And the slowdown has been broad-based. Virtually every metric you can think of, housing, retail turnover, wages, and rail freight shipments, has been sub-par throughout 2013. The consensus forecasts give little grounds for optimism, as they expect only modest improvement in 2014. No its not the cataclysm that some analysts predicted, but the slowdown is a significant hurdle that Russia hasnt done a particularly good job of clearing. But while its true that Russias weakness hasnt been confined to a particular sector or industry, I think that the stagnation in industrial production is by far the most alarming. This is because, although its vulnerability to swings in energy prices is sometimes exaggerated, Russias economy really does benefit quite significantly from increases in the world price of oil. Oil prices have been at historically high levels , and Russias GDP has been correspondingly boosted. For all its many faults, the Kremlin is actually pretty good at getting petro rubles to trickle down to the population, and oil has helped keep wages and consumption robust. But industrial production is not dependent on world demand for energy, and is not automatically boosted by growth in other countries. It is also much more difficult for the state to simply increase by fiat. While the government can boost government wages or increase pensions (as it has done repeatedly over the past several years), its just a lot more difficult for it to increase the total output of the industrial sector.
United Russia MP Scorned for Public Debauch
By Steve Gutterman MOSCOW (Reuters) – Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden’s father arrived in Moscow on Thursday to see his son, who was granted asylum in Russia after leaking details of government surveillance programs. Speaking at Sheremetyevo airport, where his fugitive son was stranded for weeks this summer, Lon Snowden said he had no direct contact with Edward Snowden for months, but felt “extreme gratitude that my son is safe and secure and he’s free”. The younger Snowden, 30, is wanted in the United States on espionage charges and Russia’s decision to grant him temporary asylum aggravated already tense relations between Moscow and Washington. Russian authorities and the Russian lawyer who is assisting Snowden, Anatoly Kucherena, have not disclosed his location. Fugitive Snowden’s father arrives in MoscowPlay video.” “I am his father, I love my son and I certainly hope I will have an opportunity to see my son,” Lon Snowden said. He told reporters he was “not sure my son will be returning to the U.S. again”. Snowden’s revelations about the reach and methods of the U.S. National Security Agency, including the monitoring of vast volumes of Internet traffic and phone records, have upset U.S. allies from Germany to Brazil. They sparked an international furore, with admirers calling him a human rights champion and critics denouncing him as a traitor. JOB SEARCH Lon Snowden said he did not know his son’s intentions, but believed he had not been involved in the publication of any information since he arrived in Russia and was “simply trying to remain healthy and safe”. Directly from the airport, he and the lawyer drove to a state television studio to give an exclusive live interview, indicating the visit was under strong government control. UK intelligence leaker Edward Snowden givevs an interview with The Guardian newspaper at an undisclo Kucherena expressed hope the former intelligence contractor would soon find a job in Russia – possibly in IT or the human rights sector – because he had largely run out of savings and was living modestly, mainly off donations.
Father to meet fugitive Snowden in Russia
Perekopsky told reporters that a phone video capturing part of the event was posted online. Though Isaev is not audible, passengers can be heard shouting Respect us, comrade! and Leave the plane please, we’re all running late! Following Isaev’s eventual departure, the passengers applaud. Isaev was quick to defend himself [ru]and to lay the blame squarely on his stoned aide: 100 . . – . My aide was detained and fined 100 roubles ($3 USD) in connection with appearing in a public place in a state of intoxication. There are no allegations against me. I left the plane because of my aide. Aeroflot disagreed, issuing a statement [ru] claiming that Isaev had threatened the crew: , – . , . Aleksandr Poglazov came on board together with passenger Andrei Isaev, who demanded that we transfer Poglazov to business class and threatened the crew members with dismissal and personal problems.