Articles by Diana Kulchitskaya



Crimea Officials Safe From Russian Anti-Corruption Law, For Now

A Russian anti-corruption law banning politicians from business activities will not be applied to Crimean officials until the end of the year to give them time to adjust to Russian legislation, said a presidential decree published on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported.

Crimean Chemical Plants Threatened by Ukraine's Water War With Russia

Having despoiled Crimea's harvest, Ukraine's water war with Russia may take more victims, with two major Crimean chemical plants near closure because of a water shortage, a Crimean official said Wednesday.

Finance Ministry Wants to Raise Property Tax on Homeowners Tenfold

The Finance Ministry is finalizing plans to levy a property tax on individual homeowners and ratchet up the cost by pegging the tax rate to cadastral property values.

Sochi Lawmakers Attempt to Save Failing Olympic Venues With Tax Break

Sochi's Olympic sports venues and hotels have been exempted from property tax for two years by the regional government, a move that analysts say simply reflects the hopelessness of their financial position after the Games.

U.S. Ends Russia's $544M Tax Break

The U.S. 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.

Crimea Gets $196M to Avoid Collapse in Tourist Numbers

The Russian government will pump 7 billion rubles ($196 million) into subsidizing transport links and infrastructure between Crimea and the Russian mainland, in an attempt to save a tourist season that is likely to be decimated by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Ukraine Crisis Hurts Russian Tour Operators

The crisis in Ukraine has led skittish U.S. and European tourists to rethink their holiday plans, leading to a wave of cancellations and drop in sales for Russia's tour operators, the Russian Union of Travel Industry, or RATA, reported Monday.

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.

Central Bank Revokes Mestny Kredit and NBB's Licenses

The Central Bank has revoked the licenses of Mestny Kredit Bank and the National Bank for Business Development as a part of a massive campaign to regulate the banking system, Vedomosti reported on Thursday, quoting a news release published by the regulator on its site.

Government Mulls Domodedovo Toll Highway Plan

The highway linking Moscow to Domodedovo Airport may become a new toll road under a government scheme to raise funds for road repairs and development from fees paid for using them, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Falling Ruble Threatens Fiat and Renault LCV Project

Fiat and Renault may pull out of a car assembly deal with the Russian near century-old ZIL plant as a falling ruble makes the project unprofitable, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

Moscow Considers Industrial Zone Revamp

The Moscow government is considering introducing a new law that would force those who own real estate in industrial zones to renovate their properties, Kommersant reported Monday, quoting a source in property developer Moskomstroiinvest.

Government Projects Bring Losses to Builders

The construction industry is in huge turmoil as major firms, which were involved in building the infrastructure for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, have either been declared insolvent or are on the verge of bankruptсy, Vedomosti reported Monday.

Russia Mulls Extra Fee for International Flights 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, Kommersant reported Friday.

Duma to Mull Ban on Foreign Telecom Equipment

The State Duma is likely to consider in July a ban on foreign telecom equipment, which constitutes the core of the multi-billion ruble market, Lenta.ru reported Tuesday.

Rostelecom to Invest More Than $400M in Crimea Network

Russian long-distance telecom provider Rostelecom will set up a branch office in Crimea and  invest 15 billion rubles ($417 million) in developing a telecom system on the annexed peninsula, Kommersant reported on Wednesday, quoting a source in the telecoms industry.

Moscow Government Plans to Auction Majority Stake in Olimpiisky Sports Complex

The Moscow government plans to auction off it majority stake in the massive Olimpiisky Sports Complex on May 15, the latest in a series of unsuccessful attempts to offload the dilapidated arena.

Olimpstroi to be Dismantled by Year-End

Olimpstroi, a huge state company responsible for construction in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, will be dissolved by the end of the year, Vedomosti reported, quoting a draft of a bill issued by the Regional Development Ministry.

Russian Eco-Publishing House Finds Way into Niche Market

Young businesswoman sets up green business and wins against all odds.

EcoSystem Firm to Invest $450M in Waste Recycling Business

Major waste recycling firm EcoSystem plans to invest 16 billion rubles ($450 million) in creating a large network of processing facilities throughout the country and becoming a monopoly in the business in some major regions, Vedomosti reported Friday.

Russia Mulls Lifting Medical Advertisement Ban

The Russian parliament may pass a law lifting a ban on media advertising medical services and equipment, which was imposed at the start of 2014. The media market may welcome this initiative, as it could boost revenues.

Economic Ministry Drops GDP Growth to 0.5% at Best for 2014

The Russian economy could stagnate due to political tensions with Ukraine and cooling relations with the West, the Economic Development Ministry predicted in a three year forecast, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

Regions Group to Build Russian Disneyland in Moscow's Nagatino

One of Russia's top development firms, Regions Group, will build a "Moscow version of Disneyland," a theme park under the brand of Hollywood's DreamWorks Animation in the south of Moscow, as the first step to setting up three such parks for a total of $1 billion, Vedomosti reported last week.

Russia May Switch to Chinese Pork from European

Russia is considering importing pork from China to compensate for the loss of European pork banned in the beginning of January because of an outburst of African Swine Fever, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Rosselkhoznadzor, said.

Moscow to Give Tax Breaks to Downtown Restaurants

Moscow's government may soon ease the tax burden for property owners on central shopping streets and pedestrian zones. This scheme may affect first of all owners of cafes and restaurants, who are now suffering from the rapidly declining ruble, Kommersant reported on Friday.

Ukraine Bans Russian Foodstuffs in Apparent Tit-for-Tat

Ukraine has banned sales of Russian chocolate, cheese and fish on its territory, the Ukrainian Liga.Biznes website reported Thursday.

Renault Suspends Combat Vehicle Project with Russia

France's Renault Trucks Defense, or RTD, has effectively suspended its participation in the French- Russian project of developing Atom armored personnel carrier in retaliation to Moscow's policy in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, Agence France-Presse reported.

Ukraine Crisis Forces Some Expats to Sell Elite Moscow Property

Some foreigners owning elite real estate in Moscow have started selling their property amid political tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine, real estate companies said. They have also witnessed some expats pulling out of Moscow and canceling their rental agreements.

U.S. Suspends FATCA Talks With Russia

The U.S. government has practically stopped talks with Russia on the exchange of tax information about U.S. residents' accounts in foreign banks under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, Vedomosti reported on Tuesday.

Vkontakte Founder Resigns as Social Network's CEO

The founder of Russia's largest social network Vkontakte, Pavel Durov, stepped down as CEO of the company after seven years in the post. He announced this on his Vkontakte page on April 1.