18 Фев, 2022

Economic Freedom Index

Russia has fallen in the Economic Freedom Index, from 92 to 113, gaining 56.1 points — minus 5.4 by 2021.

In the published fresh rating from the WSJ and the Heritage Foundation, Russia is in the group of states with a «mainly non-free economy.» Its neighbors in the rating are South Africa and Mali.

Over the past year, the Russian Federation has been able to make progress in the field of labor freedom, monetary and fiscal policy.

Among the countries of the former USSR, the highest positions in the ranking are occupied by Estonia (7), Lithuania (17), Latvia (18) and Georgia (26)

All-time leader — Singapore

The most repressive economic regimes in the world in 2022 according to WSJ and Heritage — in Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea (175-177 positions).

<<< News Feed February 18, 2022 >>>

Given the implemented changes in the tax regime of special administrative regions (SAR), the EU no longer has grounds for adding Russia to the gray list of tax jurisdictions. On February 17, Secretary of State — Deputy Minister of Finance Alexei Sazanov told reporters about this. In the European Union, RBC confirmed that they are working on the issue of excluding Russia from the draft version of the gray list.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is ready to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in «any format» to establish peace, but Russia does not show readiness for a real conversation. The Ukrainian leader stated this during a conversation with reporters, RBC Ukraine reports. Zelensky specified that he was ready «for direct negotiations for two and a half years.»

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The Kremlin does not understand the purpose for which the President of Ukraine several times offered to hold talks with Vladimir Putin, but confirms that such «signals» were received several times. This was stated by the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, whose words are quoted by TASS.

“We have repeatedly received signals from Kiev with a proposal to meet, but each time Kiev did not answer us to a simple question: why, for what purpose,” Peskov said.

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In the criminal case of one of the founders of Runet, former Deputy Minister of Communications Alexei Soldatov and his business partners Evgeny Antipov and Alexei Shkittin, the article of the charge and the composition of the investigators changed, RBC was told by lawyer Sarkis Darbinyan representing Shkittin’s interests and confirmed by Antipov’s lawyer Andrey Barkanov.

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The Caspian Pipeline Consortium refuses to voluntarily compensate for damage due to an oil spill near Novorossiysk. Therefore, Rosprirodnadzor will have to recover this fine in court, says the head of the service, Svetlana Radionova.

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Poland is not currently building a wall on the border with the Kaliningrad region of Russia, Deputy Minister of National Defense of Poland Wojciech Skurkiewicz said on the air of ZET radio station. However, the border service has plans to strengthen the border, he specified.

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Stoltenberg announced NATO exercises in Georgia before the end of the year. At the same time, the Georgian Defense Minister stated that the country’s entry into the alliance is the only way to preserve the country’s territorial integrity.

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On Thursday, US Ambassador John Sullivan, who was invited to the Russian Foreign Ministry, was given Moscow’s reaction to the previously received American response on the Russian draft treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States on security guarantees.

The 10-page document notes that «the American side did not give a constructive response to the basic elements of the draft treaty prepared by the Russian side with the United States on security guarantees.» Russia, as warned in the Russian Foreign Ministry, will be forced to respond.

From the key points:

  • The United States «twisted» Russia’s proposals on security guarantees in the direction of creating advantages for Washington and its allies, ignored the package nature of the proposals, choosing topics convenient for itself
  • our response stressed the unacceptability of demands to withdraw troops from certain areas in Russia
  • for de-escalation around Ukraine, Kiev needs to comply with the Minsk agreements, stop deliveries of weapons to Ukraine and withdraw those already supplied, recall all Western advisers and instructors, NATO’s refusal to exercise with Ukraine
  • Russia in response insists on the withdrawal of all US forces and weapons from Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltics
  • Russia expects concrete proposals from the US and NATO on the content and forms of the alliance’s legal refusal to expand to the east
  • arms control issues cannot be considered separately from other safeguards topics

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Zelensky said that a global security document for Ukraine is needed, which would be signed by the United States and Russia, among others. According to him, the Minsk agreements were drawn up mediocrely

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During a working trip to the Donetsk region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky visited the positions of Ukrainian military personnel on the demarcation line, where shelling continues.

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A new draft report by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs includes a proposal to ban golden passports altogether.

Golden passports are ethically, legally and economically undesirable and carry serious security risks. Golden visas should be regulated and charged at the EU level. Third countries with visa-free access to the EU should also waive their golden passport schemes,” the European Parliament said in a statement.

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The head of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council announces the launch of a popular mobilization campaign against «aggression and blockade» led by Saudi Arabia.

