US, Britain Consider Sanctions Against Syria, Russia Over Aleppo; EU Rules Out Measures Against Moscow

October 17, 2016
President Vladimir Putin (2nd from R) at the meeting of BRICS leaders in Goa on October 15-16, 2016. Photo by @BRICS2016

LIVE UPDATES: The US and UK are considering more sanctions against Russia and Syria over the bombing of Aleppo; the US has announced it will retaliate for Russia’s cyber attacks on the US. Putin has dismissed the claims as campaign rhetoric.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

The previous issue is here.

Recent Analysis and Translations:

Anna Politkovskaya’s Last Interview to the Regional Russian Press On Day of Her Murder
‘The Dirty Deeds of the Pentagon in Syria’: An Example of Russian Propaganda
– What Has Ramzan Kadyrov Been Up To? Quietly Cultivating Regional and Kremlin Officials, Now He Meets with Putin
– RBC Publishes Report Sourced in FSB and Military on Wagner Private Military Contractor with 2,500 Fighters in Syria


Moscow Court Rules in Favor of Rosneft’s Sechin in Suit Against Novaya Gazeta; Judge Orders Retraction

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2016-10-17 16:46:31

On October 10, Basmanny Court ruled in favor of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin in his libel suit against Novaya Gazeta, the independent news site reported.
The court ordered Novaya Gazeta to publish a retraction of its article: “Secret Princess Olga” about Sechin’s luxury yacht within seven days in both its online and print edition.
The article still stands and to date, Novaya Gazeta‘s editors haven’t published any retraction. They had planned to appeal the ruling.
Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor-in-chief, said after the court hearing (translation by The Interpreter):

“We believe the demands of the suit were absurd. We were asked to retract what was not in the publication. The plaintiff had no claims against the factual part of the material. What was disputed was the impression that could be had after reading it.”

The article asked how it came about that Sechin could have such a yacht and provided evidence of its existence and its relationship to Olga Rozhkova, Sechin’s wife, by analyzing the geotags on pictures she posted of herself and friends partying on the yacht on social media.
The yacht has many custom features so it is difficult to put a price on it, but it is worth about $150 to $180 million, says Amin.
Attorneys for Rosneft rejected Novaya Gazeta’s claim that the issue of the yacht was a matter of public interest, and also said Rosneft is not a state corporation. But the government indeed has a majority ownership of Rosneft, although BP has 18.5% stake and currently the government is preparing to sell an additional 19.5% percent stake.
Sechin’s wife Olga also tried to sue Novaya Gazeta for invasion of privacy, but Basmanny Court refused to accept the case, citing irregularities in the lawsuit.

As we reported, Sechin has also filed a suit of about $50 million for alleged “damage to his business reputation” against RBC.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick 

US, Britain Consider Sanctions Against Syria, Russia Over Aleppo; EU Rules Out Sanctions Against Russia

The ruble is trading at 63.20 to the dollar and 69.36 to the euro. Brent crude is selling for $51.66 per barrel.

The following stories are taken from 7:40 na perrone, USA Today, Fortune, Interfax, Gazeta, RFE/RL,  and TV Zvezda.

– Russian Paratroopers Head to Egypt for Joint Military Exercises

What We’re Reading

– ‘Get Lost’: Highlights of Putin Presser at BRICS Meeting by RT [English] 

– Why is Mizulina Sexy and Nudity is Terrifying? [Russian]

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick