The Guardian: "Crimea still erasing its Ukrainian past"
"Crimea still erasing its Ukrainian past a year after Russia's takeover" the British newspaper the Guardian writes. "There is no doubt that support for joining Russia remains high among Crimea’s population. One indicator of this is how few people Moscow has needed to import from the mainland to run the region. A year on, the currency in Crimea has changed, the phone numbers have changed, the banks have changed, but most of the people running the region are the same," the article reads. The entire local SBU office has joined the FSB and the former local head of the SBU is now the deputy. Those who believe that Crimea should be Ukrainian remain a minority and keep quiet, since their views expressed publicly risk providing grounds to charge them with "separatism", punishable by up to 5 years in prison, the article reads.
"Why Russia Is Better Than Europe," Kenneth Rapoza, a contributor to Forbes magazine explains in an op-ed published on the Forbes' website. Rapoza writes that the "the CFA Institute’s survey of some 120,000 chartered financial analysts lists Russia as the fourth most attractive market for investment in 2015. The U.S. is No. 1, followed by China and India. Russia kicked out Germany this year." "The Market Vectors Russia ETF is up 12.85% year-to-date, beating the MSCI Emerging Markets and the S&P 500. It is also better than Wisdom Tree India (EPI), the darling of the big four emerging market ETFs this year. EPI is up 7.12%. The Russian Central Bank has done a better job at managing currency volatility. Despite the ever-strengthening dollar and weaker oil prices, the ruble is down only 2.6% against the dollar. The euro is down over 14%." However because "oil and politics remain the biggest risk factor" in Russia, many investors are still indecisive in terms of investing in Russia, Rapoza concludes.
"Gazprom: Keeping the taps open," the Financial Times reports in its article on the investigation into the allegation that Gazprom exploited its pricing power to charge countries more than others, an antitrust case that was initiated on September 27, 2011. Since then the case has stalled, but last month Maroš Šefčovič, the EU Energy Commission vice-president said that the case against Gazprom was only "weeks away". According to the article, if Gazprom is found guilty there is a "danger that Russia could turn off the taps in retaliation... The crisis in Ukraine has laid bare Moscow’s increasing animosity towards the EU and a landmark trade accord between Brussels and Kiev proved to be a trigger point for the conflict that has engulfed the eastern Donbass region."