The head of a leading Russian hypermarket chain has shrugged off the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and signaled willingness to open a store in Crimea.» Read More
*Putin denounces Kiev's use of military in east Ukraine. The former KGB spy's rhetoric on the United States was, as is customary for him, firm and uncompromising, but he also gave off clear signals that he did not want to get into a spiralling war of words with Washington.
KIEV, April 17- Ukraine's prime minister on Thursday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of building a terrorist network in Ukraine to destabilise it and wreck its presidential election next month.
LONDON, April 17- Gold steadied around $1,300 an ounce on Thursday as a lower dollar and accommodative U.S. The metal had fallen nearly 2 percent on Tuesday and has remained broadly range-bound since then around $1,300 on fears over slowing demand in top consumer China.
KIEV, April 17- Ukraine's prime minister on Thursday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to sabotage the country's upcoming presidential election and said Moscow was responsible for deaths in recent clashes in eastern Ukraine.
BRUSSELS— The European Union is warning Russia that interfering with gas deliveries to Ukraine to apply political pressure would backfire by damaging its reputation as a reliable supplier for the EU.
Putin also said that the transit via Ukraine is the most dangerous element in Europe's gas supply system, and that he was. Russia meets around 30 percent of Europe's natural gas needs.
MOSCOW, April 17- President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said Russia had been forced to respond to NATO enlargement and that its annexation of Crimea, home to its Black Sea Fleet, was partly influenced by the Western military alliance's expansion into eastern Europe.
*Investors await developments in Ukraine. LONDON, April 17- Gold fell below $1,300 an ounce on Thursday as investors cut exposure to gold-backed funds and weighed the impact of Ukraine tensions, while worries over the strength of Chinese demand continued to weigh.
CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera reports some of the highlights from Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual talk.
The United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine are holding talks in Geneva to try and negotiate an end to the Ukraine crisis, reports CNBC's Steve Sedgwick.
*Putin denounces Kiev's use of military in east Ukraine. In a marathon session that was dominated by questions on Ukraine, Putin tempered withering criticism of the Ukrainian leadership with more conciliatory comments about the possibility of a compromise to resolve the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine, April 17- Separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard overnight and Kiev said three separatists were killed, the worst bloodshed yet in a 10- day pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine, overshadowing crisis talks to resolve the conflict.
MOSCOW, April 17- Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the country would speed up the process of switching Crimea's banking system to the rouble as Moscow looks to integrate the peninsula it annexed last month.
Geoffrey Munn, managing director at Wartski, discusses the history behind the Fabergé egg after a third Imperial egg was found by a scrap-metal dealer in the U.S.
MOSCOW, April 17- President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he was certain that Russia and Ukraine could reach a compromise following Moscow's annexation of Crimea, saying the neighbours had a huge number of common interests. "I'm sure we will come to a mutual understanding with Ukraine.
*Asian shares higher, tracking Wall Street. SINGAPORE, April 17- Gold fell for a second session out of three on Thursday on higher equities and as the world's biggest gold-backed fund saw its sharpest outflow in nearly four months.
Thanos Vamvakidis, head of European G10 FX strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, says "volatility" trades are attractive and suggests shorting euro/dollar.
Ukrainian foreign minister Andrii Deshchytsia, says a breakthrough in the situation in the country is possible if there is a "will".
SINGAPORE, April 17- Gold held steady just above $1,300 an ounce on Thursday supported by tensions in Ukraine, but the metal was at the risk of adding to recent losses as the world's biggest gold-backed fund saw its sharpest outflow in nearly four months.
But for all the anxiety about Ukraine's future— bolstered by Vladimir Putin's contention the country is on the verge of civil war— the top diplomats of Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union may find their positions so far apart that no one can find a compromise.