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President Vladimir Putin at a meeting of the board of the Russian Interior Ministry said that against illegal migrants who violate Russian law, tough measures should be taken, including expulsion from the country and a ban on entry. He noted that an effective fight against extremism is connected precisely with the migration sphere.

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Soldiers of the special forces «Asaish» of Iraqi Kurdistan rescued a Russian businessman who was kidnapped in the city of Erbil for ransom, Kurdistan 24 TV channel reported, citing power structures of the autonomy.

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The EU is fully provided with gas for the coming weeks in the event of a cessation of supplies from the Russian Federation, there are agreements on LNG supplies from the United States and Qatar, the European Commission said.

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A significant shortage of police officers is observed in key units of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. As the head of the department Vladimir Kolokoltsev said at the extended board of the ministry, last year alone the number of resigned investigators increased by 34%.

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The package of EU sanctions against Russia is ready, it will be presented if the need arises, said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

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The government of the Kaliningrad region has asked the Foreign Ministry to provide assistance to drivers and all other citizens stuck in traffic jams due to a transport collapse on the border between Belarus and Lithuania. This was told to RBC by the press secretary of the Governor of the Kaliningrad region Dmitry Lyskov.

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President Vladimir Putin conferred new general ranks on 74 military and law enforcement officials, the decree was published on the legal information portal.

Military ranks were given to servicemen of the Armed Forces and the National Guard, special ranks were given to employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Penitentiary Service, the fire service, customs authorities, the UK

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Lukashenko: there is an agreement with Russia to leave imported ammunition in Belarus after the exercises. We will buy modern equipment in Russia and count on a «gift» of individual samples

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The State Duma Committee on the Financial Market recommended that the lower house of parliament adopt in the first reading a bill that provides for a reduction in the maximum daily interest rate on consumer loans (loans) issued by microfinance organizations (MFIs) from 1% to 0.8% per day.

Also, the bill sets the maximum value of the total cost of consumer credit (loan) at the level of 292% per annum. Now the maximum limit is 365% per annum.

The maximum amount of all payments under the consumer credit (loan) agreement for up to a year is set at 130% of the amount of the loan.

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Buyers of Russian oil in Asia and Europe are beginning to reconsider their plans and postpone purchases for fear of sanctions. The Russian grade Urals in Europe fell sharply in price relative to other brands and is now sold at the maximum discount in the last two years: each barrel costs almost $4 less than Brent.

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Disney will build its own Storyliving by Disney residential area in California’s Coachella Valley. The complex will include housing of various types: from huge estates to compact apartments. An oasis with an area of ​​9.7 hectares will be located in the center of the development. There will also be shops, cafes, restaurants, a hotel, a beach and entertainment facilities. The quarter is promised to be equipped in the best traditions of Walt Disney

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President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced the need to create a global document with security guarantees for Ukraine, which would be signed by the United States and Russia. According to the president, Kiev should receive a system of guarantees that is not inferior to that offered to NATO countries. At the same time, Kiev will not negotiate with the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Mr. Zelensky said.

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AMD overtook Intel in terms of market capitalization: about $197.75 billion at the close of the market on February 15 against $197.24 billion. The reason for this growth was the purchase of the American chip designer and manufacturer Xilinx for $49 billion.

However, Intel is by far not only a larger company, but also generates much more revenue and profit per year than AMD, and has achieved record revenue for the sixth year in a row. In addition, the firm makes its own chips and owns a global network of factories, while AMD develops chips and outsources manufacturing.

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Google introduced the Chrome OS Flex operating system — the OS is available for free and is designed for older computers and laptops on Windows and MacOS. It is primarily aimed at companies and schools, but ordinary users can also install it.

Chrome OS Flex is a lightweight version of Chrome OS and is being tested as part of Early Access, the company announced. To install it, you need to download the operating system to a USB flash drive.

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The Russian government transferred to the Rostec state corporation a 100% stake in the Phoenix company as a property contribution, the Federal Property Management Agency is obliged to ensure the implementation of this decision within a year. The corresponding decree was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, the document is posted on the portal of legal information.

The Phoenix company is the owner and operator of the multifunctional marine transshipment complex (MMPC) Bronka in St. Petersburg, it was created in 2007, the port began operating in 2015.

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The Millhouse group of Roman Abramovich became the owner of the Kristall hotel-boarding house near the Black Sea in Gelendzhik, previously owned by the former mayor of the city. This is the second Millhouse asset in the resort city

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Russian companies under sanctions face practical difficulties in applying to international arbitration. This problem was pointed out on February 17 by the lawyers who took part in the conference “Arbitration disputes involving sanctioned persons. Lessons for Russia and the EU” hosted by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC).

