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. Last Updated: 10/31/2014
Articles by Howard Amos

Howard Amos joined The Moscow Times' business desk as a reporter in November 2010 and writes on a variety of topics, including macroeconomics, finance and banking, and energy. He lived in Russia for a year before joining the paper. You can contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @howardamos.

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U.S. Midterms Raise Fears of Decades-Long Russia Sanctions Law

Concerns are rising among U.S. businesses in Russia that Washington lawmakers could move to enshrine sanctions on Russia in new legislation, extending their impact and delaying their repeal.

Russia's Ruble Swings Wildly as Traders Bet on Central Bank Action

The Russian ruble swung wildly on Thursday, plunging to historic lows before rising 5 percent in just over an hour, as traders abandoned their positions before a key Central Bank meeting this Friday.

Ruble Rally Short-Lived as Historic Falls Resume

Modest gains for Russia's beleaguered currency were rapidly reversed Monday as the ruble dropped to new record lows.

Russian Shoppers Feel Pinch of Surging Inflation

Standing on tiptoe, Galina Abdullina strained to reach the back of the top shelf to get one of the last tubs of discounted smetana, the sour cream beloved by Russians.

Specter of '98 Default Haunts Russians as Ruble Weakens

As the Russian ruble plunges to repeated record lows and the Central Bank ramps up market interventions to defend it, few want to mention Aug. 17, 1998.

Kudrin Slams Fixing Exchange Rate as Russia's Ruble Touches New Lows

The ruble weakened Friday to a fresh historic low as former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin warned against fixing the exchange rate.

Putin Loyalists Poised to Grab Newspaper as Foreign Owners Ousted

Influential business newspaper Vedomosti is facing escalating political pressure amid a new media law that targets its foreign owners and the imminent sale of a major shareholder's stake.

Russia Boosts Currency Defense Firepower as Ruble Hits Fresh Lows

The ruble sank to another historic low Wednesday, passing the 41 per U.S. dollar mark twice in morning trading.

Russia's Tumbling Ruble Zooms Past 41 to Dollar

The ruble fell Wednesday morning, sinking past the 41 to the U.S. dollar mark for the first time in recent history as the Central Bank stepped up its market interventions in defense of the currency.

Russia Eyes Shrinking Cash Reserves as Fight for Ruble Escalates

The ruble sank to record lows against both the euro and the dollar Tuesday amid growing concerns over the Central Bank's policy of drawing down its foreign reserves to defend the country's beleaguered currency.

Benetton Defies Sanctions and Economic Woes With Big Russia Expansion

Italian clothing retailer United Colors of Benetton defied a falling ruble, slowing growth and the specter of sanctions as it formally re-opened its flagship Moscow store and pledged to roll out about 40 new stores across Russia over the next three years.

Will Western Sanctions Stop Russia's Arctic Oil Expansion?

Igor Sechin, the most influential figure in Russia's energy industry, announced last week that a new oil field discovered in the Arctic was to be christened "Pobeda" — the Russian word for victory.

Slumping Oil Prices Send Russia's Ruble Back Past 40 to Dollar

The ruble continued its recent tumble Wednesday, weakening below 40 to the dollar for the second time in a week as global oil prices fell to a 27-month low.

Ruble Weakens Past 40 Per Dollar on Oil Price Falls and Ukraine Skirmishes

Russia's ruble continued to shed value on Monday, passing the psychologically important mark of 40 rubles to the U.S. dollar for the first time since the currency was restructured after the 1998 default.

Navalny Associate Asks for Asylum in Britain, Cites 'Persecution' in Russia

Activist and fundraiser Vladimir Ashurkov, a close associate of Alexei Navalny, said that he had applied for political asylum in Britain because of a “campaign of political persecution” against him in Russia.

Market Intervention Looms as Russia's Ruble Drops to Historic Lows

Russia's ruble extended a months-long losing streak on Monday, falling to new historic lows and hovering just below the level at which the Central Bank has said it would take action to defend the currency.

Russia Returns to Bond Market as Ukraine Tensions Ease

Russia successfully sold 10 billion rubles ($260 million) of government bonds Wednesday, in a sign that easing tensions over Ukraine are restoring a semblance of normality to money markets.

Vultures Circle Around Russia's Mechel as Share Price Nosedives

Shares in Russian miner Mechel tumbled almost 40 percent Tuesday as fears grow that it will be forced to declare bankruptcy in a final deal with creditors over debts of $9 billion.

Kremlin Adviser Says Russia Should Return to Capital Controls

An adviser to President Vladimir Putin suggested to lawmakers on Monday that Russia impose a tax on money being moved abroad.

Russia's Banks Make 'Colossal' Efforts to Find Funding as Sanctions Bite

The head of Russia's biggest lender, Sberbank, said the bank was doing "colossal" work to re-orient itself toward domestic funding sources, as Western sanctions on Moscow begin to hit Russia's banking sector.

Arrested Russian Billionaire Yevtushenkov 'Freed' Amid Confusion

Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov was freed from house arrest Friday, according to a statement from his oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema quoted by Russian news agencies.

Bashneft: Tasty Oil Asset at Heart of Russian Power Struggle

As little as 10 weeks ago, mid-sized producer Bashneft was one of Russia's fastest-growing oil companies, much-loved by investors and with an impressive record of increasing production.

Private Equity Funds Predict Years of Hardship in Russia

Top fund managers at private equity outfits working in Russia said Wednesday that tensions between Moscow and the West have badly hit their ability to raise money abroad and will restrict their operations for years.

Russia's Ruble Battered by Sanctions, Likely to Sink Further

The Russian ruble continued to set records Friday, dropping to another historic low against the dollar, as analysts said there was no immediate end in sight for the currency's downward spiral.

Ruble Plummets to Historic Low as EU Ends Sanctions Uncertainty

The Russian currency plunged to historic lows against the dollar Thursday as the EU appeared to end more than a week of vacillation by opting to impose a new round of sanctions against Moscow.

New EU Sanctions to Inflict Long-Term Pain

The Russian business world is braced for the EU's unfurling of a fresh round of sanctions on Friday, with analysts predicting that Russia's $2 trillion economy will be squeezed even tighter.

Gazprom Sees Production Tumble as Ukraine Crisis Bites

Gazprom's natural gas production fell 19.6 percent last month compared with the same period last year, as the state-owned behemoth struggles in the face of increasing competition at home.

Attacked Lawmaker Releases Purported Dialogues of Russian Soldiers in Ukraine

A lawmaker and activist in the western Russian city of Pskov who was brutally attacked last week following his inquiries into alleged deaths of Russian soldiers in Ukraine has published material suggesting that up to 80 local paratroopers were killed in an engagement with the Ukrainian army on Aug. 20.

Ultranationalist Right Sector Opens Molotov Cocktail Cafe in Lviv

The marginal ultranationalist group so despised in Russia for its dalliance with anti-Semitism and violent role in toppling the legitimate government in Ukraine two months ago has traded in its body armor and ski masks for aprons and paintbrushes in Lviv.

Corruption and Control Define Russia's Border Zones

On the face of it, there are few similarities between the city of Blagoveshchensk, located in the Far East, and the country's natural gas capital of Novy Urengoi, 3,000 kilometers away in the tundra just below the Arctic circle.
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