Russia Enters New Era Of Stagnation

In an unusually long article published in the business daily Vedomosti, he acknowledged that what growth the country has is largely artificial, that the government is too dependent on revenue from the oil industry, and that Russia offers a terrible environment for investment. “Output growth is supported almost exclusively by large investment projects financed by the government and state-owned companies, salary raises in the public sector, an expansion of subsidies to agriculture and other sectors fueled by the high oil price,” Medvedev wrote. In other words, Russia’s economy might not be growing at all if the government wasn’t pouring oil money into subsidies and infrastructure projects, such as the preparations for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and the soccer World Cup in 2018. The private investment needed to replace the government spending, he wrote, isnt coming, in part because investors have an “understandable lack of trust in public institutions.” Besides, private business has a hard time competing with state-owned behemoths: State-controlled banks, for example, hold 53 percent of the Russian economy’s entire loan portfolio. “We are at a crossroads,” Medvedev wrote. “Russia can continue going forward in slow motion, with economic growth close to zero, or it can take a serious step forward.” The second path “is fraught with risk,” while the first “leads to a precipice.” Few economists would argue with the diagnosis. “The head of the cabinet has largely learned to name the correct reasons for the country’s predicament,” Maxim Blant wrote on the opposition website Sergey Aleksashenko, director of macroeconomic studies at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, agreed : “It’s a good thing that this has at least been said.” The biggest flaw in Medvedev’s lengthy program, critics said, was the paucity of solutions. All he offered was a slowdown in tariff increases at Russia’s state-owned utilities and some small-business support in the form of tax breaks, loans and government contracts. He also expounded on the need to turn Moscow into an international financial center. “And that’s it,” Aleksashenko wrote. “What about safeguarding property rights and the quality of the judicial system, shrinking the state and using government resources effectively, what about privatization and infrastructure?” Medvedev’s article does not contain the word “corruption” or mention capital flight, expected to reach $70 billion this year. It offers no specific measures to foster competition, the focus of the latest World Bank report on Russia.

Russia’s Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

And a few hearty guffaws. The uniform colour palette is, well, basically everything. As you can see, the jackets are striped yellow, white, green and blue with white pants for the men and patterned red and orange pants for the women athletes (and black pants for team officials). Theres definitely a 1970s vibe going on there. Or, as ESPN said, German uniforms scream Brady Bunch. But a lot of people at least those not blinded by the rainbow glare of the uniforms are seeing much more in the German team outfits. They are seeing what The Huffington Post called a powerful political statement. Political because, of course, Vladimir Putin, the gangster president of Russia, has stepped up his pogrom against gays in recent months (with widespread public approval, I should add). Russian authorities have said they will enforce laws against gay propaganda during the Winter Olympics in Sochi and have threatened to arrest any foreigners be they athletes or tourists who show outwardly homosexual or lesbian behaviour or who promote gayness in any fashion. Of course there has been all sorts of international outrage, including the ongoing boycott of Russian and (supposedly) Latvian vodka, but no actual boycott of the Sochi Olympics themselves seems to be brewing in any corner of the Olympic world. And the International Olympic Committee seems to siding with or at least appeasing Hitler Putin by threatening to ban any athlete wearing a rainbow pin or other symbol of support for the gay-lesbian-etc-etc community in Russia at the Winter Games. So thats why the design of the German team uniform is being hailed today as such a powerful political statement. The day-glo jackets and pants are seen as just one big gay-pride, rainbow-flag hug for Russias gays. Of course, German officials are vehemently denying the connection, as they must to avoid any possible IOC sanction. But, you know what I think the German officials are being straight-up (sorry) and I really do not think the Team Deutschland uniforms are a phantasmagoria of colours to show intentional support for Russias gay community. I think its just a happy coincidence.

Russia’s Gay Crackdown Claims New Victim — Fashion Sense

dispute over chemical weapons. PHOTOS: See how Assad is cleaning Obama’s clock on Syria The group also took a dig at the United States. While announcing the nomination during a press conference in Moscow, group officials said Mr. Putin deserved the Peace Prize much more than President Obama , who won the recognition in 2009. Barack Obama is the man who has initiated and approved the United States aggressive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan . Now he is preparing for an invasion into Syria . He bears this title nevertheless, said Iosif Kobzon , a member of the State Duma , UPI reported. Russias President Vladimir Putin, center foreground, gestures as he walks by U.S. … more> Conversely, he said, Mr. Putin tries a more peaceful approach. Our president, who tries to stop the bloodshed and who tries to help the conflict situation with political dialogue is, in my view, more worthy of this high title, he said, adding that Mr.