The main problem: sanctioned companies cannot pay the arbitration fee, as banks refuse to conduct transactions for legal entities from the black list. This is one of the three mandatory fees, along with registration and security fees, without which the case will not be allowed to proceed.

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The Senate of the US Congress adopted a resolution in support of Ukraine. According to Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the approval of the document means that American lawmakers from both parties «are united in their desire to protect Ukraine.»

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The European Union and NATO are not preparing for war, disagreements with Russia on the situation around Ukraine can be resolved through dialogue, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albarez said in an interview with Onda Cero radio station.

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Russian manufacturers began to reduce the size and weight of goods to maintain prices, Kommersant writes, citing representatives of retail chains.

An interlocutor of the publication in one of the retailers said that Nestle introduced Rossiya chocolate to the assortment weighing 82 grams instead of 85, and the weight of instant coffee decreased from 95 grams to 85 per package. Danone reduced the volume of Activia drinking yoghurts from 270 grams to 260, Makfa began to supply pasta in a package of 400 grams instead of 450. Heineken offered beer in a can of 0.43 liters, a source told the newspaper

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Russians began to buy antidepressants 43% more often. And this is only for the last month — from January 10 to February 6. Sales of antipsychotics, meanwhile, were up 35% year-over-year.

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A large-scale anti-government demonstration took place in Israel. According to Israeli media, about 30 thousand people took part in it. The Israelis demand that some former and current prosecutors and police officials in the Mandelgate case be brought to justice, who are suspected of conspiring to carry out an illegal coup d’état of Netanyahu’s power using illegal methods against Israelis, including illegal hacking and wiretapping of the phones of citizens and Netanyahu’s entourage and his children.

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The White House reported that the United States and Saudi Arabia discussed cooperation to stabilize the market in the event of an aggravation of the situation around Ukraine.

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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba, during a joint briefing with British Foreign Minister Liz Truss, who visited Kiev yesterday, said that Ukraine, Poland and Britain have officially established a new trilateral format of cooperation to strengthen security, develop trade, economy and investment between countries .

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Since the beginning of February, 44 banks have raised rates on mortgages, and 23 on consumer loans, Izvestia was told in the financial marketplace Sravni.ru. The growth of rates was recorded both in large and regional banks.

For example, in the context of credit institutions in the top 15 by assets, six banks increased interest on mortgages, and seven on consumer loans, the marketplace said. As a result, the average rate on these products reached 10.67% and 14.28%, respectively, Sravni.ru added, but did not specify the names of banks whose financial products have become more expensive.

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The average temperature of outer space is 2.7 K (-270.45 ° C). But in the depths of space, about 5,000 light-years from Earth, there is an even colder region — the Boomerang Nebula. Its temperature is only 1 K (-272.15 °C) — it is only one degree above absolute zero.

That is why the Boomerang Nebula is considered the coldest object in the known Universe. Scientists suggest that it was formed when a double star shed part of its hydrogen shell in the form of two huge jets at a speed of about 164 km / s. This explains the characteristic shape of the nebula. The released streams of ionized gas expanded so rapidly in outer space that individual molecules of matter scattered over long distances cooled even below the average temperature of the Universe.

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As it became known to Kommersant, the Moscow City Court rejected the appeal of the Prosecutor General’s Office, which tried to confiscate 62 land plots and seven houses from relatives of the former employee of the «banking» department of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation Andrei Vasiliev, who was accused of especially large-scale fraud and released from criminal liability after the statute of limitations expired .

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Sberbank raised rates on deposits and loans in connection with the decision of the Central Bank to raise the key rate to 9.5%. Now the maximum rate on deposits is 9.5% per annum, and the minimum mortgage rate on finished and under construction housing is 11.3% (previously — from 10.3%).

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The Russian government has not yet made a fundamental decision to extend the tourist cashback for children’s holidays or to refuse it. The federal budget does not provide funds for the return of money for vouchers.

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American physicists have created the most accurate clock in history — they go astray by just a second in 300 billion years of work. Atomic clocks of exceptional precision could help search for dark matter and gravitational waves

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Europol officers arrested 45 people suspected of involvement in drug trafficking. All of them, according to investigators, belong to an Albanian criminal group whose members operated in the EU countries.

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The German state will pay 90% of vacations for low-income families with children. In 2022, 50 million euros were allocated for these purposes. The Coronavirus Time Out for Families program began last year. From October to the end of December 2021, almost four thousand families used it.

The program is designed for families with low or medium income: it should not exceed a certain level, which depends on the age and number of children. In addition, families must reside permanently in Germany and be eligible for «child money» and social benefits.

