Vodka magnate Yuri Scheffler, visiting in New York, says he feels sorry for Ukraine. "There is only one law in Russia, and it's called 'Putin.'"» Read More
*Russia detained Greenpeace activists over protests against Arctic oil production. MOSCOW, Dec 20- Russia's first Arctic offshore field Prirazlomnoye, where Greenpeace activists were arrested in September after a high seas clash with Russian authorities, has started production of oil, energy company Gazprom said on Friday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has freed jailed billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky and now the former inmate is on an airplane and headed for Germany, reports CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky's release after 10 years in jail reflects Putin's consolidation of power in Russia.
MOSCOW, Dec 20- Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an opponent of Vladimir Putin, was released from prison in northwestern Russia on Friday after being pardoned by the president, his lawyer said.
MOSCOW, Dec 20- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday pardoning one of his best known opponents, former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, after a decade in jail.
MOSCOW, Dec 20- Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday pardoning jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Kremlin said. Putin announced unexpectedly on Thursday that he would pardon Khodorkovsky, who was once Russia's richest man and is seen by Kremlin critics as a political prisoner.
News that Vladimir Putin plans to pardon the former head of Yukos shocked even the most optimistic businessmen in Russia.
CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera reports on 3 stories overseas, including whether Sochi will have enough snow for the Olympics.
It's hard to find a spot in Russia without snow. "But Putin found such a spot and decided to hold the Winter Olympics there," says one Russian critic.
MOSCOW, Dec 19- Russian stock markets gained on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin said he would pardon jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a boost for investors increasingly worried about political freedoms and Russia's ability to reform the economy.
For three hours Yanukovich cajoled and bullied anyone who pushed for Ukraine to have closer ties to Russia. A handful of deputies from his Party of Regions complained that their businesses in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east would suffer if Yanukovich didn't agree to closer ties with Russia.
KIEV, Dec 19- Ukraine expects economic growth of 3 percent in 2014, a draft budget showed on Thursday, days after Russia offered a $15 billion lifeline to help revive its smaller neighbour's economy and keep the country in its orbit.
*Putin portrays Ukraine bailout as brotherly love. MOSCOW, Dec 19- President Vladimir Putin on Thursday portrayed Russia's bailout of Ukraine as an act of brotherly love to stave off economic crisis and said it was not designed to keep its big neighbour out of Europe's clutches.
MOSCOW, Dec 19- President Vladimir Putin portrayed on Thursday Russia's bailout of Ukraine as an act of brotherly love to stave off economic crisis and said it was not designed to keep Kiev out of the European Union's clutches.
LONDON, Dec 18- A jump in prices of Ukraine's dollar bonds since Russia offered a $15 billion bailout has vindicated some of the world's biggest investors who bet billions that the high-yield, high-risk creditor could avert default.
Political drama will surround 2014 Olympics, India adjusts easily to increase in US interest rates, and businesses are back in Iran.
MOSCOW, Dec 18- President Vladimir Putin has taken a gamble with Russia's own fragile economy by bailing out Ukraine for the sake of keeping it in Moscow's orbit and out of the European Union's embrace.
MOSCOW, Dec 18- Moscow's $15 billion financial aid to Ukraine should benefit the Russian economy and risks for both countries would have been greater if Kiev had received no help, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Reuters on Wednesday.
It's tough to produce profits in China, says John Faraci, International Paper chairman & CEO, explaining why his company is looking to find growth in Russia.
MOSCOW, Dec 18- Russia accused the West on Wednesday of putting pressure on Ukraine to choose closer ties with the European Union even though Kiev has accepted a Russian bailout after spurning a trade deal with the EU.