bne IntelliNews -
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will meet Russsian president Vladimir Putin on February 6, in an attempt to resolve the severe escalation in Eastern Ukraine. They met Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko on February 5. The European leaders said that they will “step up efforts toward a peaceful resolution” of the conflict, which Hollande called a “war” that threatens peace “at the border of Europe".
US Secretary of state John Kerry was also this week in Ukraine, which seeks support and weapons from its allies. As both Kiev and the rebels announced another wave of military conscription, Nato warned that the 10-month conflict in Ukraine is escalating to the worst fighting since it broke out. At the same time the US Presidential administration is discussing supplies of weapons to Ukraine.
In the meantime the EU has expanded the “black list” of Russian and Ukrainian nationals, by adding another 15 individuals and four companies, TASS reports citing unnamed European diplomatic sources. Reportedly the additions will include mostly the leaders of the rebels in Eastern Ukraine. At the same time the German DPA agency reported that the expanded list could include high-ranking Russian officials.
The expanded list reportedly could be published by February 7. Currently the list already includes 132 individuals and was last expanded on November 29 2014.
TASS sources also said that Greece, that recently argued against expanding sectoral sanctions against Russia, is not going to protest expanding the “black list” as this has no hard economic consequences.
Jason Corcoran in Moscow - Russian banks are disappearing at the fastest rate ever as the country's deepening recession makes it easier for the central bank to expose money laundering, dodgy lending ... more
bne IntelliNews - The Kremlin supported by national sports authorities has brushed aside "groundless" allegations of a mass doping scam involving Russian athletes after the World Anti-Doping Agency ... more
Jason Corcoran in Moscow - Revelations and mysticism may have been the stock-in-trade of Nikolai Tsvetkov’s management style, but ultimately they didn’t help him to hold on to his ... more