Moscow does not plan to leave the World Trade Organization (WTO) in retaliation to new Western sanctions, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. Speaking with students in Moscow on Monday, he said the sanctions would force Russia to protect its economy, social area, citizens and businesses. At the same time, Moscow will use WTO’s instruments to overcome the EU’s “discriminatory policies towards antidumping procedures,” ITAR-TASS said. The WTO’s mechanisms could be also applied against using norms of the EU’s third energy package retrospectively, he said.
The Russian currency dropped 30 kopeks on the Moscow Exchange on Monday morning, ITAR-TASS said. The ruble-euro exchange rate plummeted to 49 for first time since May 5. The dollar gained 21 kopeks to 37.33 rubles. The price of the bi-currency basket (0.45 euro and 0.55 dollar) increased by 24 kopeks to 42.59 rubles. Analysts cite current geopolitical factors as the main reason behind the rate changes.
Washington has imposed new sanctions targeting companies and individuals it believes are related to Iran’s nuclear program. Among them is Moscow-registered but Iranian-owned Asia Bank, formerly known as Chemeximbank. The US Treasury accuses the bank of converting and facilitating the delivery from Moscow, to representatives of the Iranian government in Tehran, US dollar bank notes valued at over $13 million.
Imports of Russian vodka, caviar and diamonds may be banned by the EU as part of a new round of sanctions over Ukraine, Die Welt newspaper reported. New sanctions against Russia’s energy sector are unlikely, the German newspaper said. EU foreign ministers on Friday were set to consider adopting new sanctions against Russia.
Russia’s Vnesheconombank (VEB) has acquired Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company’s shares for 25 billion rubles ($688 million), according to VEB’s official documents. As part of the additional share issue, VEB bought about 10 million shares of the manufacturer of Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner, or 16.6 percent of the company’s authorized capital stock. VEB’s support will allow Sukhoi Civil Aircraft to produce up to 60 SSJ-100 airliners. In 2013, 25 Superjets were manufactured.
McDonald’s has closed a restaurant in the Moscow Region and two in the city of Sochi on orders from Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, ITAR-TASS said. The number of suspended restaurants in Russia has now risen to eight, the company said. Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich earlier said that the authorities do not plan to suspend operations of McDonald’s restaurants in Russia.
Moscow will not react to Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk’s statement about “the need to block Russian assets abroad,” Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said Thursday. Manturov described such statements as “ill-considered,” RIA Novosti reported. Yatsenyuk said the previous sanctions against Russia over Ukraine were ineffective and called on the US and the EU to freeze Russian assets.