Notes

Economy

Brent and Urals crude are still falling:

But Russia’s Central Bank insists there is nothing to worry about:

Even so Russia will probably have to open up the safety net next year if oil prices continue to drop:

BBC News reports:

The rouble fell about 1% to 38.71 per dollar, the weakest it has been since the currency was restructured in 1998.

Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, reaffirmed Russia’s commitment to bailout Rosneft:

Economy Minister Ulyukaev also voiced support for a bailout of sanctioned Russian companies:

But Former Finance Minister, Alexei Kudrin, warned against such actions:

He also cautioned that Russia doesn’t have enough money to cover all the promises this government has made:

And predicted that more sanctions could harm the Russian economy even further:

Despite fears of a different outcome

Russia’s version of Facebook, VKontakte, was bought up yesterday:

Belarus is benefiting from Russia’s self-imposed food import ban:

Russia’s Investigative Committee has brought charges of money laundering against Sistema chief Evtushenkov:

Some reactions:

Ukraine

Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, announced that Crimea would get more Russian troops:

NATO’s Breedlove warned:

Ukraine’s parliament passed several laws yesterday, including one granting special status to eastern Ukraine:

But only one part of the Donbas region looked to be amenable to such a proposal:

AFP asked just how far Russia is willing to go in Ukraine.

And in Crimea:

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