Putin Says Russia To Continue Helping Assad If U.s. Strikes

U.S.-Russia Relations Cool, But Not Cold, Ambassador Says

allies in the Arab world say theyd welcome a more ambitious operation. The U.S. State Department warned its citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon and began removing non-emergency personnel family members from the embassy in Beirut and an alert for those in Turkey. The embassy, on its website, cited unspecified threats to the U.S. mission and American personnel. Violence Potential Separately, U.S. citizens living in or traveling to Turkey were warned that the consulate in Adana in the south is removing some staff and family members because of threats to U.S. facilities. U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Turkey should be alert to the potential for violence, the State Department advisory said. Russia also warned today that any U.S.

Russia vs. Luxembourg: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Most countries in the group oppose such action, Putin said. Obama is also facing an uphill task to win the backing of Congress. Russia and China say they are unswayed by the U.S. assertions blaming Assad for the Aug. 21 chemical attack that the U.S. says killed more than 1,400 people near Damascus. Putin said today the attack was provocations by rebels involved in a 2 1/2 civil war that has left more than 100,000 dead. European and U.S. stocks declined after Putins comments. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped as much as 0.5 percent from yesterdays close, before rebounding to trade up 0.3 percent at 305.54 at 3:45 p.m. in London. The S&P 500 fell as much as 0.9 percent and traded 0.3 percent lower at 1,650.59 at 10:47 a.m in New York. Putin said this week that congressional approval would legitimize aggression, adding that only the United Nations Security Council can endorse the strikes.

Russia seeks market-makers for treasury bond market – minister

The gauge was poised for a 4.6 percent jump in the week. OAO Gazprom, Russia s natural gas export monopoly, gained 1.2 percent to 141.69 rubles. Oil producer OAO Lukoil increased 0.8 percent to 1,996.70 rubles. Crude oil was little changed at $108.30 a barrel in New York, heading for a second weekly gain. Russia gets about 50 percent of its budget revenue from the oil and gas industries. The ruble was steady at 33.4305 to the dollar, taking its slide this week to 0.3 percent. For the oil and gas sector, the combination of a weak ruble and high oil price is very positive, Mark Rubinstein, head of research at IFC Metropol in Moscow, said by phone. Gazprom was trading at very cheap levels, investors have finally noticed that. Dixy Group, Russias third-largest food retailer, tumbled 1.8 percent to 426.70 rubles. The company reduced its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization estimate for 2013 yesterday, leading VTB Capital to cut the stock to hold. U.S. payrolls figures today may add to signs of an improving jobs market ahead of the Federal Reserves Sept.

3 issues that have chilled U.S.-Russia ties

Petersburg, the two men smiled as they chatted and shook hands. But none of that changes the fact that on the big issue of the day — Syria — the two are far apart. Moscow and Washington have been at odds since 2011, when the Damascus government first cracked down on protesters. Since then, the dispute has spiraled into a full-fledged civil war pitting Syrian government forces (who, at times, have lost control over large tracts of territory) against an opposition fighting force that ranges from moderates to Islamist extremists. Sure, both Russia — a longtime ally of Syria and its president, Bashar al-Assad — and the United States have been part of international efforts to forge cease-fires or a political solution. But all such attempts have failed. ‘My credibility isn’t on the line — the international community’s credibility is’ The issue of chemical weapons has raised the stakes, and the tensions. In April, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel accused al-Assad’s government of being behind small-scale, but still deadly use of the nerve agent sarin. The French foreign minister made similar accusations in June. An August 21 attack just outside Damascus put the matter front-and-center on the world stage. Within days, U.S.

War of words between Russia, U.S. on Syrian crisis heats up

The bad news, no surprise, is that U.S. relations with Russia are “tenser than usual,” and “not in good shape.” All of this according to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Meeting with reporters and other foreign policy experts at the Center for the National Interest this morning, Kislyak said that while he’s concerned that U.S.-Russia relations “are not in good shape, I’m concerned about where they are going, but certainly I am still of the opinion that there is no basis for Cold War resumption.” [ See a collection of editorial cartoons on the NSA .] I suppose that might qualify as, ahem, cold comfort given the current state of international affairs. The current focus of U.S.-Russia disagreements is the question of whether and how to deal with the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but it’s just the latest in a growing litany of issues, from Edward Snowden’s asylum in that country to its anti-gay laws and how they will affect its hosting the Olympics to its ban on foreigners adopting its babies. Just this morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin described his relationship with President Obama thusly: “He doesn’t agree with me, I don’t agree with him. But we listened to each other.” On the main issue of the moment, Syria, Kislyak said that the question of how to handle Syria is important for a couple of reasons. First, because of regional stability: Bombing “may lead to consequences that not many people may envisage now and it might make the whole situation even worse.” He also worried that trying to uphold one international norm the prohibition against using chemical weapons may come “at the expense of other norms of international law that [are] not only equally important but sometimes with greater consequences.” He pointed to the idea that however the international community decides to deal with chemical weapons use in Syria (and he pointedly said that Russia’s investigation into the use of weapons of mass destruction in Aleppo in March concluded that it was “the actions of the opposition”), their reaction must be grounded in international law. Specifically, he argued, international law allows for the use of force under two circumstances: in self-defense and with the sanction of the United Nations Security Council. (This is much the same case that Michael Shank made on the World Report blog last weekend: You can’t claim to be upholding international law while flouting international law.) [ See a collection of political cartoons on Syria. ] Overall,Kislyaksaid, the jitters over the current disagreement reflect how much the two countries’ relations are still “haunted by the stereotypes of the Cold War,” and also the extent to which the relations are still viewed as fragile, that “a single disagreement is perceived immediately as the end of the reset or the end of positive relations.” He went on to point out that other relations continue, including a joint exercise conducted recently between the two countries’ air forces on how to handle a hijacked airplane. “We certainly are watching very closely what our American colleagues are going to do because the consequences [of] the use of force, especially, can be very high both in terms of the situation on the ground and also in terms of the precedents that it sets,” he said, adding: “Those are disagreements that are very serious and at the same time, whether it will ruin Russian-American relations or not I hope it’s not going to ruin them but we certainly are going to watch very closely.” Stay tuned.

