Articles by Ira Iosebashvili



Putin Offers Asian Alternative to Eurovision

The contest, to be called Intervision, would serve as a vehicle for strengthening cultural ties between our peoples, Putin said at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Wednesday.

VEB Considers Buying $1.4Bln AvtoVAZ Stake

Also under discussion is the degree to which French carmaker Renault, who was given an ultimatum last week by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will be participating in the ailing plant.

Putin Tells Renault to Invest in AvtoVAZ

Putin said the government had protected Renault's interest in the company this summer, when it gave AvtoVAZ 25 billion rubles ($829 million) in financing.

October Puts Brakes on Rally

Market watchers, however, said a sell-off this month could present a perfect jumping-off point for investors looking to capitalize on the MICEX, the worlds best-performing equity market.

Tel Aviv Court Charges Gaidamak

Arkady Gaidamak, who left Israel for Moscow late last year and received Russian citizenship in early 2009, said he would return to Israel to fight the charges.

Central Bank Makes Surprise Cut in Key Rates

A Central Bank deputy chairman justified the 50 basis point cut by saying stalling credit growth and falling industrial output are placing economic recovery in jeopardy.

Markets Beat Retreat As Oil Prices Decline

But the down week for the MICEX and RTS indexes barely put a dent in their stellar numbers for the year, during which they have outperformed all the world's major emerging markets.

Surging Stocks Put World on Notice

As the markets soar to new highs this year, however, investors are left wondering whether the upswing is a signpost for a turning point in the economy or simply a temporary reprieve.

Medvedev Puts Spotlight on Blogger

In January, Medvedev opened his video blog on the Kremlin web site up for comments. He has used the blog to discuss state policy, most notably launching a withering attack on Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in early August.

Ruble Jumpy on Devaluation Worries

The Central Bank and prominent lawmakers say the ruble does not need to be devalued, but a 10.9 percent drop in GDP and a large projected federal deficit have some second-guessing.

Planes Collide in Air Show Rehearsal

Two Su-27 fighter jets collided in midair above the Moscow region town of Zhukovsky during a rehearsal for an air show on Sunday, killing one pilot and injuring five people on the ground.

Aeroflot Makeover to Include A Very Striking Cabin Crew

Aeroflot personnel have received special training in customer service, and the companys flight attendants will be eye-catching girls that will not exceed a size 48, new CEO Vitaly Savelyev told reporters at a news conference, where he detailed changes at the state airline.

A Strong Hand in Banking Could Backfire

A visit to Sberbank headquarters by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last week may have been more cordial than some of his recent corporate appearances, but the message was little changed.

Ruble Posts Record Gain on Oil Surge

The currency puts on 2.4 percent against the dollar, the biggest jump in a decade.

Crudes Inexorable Sways Keep the Ruble Volatile

The economy’s ruling tandem has a bumpy two weeks following a relatively peaceful June.

Banks Agree to Cap Interest Rates at 18%

The Central Bank and lenders have reached an agreement that beginning next month, no new deposits will be offered at interest rates above 18 percent, deputy chairman Gennady Melikyan said Wednesday.

Markets Seek Balance After Fall

The second half of 2009 continued in a dramatic and downward fashion last week, with Russian equities shedding more than 10 percent, the ruble taking a beating, and oil prices retreating.

Police Order Cherkizovsky Shuttered

Police ordered the vast Cherkizovsky Market temporarily closed on Monday, less than three weeks after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized government officials for not obtaining convictions over a massive haul of smuggled merchandise seized there last year.

Survey: World's Richest Expats Live in Russia

Forget the American dream. If you want to make money in a foreign country, the place to go is Russia, which a new survey found to be home to the “wealthiest expats in the world.”

Total, Novatek Seal $900M Gas Deal

French energy major Total and Novatek, Russia's largest independent gas producer, ended a two-year quest to join forces Wednesday, sealing a $900 million project to develop a Siberian gas field, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said after meeting the companies' chiefs.

European Watchdog Castigates Courts

Russia’s court system came under a withering attack by Europe’s top human rights watchdog on Tuesday for “politically motivated abuses” that it said have especially victimized two companies, Yukos and the Hermitage Fund.

Luzhkov, a Market and a $2Bln Haul

Last September, a police raid on Moscow’s sprawling Cherkizovsky Market resulted in the confiscation of 6,000 containers of purportedly pirated and smuggled goods from China worth $2 billion — the biggest haul of contraband in Russia’s history.

BRIC Leaders Seek a Greater Voice

President Dmitry Medvedev led the leaders of Brazil, China and India in discussions Tuesday on reforming the global financial system and lessening reliance on the United States at the first summit of the world’s four largest emerging economies.

Markets Service Lifts Ban on Short Selling

Traders cheered the move, which also saw margin trading reinstated.

Putin Tells Renowned Artist How to Improve His Work

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has tried his hand as an art critic, suggesting improvements to a painting that a respected Russian artist completed 36 years ago.

Putin Ditches Unilateral WTO Bid

Russia’s 16-year quest to join the World Trade Organization took a wild turn Tuesday when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would abandon their separate accession talks in favor of a bid to enter as a single regional bloc.

Crisis-Time Forum Comes Up Wet and Cheap

It was perhaps fitting that the headlining musical act for the St. Petersburg economic forum was Duran Duran, a band whose best-remembered single is the 1982 hit ""Hungry Like the Wolf.""

Kudrin Brings Ruble Dreams Down to Earth

The finance minister says reserve currencies can't be created by agreement and the yuan would likely be the next to join the club.

Medvedev Not Ready for Champagne

President Dmitry Medvedev cautioned Friday that while the global economic crisis appears to have peaked, “it’s still far too early to open the champagne,” and Russians must be ready to retrain and relocate to help the country recover.

State Makes a Risky Play With Cars

On a cold February day in 1999, then-Ford CEO Jacques Nasser came to the Kremlin with a proposal: Ford would open a factory in Russia, building its inexpensive Focus model using both imported and Russian-made parts.