The state pays 90% of the cost of a weekly stay in one of the country’s family boarding houses. The remaining 10% and travel expenses must be covered by the program participants themselves. You can relax in one of the 111 recreation centers, according to ZDF.

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The head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI), Alireza Peiman-Pak, said that under the current administration of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, the UAE has invested $300 million in Iran through foreign direct investment.

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Since August 18, 2020, Poland has received more than 26,000 Belarusian citizens, the country’s border service reports. These are mainly representatives of the opposition and protesters who are being persecuted in their homeland.

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Meta dropped out of the top ten most valuable companies in the world. At its peak, the ex-Facebook climbed to sixth place and was worth more than $1 trillion, but in recent months its capitalization has halved. CEO Mark Zuckerberg drops to 15th on Forbes list

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China deceived the world about the environmental safety of the Olympics — the statement turned out to be a marketing ploy. This was reported by Bloomberg.

According to the article, China has purchased 1.7 million offset carbon credits. Each quota «neutralizes» the impact of one tonne of emissions. According to experts, the carbon footprint of the Olympics is about 1.3 million tons of emissions, that is, quotas could well compensate for the impact on the climate.

However, according to official figures, about 1.1 million quotas are associated with tree planting projects across China. Trees do not permanently absorb carbon, and at best store it temporarily, so these projects do not offset the damage.

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The 58th Security Conference opens in Munich. About 600 politicians, representatives of business and scientific circles, as well as human rights organizations from all over the world will arrive in Munich.

The head of the Munich Security Conference regrets the absence of Russian officials. Russia’s security concerns are «far-fetched» because NATO has not taken a single step towards further eastward expansion, Wolfgang Ischinger told ARD.

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«Veterans of Russia» officially appealed to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with a request to deprive the writer Viktor Shenderovich (recognized as a foreign agent in Russia) of citizenship. The organization also called for a ban on holding any public, cultural and mass events with his participation in the country.

In Veterans of Russia, we were told that the reason for the appeal was Shenderovich’s repeated denial of the facts about the Second World War, which even the Nuremberg Tribunal confirmed

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Sergei Lavrov reproached Western partners for violating not only verbal but also written agreements. The head of the Foreign Ministry stressed that Russia will work to ensure that «everything is fair»

“We have such a concept: the kid said — the kid did”

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When Russia wants to restore peace and order in Europe, it invades not only Eastern Europe, but also reaches Paris and Berlin, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, said on Twitter.

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Deputy Minister of Health of the Chelyabinsk Region Alexander Kuznetsov has been detained, TASS and RIA Novosti report, citing law enforcement sources.

The regional investigative department of the Investigative Committee confirmed to RBC that they were carrying out investigative measures, but refrained from further comments.

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The US State Department has approved the sale of 250 new-generation Abrams tanks to Poland, National Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Twitter.

“The State Department approved the sale of 250 Abrams tanks in the most modern version of the M1A2 SEPv3,” the head of the Ministry of Defense wrote, noting that this is one of the most important contracts for the supply of weapons in the history of Poland.

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The Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia recognized the Ukrainian non-governmental organization «Gromadska organization» Vilniy Idel-Ural «(«Free Idel-Ural») as undesirable. This was reported on the website of the department.

The organization positions itself as a «civil movement of the peoples of the Volga region», representing the Erzya, Moksha, Chuvash, Mari, Tatars, Udmurts and Bashkirs.

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Nestle, maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Nescafe coffee, will raise prices on its products this year. Reckitt Benckiser will take the same step. The reason is the increase in production costs.

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The working group of the State Duma on the development of proposals aimed at timely provision of housing for orphans, identified the main reasons that led to the catastrophic situation in this area, and prepared a set of measures to address the problem. Proposals will be sent to relevant ministries and departments. This was announced by the head of the working group, State Duma Vice Speaker Anna Kuznetsova (United Russia) at an expanded meeting of the chamber.

Among the main problems are the lack of effective public administration in this area and the lack of effective systemic mechanisms for realizing the right of orphans to housing, and the third is the so-called human factor, “elementary theft and corruption”.

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Officially, at least 90 NGOs are registered in Russia, the main goal of which is the development of Chinese-Russian relations and the popularization of Chinese culture. A third belong to the Chinese. Some report on foreign funding, 43% of NPOs do not have any reports in the ministry register. No Chinese NPO is recognized as a foreign agent.

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Russia does not intend to separately discuss security guarantees for Ukraine separately, the meaning of Moscow’s initiative is to ensure the security of all countries in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference following a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.

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