The USRCCNE Monthly Newsletter
For those with interests bridging the US and Russia
From Josh Wilson, General Editor, USRCCNE
This past month has been whirlwind of shifting news.
The main story was the meeting between John Kerry and Vladimir Putin which, while deciding nothing, marked the reestablishment of top-level, public diplomacy between the US and Russia. A flurry of articles have argued that Russia is reaching out, that America is reaching out, that this is bad, that this is good, that this is a return to Cold War status quos, and just about everything in between.
Relations remain strained. The US pledged to stand firm on sanctions (the WTO won't help Russia either) and Russia has pushed additional travel bans on EU officials. Russia's recent laws against "undesirable NGOs" and making peacetime military deaths a state secret have caused Western countries to protest.
Economic data has also shifted. Russia faces inflation and weak industrial production, but the economy has outperformed expectations and World Bank now predicts Russian economic growth in 2016 – based largely on recovered oil prices and Russia's near-record production levels.
News from Ukraine is mixed. The conflict in Donbas has devolved to a stalemate, but remains a crisis for the Ukrainian people and economy. Ukraine's leaders face escalating debt and falling poll numbers but continue to make bold and controversial decisions.
Following this part of the world has certainly never been boring. Summer, 2015 is not about to be an exception to that rule, it seems.
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Free Russian Tax Seminar
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Featured Member Articles
Making Millions on Russian Freight
A student from St. Petersburg started with side jobs loading trucks and eventually founded a company that spans Russia. The following interview was conducted by The Village, a Russian-language publication in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kiev that seeks to inform locals about their various cities, upcoming events, urban changes, and history.
Alinga Co-hosted Seminar
Russian-language PDFs of the PowerPoint presentations used at Alinga's latest seminar are now available online. Subscribe to the Alinga Market Update
Russian Mini-Lesson: Lost Luggage
Your luggage is lost in Russia! What do you do? And what language will you need to get it back? Subscribe to the SRAS Newsletter
What an Ancient Siberian River Tells Us About Climate Change
Tree-ring data, such as those collected under our CRDF Global project, are crucial in understanding variability in the global climate system. Global studies require regional data, and international collaboration is essential to ensure the quality and proper interpretation of that data. Projects such as ours link regional experts with large scale modelers to answer problems of global significance.
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USRCCNE and Member News
Yulia Mazur Presents at AEB Event
Yulia presented on "Effective Accounting: from analysis of current state to implementation of recommendations" and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with so many business colleagues across the many industries represented. Alinga is a long-time and proud member of the AEB.
CRDF Global Announces Emergency Science, Technology Support for Ukraine
The fund will provide emergency support to scientists displaced by the war, young scientists at risk of leaving Ukraine, and tech commercialization.
SRAS Expands Scholarship to Moscow
Starting spring, 2016 - SRAS's Home and Abroad program will be available in Moscow. This expands the lineup of locations eligible for the $5000 - 10,000 study abroad award. The lineup also includes Bishkek, Irkutsk, Vladivostok, and St. Petersburg.
Katie Bascom Receives Vestnik Jury Award
In her work entitled “The Hero of Cana: Alyosha’s Ode to Joy," Ms. Bascom provides an elegantly simple yet extraordinarily insightful look into Dostoevsky's classic The Brothers Karamazov.
Business and Economy
US Business Consultant Jailed in Russia
Mr. Blacklin was eventually deported and fined 5,000 rubles—about $93. A provincial court found that Mr. Blacklin’s activities in Russia—he delivered a lecture at a university—were incompatible with his visa.
What Now for MIT and Moscow's 'Innovation City'?
It goes without saying that recreating Kendall Square would be difficult to pull off anywhere, let alone in Russia. Establishing Skolkovo as a thriving innovation hub largely depends on ensuring that entrepreneurs have a reason to stay.
World Bank: Russia to Return to Growth in 2016
The World Bank has updated its economic outlook for Russia for 2015 and 2016 to reflect a further stabilization of global oil prices.
Bank of Russia Says Inflation in Check With Economy in Focus
“If there are no new additional shocks, then by the end of the year we forecast the beginning of economic growth on a quarterly basis,” Central Bank Chief Nabiullina said.
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Changing Course, Russia Will Sell Rubles Instead of Buying
The ruble has risen so robustly that the central bank on Thursday reversed a long-running policy of propping it up. Under a new plan, the central bank will buy foreign currencies to replenish its reserves, a move that will effectively weaken the ruble.
Shadow Economy, Rural Self-Sufficiency Allowing Russia to Weather Sanctions
This is according to a five-year-long study of provincial society carried out by sociologists at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics.
Russia No Longer a Good Option for Foreign Banks
With growth now stalled and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis compounding fears of a long period of economic stagnation, foreign banks now see Russia as a risky bet and a drag on margins, S&P said.
Russia Fails to Win WTO Backing in Fight Against Sanctions
Russian companies that are included on the sanctions list are now preparing to argue their case in European courts.
Russia Enacts Law on "Undesirable" Organizations
Russia recently adopted a law that will allow it to use a new legal term for NGOs and other organizations: "undesirable." The full text of this law is available in Russian online.
Where Are Oil Prices and the Ruble Going Next?
A drift back to either side of $50 p/bbl — taking the ruble and the equity market down with it — through the summer seems the more likely course.
Human Capital Report 2015
World Economic Forum has published the Human Capital Report for 2015. It ranks Russia's human capital 26th out of 124 countries. The US ranks 17th while South Korea stands at 30th.
Russian Watchdog Warns Facebook, Twitter, and Google
Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor notified Facebook, Twitter and Google that they face penalties for alleged failure to abide by Russian law, Izvestia newspaper reported on Wednesday.
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