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Ukraine has decided to suspend railway communications with the Crimea: from December 27 the trains of Ukrzaliznytsya (Ukrainian Railways) moving in the direction of the peninsula will bring passengers only to cross-border stations, and freight transportations will be stopped cold.


The Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO Alexander Grushko stated that the procedure of Ukraines accession to the alliance might be accelerated. According to him, there are certain criteria that must be met for joining NATO. These are, in particular, the absence of internal conflicts or any territorial disputes with its neighboring countries.


The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov thinks that Ukraine is still a Union State of Russia. According to his words, it is impossible for Russia and Ukraine to break up.


The European Union imposed sanctions against Russia being under pressure from the USA. This opinion was expressed by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.


The losses of foreign companies caused by the freezing of the South Stream project will make up at least 2.82 billion euros. The direct losses of European companies may equal 2.5 billion euros. Japanese companies will lose an order for 320 million euros.


The World Bank (WB) raised its forecast for economic growth in Russia in 2014 from 0.5 to 0.7 percent. The forecast for 2015 has been reduced to zero, instead of 0.3 percent growth of the September forecast.


ABC News looks at the impact international sanctions are having on Russians.


Nils Andreassen, executive director of the Institute of the North, is pushing for cooperation rather than hatred in an Op-Ed piece on Russia-US relations in the Alaska Dispatch News.


U.S. companies will have a hard time trying to identify which companies theyd better not deal with to comply with Washingtons sanctions against Russian officials and businessmen over Moscows alleged role in the Ukraine crisis.


The Kremlin has announced a stop to the construction of the South Stream pipeline claiming the EU has put spanners in the works despite the common need to hedge against transit risks.


Kiev expressed satisfaction with the rejection of the gas pipeline project South Stream which was to supply gas to Europe, bypassing Ukraine.


The speech of the Russian president addressed to both chambers of the Russian parliament, and indirectly, the West, was extensively covered by the foreign media.


The Ministry of Finance does not exclude the possibility of placement of bonds on the Asian markets in order to create a benchmark for corporate bond placement.


The members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, incluing Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia) intend to abandon the mutual payments in dollars and euros.


Serbia was obliged to impose sanctions against Russia in exchange for EU membership. This was stated by the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.


The former Prime Minister of Brandenburg Matthias Platzeck came out for legalization of the accession of the Crimea to Russia. Later the press service of the German-Russian Forum denied the statement of Platzeck, but only partially.


The Guardian painted a grim picture of Russias future amid falling oil prices, with the Russian government barely holding the fort.


The sanctions of the West against Russia forced the US oil company ExxonMobil to start looking for alternative deposits to use the West Alpha drilling platform, which participated in the exploration of the Kara Sea shelf.


The Russian Government is working on the possibility of reducing oil production volumes for maintaining its prices. This was announced by the Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak.


The US Vice President Joseph Biden warned Russia against non-compliance with Minsk agreements. According to his words, the US will continue to increase pressure on Russia if it continues its policy regarding the conflict in eastern Ukraine.


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