Russia, Ukraine round-up

A Ukrainian naval officer passes by armed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, as he leaves the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014

Ukraine says it could quit Russia-led political bloc: Ukraine could review its membership of the Moscow-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) following Russia’s move to incorporate the Crimea peninsula, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

German government intervenes to stop defense delivery to Russia: Germany on Wednesday made its first public intervention in business dealings with Russia since the escalation of the crisis over Ukraine, telling defense contractor Rheinmetall it could not send combat simulation gear to Russia.

Russia will demand compensation if France scraps warship sale

A man drapes the Russian flag on his shoulders as he stands on the coast of the Bay of Sevastopol, Crimea

Russia criticizes Britain’s suspension of military cooperation

Merkel says EU will hit Russia with economic sanctions if needed: European leaders will show they are ready to ramp up punitive measures against Russia, including politically sensitive economic sanctions, at a summit starting on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German parliament.

The German leader, who has in the last few weeks toughened her stance against Russia over its actions in Ukraine and the integration of the Crimea region, also indicated that the Group of Eight economic powers may expel Russia from the exclusive club.

Obama Says U.S. Enacting Fresh Penalties on Russia for Annexing Crimea

Click on post title to read more and see some interesting maps…

Russia hits back with its own sanctions after U.S. ‘hostile thrust’: Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions on nine U.S. officials and lawmakers on Thursday as tension over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea mounted, warning the West it would hit back over “every hostile thrust.”

Banks must brace for Russia sanctions row, warn US industry officials

1938: In a period of balance-of-power politics, the Soviet Union’s territory does not extend far westward into Europe.

Ukraine won’t fire first in any trade war with Russia says envoy

Ukraine ‘in no hurry’ to impose visas on Russians

But also this from later in the day: Russia poised to react to Kiev’s new visa regime

U.S. defense chief praises Ukraine’s restraint in Crimea crisis

Russia steps up customs checks on goods from Ukraine: Russian border guards have stepped up checks on goods entering from Ukraine, officials from the customs services and an agricultural inspection service said on Thursday, underlining tensions between the two countries.

Ukraine envoy says Russia plans further incursion, Moscow denies

1945: Following the second world war, the Soviet Union extended its control into modern day Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and four Baltic states.

Russia says will complete legal moves to absorb Crimea this week

Russia to build up military in Crimea to protect against threats

After Crimea, West plans for Russia military threat: For defense planners in Washington, London and Brussels, the sight of Russian forces pouring into their second neighbor in six years will overturn two decades of strategic assumptions.

Ukraine crisis casts cloud over Moscow anti-money laundering meeting:Russia’s takeover of Crimea and the ensuing East-West crisis have cast a cloud over a meeting of top international anti-money laundering officials scheduled to take place in Moscow in June.

1949-89: During the cold war, the USSR’s sphere of influence extended over Eastern Europe, via the Warsaw Pact countries and a divided Germany.

EU sees Slovak-Ukraine gas link deal by end-April: A reverse-flow pipeline deal to ship gas from Slovakia to Ukraine could be agreed before the end of April, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Wednesday.

Ukraine bonds rally on IMF agreement hopes

VW keeps to Russia growth plan as Europe weighs sanctions says CEO: Germany’s Volkswagen will stick with ambitious expansion plans in Russia even as European leaders consider sanctions over the country’s seizure of Crimea, the carmaker’s chief executive said.

1991: After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 led to the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia’s territory was smaller than it was before the second world war.

Ukraine issues warrant for businessman on state property theft charge: Ukraine’s prosecutor general said on Thursday it had issued a warrant to find and detain Serhiy Kurchenko, the chairman of energy firm Vetek, on suspicion of stealing state property.

Europe set to add names to Russia sanctions list, weigh energy issues

Russia works with Crimea to ensure constant energy supply

Oligarch governor seeks aid to keep Donbass Ukrainian: The man given the job of preventing Ukraine’s industrial heartland following Crimea into the arms of Russia sounds a little hoarse and confesses to lacking sleep but reckons things are not as bad as last week.

2014: Russia annexes the Ukrainian region of Crimea, after Russian troops invade and the area votes to secede from Ukraine. The vote and annexation is condemned internationally.

But steel baron Serhiy Taruta, since March 2 governor of his native Donetsk region, warned Western powers on Wednesday that without urgent financial aid the Russian-speaking population of the wider Donbass coal mining area could vent frustrations with Ukraine’s corrupt and failing economy by heeding Kremlin-funded militants who have called for Moscow to step in and take charge.

Ukraine says Russia takes over Ukraine-owned sweet factory in Lipetsk: Russian authorities have taken over a Ukrainian-owned confectionery factory located in the Russian city of Lipetsk and halted production, the Ukrainian government said on Thursday.

A Ukrainian naval officer passes by armed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, as he leaves the naval headquarters in Sevastopol, March 19, 2014

U.S.-Russia sanctions rhetoric shakes companies, investors: The potential for broader U.S. sanctions on Russia and Moscow’s threat of responding in kind are raising concerns among U.S. corporations and investors about the economic fallout from the crisis over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Rapped by critics for not taking a harsh enough line with Russia, the White House is mulling its next moves.
At stake from the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War is goods trade between the two countries that was worth about $38 billion in 2013.

Doubts grow over European response to Russia over Crimea: As Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrates his seizure of Crimea, European Union leaders hold critical talks on Thursday on how to respond amid growing doubts over whether they are united enough to impose hard-hitting sanctions on Moscow.

The EU’s foreign ministers agreed this week to subject 21 Russians and Crimeans to travel bans and asset freezes, but it was a relatively minor response mocked by Russian officials as ineffectual and ultimately meaningless.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses lawmakers at the lower house of parliament in Bundestag, Berlin, on Thursday ahead of a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels

Angela Merkel declares G8 is dead as EU prepares more sanctions on Russia: The European Union is set to impose further sanctions on Russia following its decision to annex Crimea as German Chancellor Angela Merkel today declared the G8 “is dead.”

EU leaders are set to meet in Brussels today to discuss how to deal with the developments in Crimea after Russian troops seized majority control of the peninsula.

In an address to the German Parliament in Berlin this morning, Merkel said the EU was readying further sanctions and that the G8 forum of leading economies has been suspended indefinitely.