In a game that was delayed by an hour due to a sodden pitch, Alexander Kokorin scored twice, Aleksandr Kerzhakovnotched just after the hour mark and Alexander Samedov fired home in injury time as Fabio Capello’s men ran out eventual 4-1 winners. Luxembourg had their moments (Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was hardly a spectator, even before Aurelien Joachim’s late consolation) but showed an acute lack of a cutting edge, as the home side demonstrated composure and superior quality to calmly build on the platform afforded them by Kokorin’s record-breaking opener. There has never been a quicker opening goal in the history of Russia’s national team. Kokorin ran onto Kerzhakov’s astute knockdown before lofting a perfectly weighted shot over the onrushing Luxembourg goalkeeper, ensuring his side hit the ground running. By the way, Kokorin’s opener vs Luxembourg is the fastest goal ever scored by the Russian national side. Russia still lead 2-0, 58mins. #WCQ R-Sport (@rsport_en) September 6, 2013 Having waited an additional hour to get onto the pitch for the first-ever international contest in Kazan as the referee gave groundskeepers extra time to repair an almost water-logged pitch rather than advise a postponementit was the perfect start for the hosts, who were looking to rebound after a shock defeat to Northern Ireland in their last qualifier. Capello saw his side waste further good openingsKerzhakov and Roman Shirokov both narrowly failed to find the target with attemptsbefore Kokorin got his second. The 22-year-old peeled off the back of the Luxembourg defenders to head Dmitry Kombarov’s free kick inside the far post. That left the Dynamo Moscow forward on course for a hat-trick, but it was not to be, as he was replaced by Aleksei Ionov at half-time. The change did not affect Russia’s threat, however, as Kerzhakov effectively sealed the points in the 64th minute with another close-range effort, the forward being in the right place to redirect Sergei Ignashevich’s header from a corner between Jonathan Joubert’s outstretched hands. Luxembourg had not been without their own attacking threat in the difficult conditions, as they eventually managed a respectable 13 shots to Russia’s 14.

Russia Stocks Poised for Best Week Since 2011 as Crude Advances

Although U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have no formal meetings scheduled, they likely will have opportunities to chat in Russia, which is hosting the gathering. To say the two countries have been at odds this year is putting it mildly. Edward Snowden: fugitive or refugee? The Obama administration made former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden perhaps the most wanted man in the world. Snowden faces espionage charges after he admitted leaking top-secret details about U.S. surveillance programs. Obama, Putin and their body language Are Obama and Putin ‘frenemies’? Why Russia is sticking by Syria Obama and Putin: They’re just different The U.S.-Russia relationship became strained when Snowden was revealed to be hiding in a Moscow airport, where the Russian government allowed him to hole up in a transit zone for weeks. Putin declined to hand Snowden over to the United States and declared Snowden a “free man” biding time in the airport. After Snowden inquired about asylum in Latin American countries, Russia stunned Obama: it decided to grant temporary asylum to Snowden. Angered, Obama threatened to skip this week’s G20 summit in St. Petersburg.

Foreign participation in the market has risen rapidly since February, when Russia allowed the international settlement system Euroclear to settle the bonds, known as OFZs. Foreigners’ share is now close to 30 percent. While external surpluses and low debts have helped shield Russia from the intense market pressures generated by signals the U.S. Federal Reserve could soon begin to run down its supply of cheap money, the yield on Russia’s 10-year treasury bond , now 7.7 percent, is just below a one-year high. “We are talking about the creation of the institution of market-makers who are required to quote the key bonds with narrow spreads… and maintain certain liquidity in the market,” deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said. “It is important for trading volumes to remain in Russia, and not flow to Euroclear and Clearstream”. Moiseev said there could be around 20 players on the market who have a significant position in OFZs and operate with large volumes. A reduction in trading commissions could be an incentive for them to play the role. “This will not prevent the outflow of non-residents, but it will help stabilise the market in the event of their departure, because the liquidity and pricing will remain in Russia,” said Moiseev. The central bank and the finance ministry plan to meet major dealers on the market to discuss their interest.