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News From Russia: What You Missed Over the Weekend

typical_nn / Vkontakte

Gas suspense

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill Friday imposing sanctions on firms laying pipe for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. The pipeline seeks to double gas capacity along the northern Nord Stream pipeline route.

										 					Denis Vyshinsky / TASS
Denis Vyshinsky / TASS

Germany's finance minister and vice chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said Berlin "firmly rejects" U.S. sanctions. Russia's Foreign Ministry also said that Moscow "will continue to implement its economic projects regardless of anyone's sanctions."

Nationalist leanings

The suspect behind last week’s shooting attack on the FSB security agency in Moscow may have been a member of a nationalist group advocating unity among Russians, Ukrainians and Belarussians, unnamed FSB sources who examined his computer and smartphone have told media.

The National Liberation Movement (NOD), whose flag was found in Yevgeny Manyurov’s home, has denied any connection with the attack.

Big deal

In a major breakthrough, Russia and Ukraine have reached a new deal for Moscow to supply Europe with 225 billion cubic meters of gas via Ukraine for at least five years and pay a $2.9 billion settlement by Dec. 29.

In exchange, Ukraine is expected to sign a legal settlement and withdraw all outstanding claims, also before Dec. 29, aiming to resolve the issue before the existing supply deal expires.

Integration roadblock

More than 1,000 Belarussians gathered in Minsk to oppose integration talks with Russia.

Protesters held up placards reading “stop annexation” and chanted “independence” as talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko ended Friday with key differences over oil and gas issues unresolved.

Remote doping

Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow's suspended anti-doping laboratory, had remotely altered data that led to Russia’s ban from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Investigative Committee said.

Rodchenkov’s lawyer called the allegations “a farce” and “a charade.” 

Stalin’s 140th

Josef Stalin’s supporters laid flowers at the Soviet dictator’s grave on Red Square to mark his 140th birthday on Saturday.

										 					Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency
Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency

Elsewhere, Communist Party members unveiled a Stalin bust in the city of Volgograd, which was known as Stalingrad until 1961. A giant billboard depicting Stalin as the Terminator with a caption reading “I’ll be back” was put up in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

Includes reporting from Reuters.

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