alinga Consulting and Podolsky & Klein will present an informative seminar to discuss our experience gained in legally applying transfer pricing policies under Russia's current legislation. We will also talk about Russia's upcoming "deoffshorization" drive and its consequences. Join us for a discussion of the most important and topical issues related to doing business in Russia.

Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms
(June 12-29, 2014 - Los Angeles, CA) This evening of not-so-innocent pranks and antics, vignettes and dreamlike incidents is where the St. Petersburg eccentric Daniil Kharms meets a unique brand of clownpunk. This is a Russian absurdist comedy at its most illogical, violent, sad and hilarious.

Prosopon School of Iconology
(July 28 - Aug 2, 2014 - Clinton, MA) The Museum of Russian Icons has the honor of hosting the renowned Prosopon School of Iconology for an intensive six-day course on icon writing. Under the guidance of Vladislav Andrejev, students will study the techniques of painting icons, including transferring the image, applying gold leaf, mixing pigments, using the “floating” egg tempera technique, and lettering in the traditional style.

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USRCCNE and Member News

Vacation and Learn in Batumi, Georgia
Spend this summer in the seaside city of Batumi, Georgia. The beaches and subtropical climate draw tourists from many parts of the former-USSR, making Russian a lingua franca for the city, especially during the summer tourist season. This summer you can also enjoy the Batumi International Music Festival and the Black Sea Jazz Festival. And last, but by far not least, enjoy an entire summer of Georgian cuisine! 

Alinga Recognized as Auditor of Association of European Business
Chet Bowling, Managing Partner of Alinga, attended the Annual General Meeting of the Association of European Businesses in Moscow. Alinga Consulting, which has been the corporate auditor for AEB for more than two years received special mention during the presentation of the annual report.

Alinga Gives Back to Expat Community in St. Petersburg
Alinga Consulting Group was proud to sponsor and contribute to "Expat life in Russia: guidelines to success." This highly informative event was held in St. Petersburg on April 25.

Travel and Transport

China-Russia-US Bering Strait Railroad Plan "Feasible"
A Chinese plan to build a high-speed rail line connecting China to the United States via Russia and Canada is entirely feasible, but it remains to be seen if the US and Russia can cooperate amid the Ukrainian crisis, US rail expert Hal Cooper told RIA Novosti.

Russia to Invest $28bn into Aviation
Russia's government plans to invest $28bn into the aviation industry by 2025 in order that it can compete on a global level.

Russia Mulls International Flight Fee to Support Home Routes
Russia's Transportation Ministry is examining the possibility of introducing an additional fee for passengers of international flights in order to channel the proceeds to subsidize domestic routes, train local staff and repair regional airports.

China, Russia Plan $800M Tourism Fund
A joint venture between the Russian Direct Investment Fund, or RDIF, and China Investment Corporation, or CIC, plans to raise an $800 million fund to invest in infrastructure for senior living centers and to tap rising Sino-Russia tourism, a top executive at the Russian state-backed fund said Monday.

Russia's Tourism Hit Hard by Ukraine Tensions
The crisis in Ukraine has led to a sharp drop in foreign tourism to Russia, with cancellations coming not just from the U.S. and Europe but also from Asia, a region usually indifferent to political tensions surrounding Russia, an industry spokeswoman said.

Sheremetyevo: Simferopol Flights Now Domestic
Flights to the Crimea now operated by the domestic transportation rules without the procedure of border and customs controls.

Domodedovo: Pay-for-Parking Mobile Application
Moscow Domodedovo Airport is expanding the range of its services, creating more opportunities for its passengers: new mobile application DME Parking allows you to quickly and conveniently pay for parking, without leaving your car.
 

Never Too Many Books!
 
Revolutionary Russia, 1891-1991: A History Russian-Ottoman Borderlands: The Eastern Question Reconsidered The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World’s Greatest Railroad
Revolutionary Russia Borderlands Siberian Railroad
     
The Making of Jewish Revolutionaries in the Pale of Settlement The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia: Culture, History, Context
Jewish Revolutionaries Colder War Thinking Orthodox

Post-Soviet-Conflict-Banner 
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Articles

Why Russia's Government Cares about Yandex
When Russian search engine Yandex nominated the head of Russia’s state-owned Sberbank as a new board member, many immediately saw it as a political move to crackdown on the Internet. But it wasn’t.

