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SnapshotsSep 10, 2019 | 20:43 GMT
Russia, Mozambique: Moscow Treads a Well-Worn Path in Southern Africa
It's a revelation that will surprise no one who has watched Russia make steady inroads into Africa in recent years: Several observers have recently reported an uptick in its military presence in Mozambique. Russian soldiers are reportedly collaborating with Mozambique's security services in several locations in the north of the country, including the port towns of Palma and Nacala and the inland town of Mueda, likely for the purpose of training local forces and supporting them with intelligence and logistics. Naturally, the location of the Russian presence has raised speculation about Moscow's intentions, given that northern Mozambique is home to a persistent jihadist threat that local forces have failed to stamp out -- as well as the country's most important energy reserves.
AssessmentsNov 3, 2017 | 20:45 GMT
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev (C) meets with members of the government's finance and economy ministries in 2014 to discuss policy
Russia Cleans Up Its Banks on Borrowed Time
Turbulence has characterized the Russian banking sector since the fall of the Soviet Union. In the economic free-for-all of the 1990s, newly minted oligarchs, politicians, business executives and criminal groups opened private banks to grow their asset bases, massage their books and funnel money to their various interests. More than 2,500 banks had popped up in Russia by the middle of the decade. With no clear rules or strategy to guide it, the sector grew unchecked, contributing to the financial crisis of 1998. The Kremlin began trying to bring order to Russia's banking system, and over the past 20 years, the Central Bank of Russia has shrunk the sector by closing, consolidating or nationalizing hundreds of failing banks. But deep problems persist. A stagnant economy and depleted resources are increasingly limiting the Kremlin's ability to intervene, stoking fears of a looming systemic crisis and threatening to exacerbate dissent in the
AssessmentsJan 20, 2015 | 10:15 GMT
A woman in Moscow walks past a sign showing the Russian ruble's value compared the the U.S. dollar and euro.
Russia Prepares to Slash Its Budget
In the coming weeks, the Russian Cabinet and state Duma will draw up proposals for cuts to the Russian state budget for 2015. According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the government could cut 10 percent of funding to all sectors except defense. This drastic proposal comes as new economic indicators show that Russia's economy is declining more quickly than expected. The budget cuts will exacerbate anxieties about Russia's economy and financial sector and threaten the economic well-being of the Russian population, the Kremlin's elite, the oligarch class and the state's strategic projects. Thus, the Kremlin will prioritize various players and sectors while seeking a longer-term de-escalation with the West that could relieve some of the economic pressure on Russia.
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