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Lavrov: US should face responsibility for powers it installed in Kiev

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April 18, 2014 15:22
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on April 18, 2014. (AFP Photo)
Shell tells Putin gas project not derailed by Ukraine
Royal Dutch Shell’s new CEO Ben Van Beurden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, signaling Ukraine tension has not affected investment in Russia, and that energy contracts won't be derailed by international politics. 50
Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko ​Renewables seen as Ukraine's road to energy independence from Russia
As a way of becoming less reliant on Russian conventional energy Ukraine is talking to US investors who want to put money into alternative energy like wind and solar. 59
The Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Vnesheconombank Aleksandr Ivanov (RIA Novosti/Evgeny Biyatov) Asia eyes Russian investment as Western ties deteriorate
​Asian business is keen to snatch development opportunities in Russia as economic ties with the West are weighed down by the Ukraine crisis, the Deputy Chairman and the Board member of Russia’s Vnesheconombank Aleksandr Ivanov, told RT. 13
RIA Novosti/Aleksandr Utkin RBS, BoA withdraw from $1bn loan for Russia’s Sibur
​RBS and Bank of America have said they won't participate in a $1 billion syndicated loan to the Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company Sibur, as tensions around Ukraine escalate. 20

Business snaps

Mitsui, Mitsubishi won’t negotiate purchase of Yamal stake – report 

A consortium of Japanese companies Mitsui and Mitsubishi has refused to continue talks on purchase of 10 percent stake minus 1 share of Yamal SPG from Russia's NOVATEK oil and gas company, Vedomosti daily said. One of the reasons behind the decision could be the project’s cost increase. NOVATEK and France’s Total, which has a 20-percent stake in the project, had made a final decision to build an LNG plant in Yamal, Western Siberia. Compared to initial estimates, the cost has reportedly increased 35 percent – to $27 billion.

Russian, intl oil, gas majors cooperating despite sanctions – Minister 

Moscow and international oil and gas majors are cooperating as usual despite sanctions imposed over Ukraine, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Friday. “There is no sense behind talk of the severing of relations… They express their desire to invest in Russia,” Reuters quoted Novak as saying. He also said that a European Parliament possible decision to suspend the South Stream gas project will not affect its implementation. “Russia continues realizing the project in compliance with the intergovernmental agreements,” he said, as cited by ITAR-TASS.

Crimea to fully switch to ruble settlements in 2-3 weeks  

The Russian Republic of Crimea will switch fully to ruble settlements in two to three weeks, ITAR-TASS quoted acting Crimean head Sergey Aksyonov as saying on Friday. “The hryvna circulation deadline should be cut as much as possible. We will try to refuse hryvna payments in two to three weeks,” he noted.

McDonald’s to lure China diners with new design, ads 

McDonald’s Corp. is looking to beef up its image in China to lure diners amid an economic slowdown, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company said it is overhauling a number of its China-based stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou using a local designer. China-focused commercials to be launched later this year will feature basketball star LeBron James.

‘Stalemate’ continues in Japan-US trade talks  

US-Japan talks aimed at a trade deal are in a stalemate, Reuters quoted Japan's economy minister as saying. “A stalemate continues,” Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari said in Washington after talks with US Trade Representative Michael Froman. The deal is critical to the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation grouping that would stretch from Asia to Latin America. The US wants Japan to open its rice, beef and pork, dairy and sugar sectors, while Japan wants a timetable on US promises to drop tariffs of 2.5 percent on imports of passenger cars and 25 percent on light trucks.

Amazon workers in Germany to walk off job  

Hundreds of Amazon.com workers in Germany were expected to walk off the job on Thursday. Services union, Verdi, was continuing a string of strikes aimed at swaying the e-commerce giant on wage levels, the Wall Street Journal reported. Workers at Amazon’s logistics centers in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld planned to stage an all-day strike, the second at Amazon's German operations this year. The union expected between 400 and 500 employees to strike at each location.

Russian Central Bank withdraws Kaspiy Bank, AF Bank licenses 

The Russian Central Bank has withdrawn the Kaspiy Bank’s license in Dagestan today, RIA Novosti reported. The CB accused the bank of violating the law against money-laundering and terrorism financing as it was reportedly involved in suspicious cash operations worth a total of 550 million rubles in 2013. The Bank of Russia has also revoked the banking license of the Bashkortostan-based AF Bank, ITAR-TASS reported. The Bank of Russia said the AF Bank pursued a high-risk credit-lending policy connected with the allocation of monetary resources in low-quality assets.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (Reuters/Yves Herman) EU replies to Putin: Remaining a reliable supplier in Russia's interest
Replying to the Russian President letter warning of a threat to gas transit through Ukraine, the EU said Gazprom should follow its contractual obligations, urging an early warning of any possible disruptions. 62
Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov (AFP Photo) Usmanov ranked Russia’s richest man for a third time
Alisher Usmanov, the CEO of Gazprominvestholding and the largest shareholder of USM Holdings, has topped Forbes ranking of Russia’s wealthiest for a third year in a row, with his fortune rising $1 billion to $18.6 billion in 2014. 8
Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Alexey Nikolsky) Pre-payment for gas to Ukraine if current bills not met - Putin
Gazprom will switch to a pre-payment system in one month if Ukraine doesn’t start paying for natural gas imports from Russia, President Vladimir Putin has warned during Thursday's 12th annual question and answer session. 51
Reuters / Thomas Peter EU companies warn policymakers against Russian sanctions
Some of Europe’s biggest companies like UK’s BP and Germany's BASF have told their governments economic sanctions against Russia would hurt them badly. The warning comes as Russia, the US, Ukraine and the EU are discussing the crisis in Geneva Thursday. 11
Reuters / Henry Romero Putin says oil wars with Russia will make West bleed
Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Europe cannot stop buying Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if the US tries to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer. 258
AFP Photo/Fabio Bucciarelli 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. 77

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