About Russia And China's Gas Deal
Russia and China have agreed to a 30-year natural-gas deal that will supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually to the world's most populous country, according to Gazprom. Here is what is known about the deal.

Russia, China's Sign Deal to Bypass Dollar
The bank deal is another indicator that Russia and China are in the middle of a wider rapprochement, which analysts say is premised not on ideological alignment but on a mutual desire to undercut the U.S. in their respective spheres of influence.

Russia-China Fund Invests $1 Billion
The Russia-China Investment Fund has sunk about $1 billion into three infrastructure, tourism and logistics deals, and a senior executive told China Daily that investing in agriculture and natural resources sectors will be next on the agenda.

Russia, China Sign Space Exploration Agreement
Federal Space Agency chief Oleg Ostapanko wants to allow "Chinese colleagues participate in some of the most interesting projects that can replace the ISS."

Mega Oil Field Discovered in Southern Russia
A new oil field with roughly 300 million tons of oil and 90 billion cubic meters of gas has been discovered in the Astrakhan region of Russia.

US Ends Russia's $544M Tax Break
The US will call off some $544 million in trade benefits by excluding Russia from the Generalized Preferential System, or GSP, which reduced import rates for developing states in order to boost their economy by trade, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Deflation Among Risks Seen in Poll
In the second-quarter Bloomberg Markets Global Investor Poll, the world’s financial elite say the US is a buy.

Visa and MasterCard Cling to Russia Despite $3.8Bln Blow
Visa and MasterCard will hold fast to Russia despite a new law that forces them to pay over $3.8 billion as a security deposit to the Central Bank.

Uniqlo and Other Retailers Freeze Russian Expansion Plans
Major foreign restaurant chains and retailers are putting plans to enter the Russian market on hold, while others, such as popular clothing brand Uniqlo, are slowing plans for expansion.

Some Investors Hold Fast in Russian Markets, Unfazed by Big Retreat
Some big global investors are riding out the stomach-churning drops seen in Russian assets this year, refusing to join a stampede to the exits on the belief that any retaliation against Moscow for its role in Ukraine will fade and prices will rebound.

Workers Seize City in Eastern Ukraine From Separatists
Thousands of steelworkers fanned out on Thursday through the city of Mariupol, establishing control over the streets and banishing the pro-Kremlin militants who until recently had seemed to be consolidating their grip on power, dealing a setback to Russia and possibly reversing the momentum in eastern Ukraine.

Language Connections
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Endangered Species
America’s senior experts on Russia — many of whom came of age during the Cold War — are suddenly in demand again. They are sounding alarms not only about Kremlin aggression, but also the lack of young Russia experts who’ll take their places once they retire.

Increasingly Negative Views of US, EU
Russian opinions of the U.S. are at their lowest point since Pew Research began polling in Russia 12 years ago.

Russia to Develop National Storage Base of Russian-language Internet
The creation of a national storage base of Russian-language Internet files has been prioritized as a strategic issue for Russia’s new cultural policy. A draft document outlining the “Foundations for the state cultural policy” was published earlier this month in Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the official mouthpiece for the Russian Cabinet.

Russian Company Reproduces Van Gogh for $200
The Russian startup Prixel has developed technology that makes it possible to print copies of paintings that fully convey the texture of the artist’s brushstrokes.

Russian Start-ups Learn Commercialization in US
With U.S.-Russia political relations at their lowest ebb in decades American and Russian businesses still keep pushing for sustainable collaboration and an uninterrupted flow of technology around the world. Subscribe to Marchmont News Service

Navajo: The Unbreakable Code of WWII
During World War II, the ability to communicate maneuvers and planned attacks became absolutely vital. Subscribe to the LanguageConnections Newsletter

Russian Corner: Accounting for Vacation Time in Russia
Workers in Russia are entitled to 28 calendar days of full vacation annually. This guaranteed minimum has been established by law and ensures that both Russian citizens as well as foreign citizens working in Russia will retain their job (position) and will receive their average salary. Subscribe to the Alinga Market Update

Just for Fun: Russia Has No Easter Bunny
So how do Russians prepare for Easter? This is a quick tour of Easter preparations as observed on 19 April, 2014 at a small church in southern Moscow. Subscribe to the SRAS Newsletter


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