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  • The new arms race in the South China Sea Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 1:19 PM ET
    An Indonesian naval vessel.

    Defense spending among nations in the South China Sea region is rising, but most of it isn't going to the United States.

  • MOSCOW, May 21- The International Monetary Fund sees the Russian economy shrinking by 3.4 percent in 2015, a smaller contraction than previously forecast, but said the country's public finances faced big longer-term challenges because of low oil prices. Russia's economy was tipped into crisis last summer when an existing slowdown was compounded by a sharp...

  • IMF upgrades Russia growth outlook Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 10:31 AM ET

    MOSCOW— The International Monetary Fund predicts a less severe recession for Russia and says the country's economy will return to growth in a "mild recovery" next year. Following a recent staff visit to Russia, the IMF says in a statement that it now predicts a 3.4 percent contraction in GDP this year and says "growth should resume" in 2016.. On Thursday, the IMF did not...

  • Kyrgyzstan ratifies joining Russia-led trade bloc Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 6:40 AM ET

    BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan— The Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan has ratified a measure to join the Eurasian Economic Union, a Russia- led trade bloc. The country's entry must then be approved by the parliaments of the other members— Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Belarus. Russia pushed hard for Ukraine to join the bloc, but opponents saw it as an attempt by Moscow to...

  • Failed launches cast shadow over Russian space program Thursday, 21 May 2015 | 3:58 AM ET

    MOSCOW— Back-to-back rocket launch failures have dealt Russia one of the heaviest blows to its space industry since the Soviet collapse— with national pride and billions of dollars at stake. The setbacks threaten to erode Russia's leading position in the multibillion global launch market, in which it commands an estimated 40 percent share, and dent President...

  • Russia budget crunch shows no quick end to economic pain Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 2:18 PM ET

    MOSCOW, May 20- Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov warned on Wednesday the country would face no choice but to rein in public spending over the next few years, highlighting how Russia is still in deep economic trouble even if it has dodged an immediate meltdown. Russia was tipped into crisis by last year's sharp drop in oil prices, compounded by Western...

  • *Putin says new law paves way for Ukraine default. MOSCOW, May 20- Russia on Wednesday demanded the timely repayment of all debts owed to it by Ukraine and accused Kiev of effectively preparing the way for default with a new law. Moscow, whose relations with Kiev have been wrecked by a year-long conflict in eastern Ukraine, has declined to join the debt restructuring...

  • MOSCOW, May 20- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday a law adopted by Ukraine allowing it to miss repayments to international creditors, Russia among them, was strange and unprofessional. Putin, speaking at a meeting with government ministers, said the Ukrainian legislation was in effect about an upcoming default by Ukraine.

  • LONDON, May 20- Emerging market currencies and stocks fell on Monday, coming under pressure from a climbing dollar after better-than-expected U.S. housing data. South Africa's rand, the Turkish lira and the Israeli shekel weakened by as much as half a percent against the dollar. "There are a lot of cross currents for emerging markets, with the dollar and oil prices...

  • Expect Turkish central bank to stand pat: Pro   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 12:42 AM ET
    Expect Turkish central bank to stand pat: Pro

    Piotr Matys, strategist at Rabobank, expects the Turkish central bank to keep interest rates unchanged at this week's monetary policy meeting.

  • TALLINN, Estonia— Train service between the capitals of Russia and Estonia has been suspended due to declining demand, reportedly for the first time in six decades. The Estonian railway company GoRail said European Union sanctions against Russia have led to a sharp decrease in the number of Russians visiting Estonia, making the Moscow- Tallinn route...

  • Russian businessman may have been poisoned   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 | 11:20 AM ET
    Russian businessman may have been poisoned

    A Russian wealthy businessman who died suspiciously in 2012 may have been poisoned with a rare toxic plant. Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, discusses.

  • HONG KONG— For Americans, there are cheaper vacations in Europe and lower-priced imports. A Chinese factory is selling fewer goods in Europe. In Europe, many exporters have benefited because a stronger dollar tends to make their products cheaper in the United States.

  • BRUSSELS, May 18- Russia avoided further diplomatic confrontation with Ukraine and the European Union at three-way trade talks on Monday and did not renew previous demands for Kiev's duty-free deal with the bloc to be put on hold. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom highlighted the fact that all three parties jointly signed a statement that said the pact,...

  • Why Kerry-Putin talks could deliver a big surprise Monday, 18 May 2015 | 10:03 AM ET
    Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin before a bilateral meeting at the presidential residence of Bocharov Ruchey in Sochi, Russia May 12, 2015.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry voiced his optimism after "frank discussions" with Russian President Valdimir Putin.

  • MOSCOW, May 18- Russia's rouble strengthened on Monday, helped by companies selling foreign currency ahead of end-of-month tax payments to the state budget and also by weak demand for dollars and euros. The rouble's rise came despite central bank purchases of foreign currency to top up its reserves-- a policy shift announced last week-- and modest losses in global...

  • West clings to fraying Ukraine deal despite doubts Sunday, 17 May 2015 | 8:13 AM ET
    Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko gestures during a news conference in Kiev, in this Dec. 29, 2014 photo.

    Western powers are clinging to a fraying peace deal in Ukraine, even though NATO is warning that Moscow may be preparing for a new offensive.

  • ALMATY, May 16- A Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned and burnt up over Siberia soon after launch on Saturday, the latest in a series of mishaps for Russia's space industry. Russia's space agency Roscosmos subsequently said in a statement that the satellite, booster and third stage burnt up almost entirely in the atmosphere with...

  • KIEV, Ukraine— A Russian rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned Saturday shortly after its launch— the latest mishap to hit Russia's troubled space industry, whose Soviet-era glory has been tarnished by a series of launch failures. The rocket, a Proton-M, was launched from the Russia- leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan. A search for possible...

  • ALMATY, May 16- A Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned and crashed in Siberia soon after launch on Saturday, the latest in a series of mishaps for Russia's space industry. The final stage of the Proton could still have contained a few tonnes of heptyl, a highly toxic rocket propellant, when it came down in the Chita region of Siberia,...