Articles by Alexander Panin



Russia Cuts Price of Vodka Amid Double-Digit Inflation

Russia has dropped the minimum price of vodka by 16 percent in an attempt to ward off a rise in moonshine consumption, spurred on by the falling ruble and contracting economy.

Will Russia's Economic Crisis Help It Defeat Corruption?

Recent official statements suggest that Russia is launching a real war on corruption, a systematic illness that has long eaten at the stable economic growth.

Russian Prosecutors Crack Down on Retailers as Food Prices Soar

As the ruble's fall drives up the price of even the most basic necessities, the Russian government is cracking down on retailers in an effort to curb soaring food prices.

As Fuel Prices Rise, Russia Eyes Specter of 2008 Gasoline Crisis

Despite a recent dip, gasoline prices in Russia are expected to surge this spring on the back of growing demand, prompting fuel shortages and queues at gas stations, analysts said Tuesday.

Moscow's New Offensive Against Street Kiosks to Strike Small Business

City Hall's new offensive against street kiosks this year will refresh Moscow's image, but strain the city's budget and push the last remaining small-time retail entrepreneurs out of business, kiosk owners said Monday.

Russian Airlines Brace for Tough Year as Ruble Falls

Russia's top airlines are eyeing the specter of bankruptcy in 2015 following last year's ruble meltdown, which decimated travel spending and drastically upped the costs of maintaining carriers' fleets.

Russia's New Turkish Stream Gas Strategy More Bark Than Bite

Although officials in Moscow have trumpeted the cancellation of the South Stream natural gas pipeline as a major blow to Europe, energy analysts say that Russia's alternatives are tenuous at best.

Russia To Face Same Old Questions at Davos In Chillier Atmosphere

As the World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss alpine town of Davos on Wednesday, Moscow's delegates will be working hard to convince participants that Russia is still a sound investment.

Russian Retailers Brace for Tough Year After December Panic Buying

With December's massive consumer spending spree giving way to cautious saving as ruble devaluation eats away at Russians' salaries, analysts are pessimistic on the short- to medium-term perspectives of the country's retailers.

Russian Oil Firms Can Weather $50 Oil

If oil stays at its current price through this year, Russia's gross domestic product will likely shrink more than 6.5 percent, but Russian oil companies will continue to make a profit at even lower prices.

Recession Means Grim Prospects for Russia's Vital Industries

With the World Bank's latest forecast predicting a 2.9 percent contraction of Russia' economy this year, the country's energy, banking and industrial manufacturing sectors will all feel the fallout, analysts said Wednesday.

Russian Banks Plead for Interest Rate Cut as Borrowing Costs Spiral

Russian banks have urged the Central Bank to sharply cut interest rates to prevent a wave of corporate bankruptcies and collapsing demand for loans as Russia's economy heads for deep recession.

Rating Downgrade Set to Scare More Capital Out of Russia

Rating agency Fitch on Friday downgraded Russia's credit rating to one notch above junk status, warning that oil price falls and Western sanctions could contract the country's economy by 4 percent this year.

Ruble Chaos Sparks Russian Spending Spree

At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, GUM, a historic chic shopping mall near the Kremlin, had more salespeople than customers.

Ruble Chaos Forces Retailers to Suspend Sales in Russia

Massive fluctuations in the value of the ruble currency on Tuesday have prompted retailers to make emergency price revisions or even suspend sales and deliveries in Russia until the crisis cools.

Russia's Energy Outlook Gloomy Amid Falling Oil Prices

While most oil-dependent economies are likely to suffer under the low and volatile oil prices predicted for next year, analysts paint a particularly dark picture for Russia, which is under the additional pressure of a faltering economy and Western sanctions over Ukraine.

Eurasian Union's Future Murky as Belarus Tensions Simmer

Less than a month before the launch of the much-vaunted Eurasian Economic Union, a spat between Moscow and Minsk over a Russian ban on Western food imports highlights relations that are far from ideal.

Falling Ruble Curbs International Travel From Russia

The crumbling value of the ruble currency is raising the cost of air travel and train journeys out of Russia, forcing major transport companies to either hike prices or close down unprofitable routes.

Russia's South Stream Alternative Rests on Shaky Ground

Ukraine's role as a natural gas transit zone between Russia and the European Union will be "nullified" once a newly announced pipeline through Turkey to Greece is completed, Gazprom head said Saturday.

Falling Ruble Boosts Housing and Hotels Over Offices and Warehouses

While warehouse and office real estate markets in Russia are close to saturation, analysts see promise in the hotel and housing sectors, as the falling ruble currency turns residential property into an increasingly attractive devaluation-proof asset class.

Volvo Expands Russian Truck Plant Amid Market Slump

As a falling ruble and stagnant economy continue to drive down truck sales in Russia, Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo last week expanded its truck facility to include cabin production in hopes of a market revival.

Russian Train Maker Wins $2.6 Billion Moscow Metro Tender After Foreign Firms Back Out

Russian train maker Metrovagonmash has won a massive international tender to supply 96 trains for the Moscow metro after major foreign producers including Siemens and Bombardier shied away from taking part.

Standard & Poor's Predicts Russia Will Avoid Recession, Downgrade

Russia's economy will dodge recession and see a modest revival of growth as the ruble currency strengthens slightly and oil prices stabilize at $90 per barrel, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said Tuesday.

No More Golden Toilets: Rich Russians' Taste in Real Estate Is Changing

Golden toilets and monumental hallways no longer top the must-have list for a luxury apartment in Russia as demand shifts to functionality rather than flamboyance, research published Monday revealed.

Buckwheat Panic Points to Economic Fears

Following the news of a bad buckwheat harvest, panic buying of the traditional foodstuff sent prices soaring in a sign that some analysts say is likely linked to economic anxieties, not harvest yields.

Russian Lobbies Strip Out Small Business Law's Tougher Provisions

Russia's business lobbies proved their mettle Tuesday after the State Duma passed a much stripped-down version of a business law, which may even be cut altogether if Putin heads calls to veto the bill.

Russia's Weak Ruble Puts China's Moscow Development Projects On Hold

At least two Chinese construction and development projects in Moscow were reportedly postponed last week as the depreciation of the ruble, which has fallen over 30 percent to the dollar since the beginning of the year, hit the firms' cost estimates.

Russian State Budget and Oil Majors Eye Low Oil Prices Through 2015

In a blow to the financing of the state budget and Russian oil majors alike, global crude prices will likely remain low until 2015, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Oil Market Report for November.

First Double-Decker Aeroexpress Train Arrives in Moscow

Swiss locomotive manufacturer Stadler on Thursday delivered the first of 25 double-decker trains to Russia's Aeroexpress, the company that operates express rail links between Moscow's major airports and its downtown.

Gasoline Prices in Russia Expected to Grow Above Inflation

The price for gasoline is expected to rise steeply in 2015 as new duties and an imbalance of supply and demand take their toll, putting further pressure on the already staggering economy.