EU extends Russian sanctions
Last Friday the EU countries decided to extend the sanctions again Russia by six months. Previously, Italy was preventing an extension. Yesterday (21-12) the governments will sign the decision. As of today the extension will be official. The decision was taken quickly despite some delays due to the Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi. The southern European country advocated opening a dialogue with Russia, but it fell on deaf ears.
During the Moscow Economic Forum three businessmen were very critical of the Russian government. The videos of the speeches have become an internet hit. One of the businessmen calls the boycott of Western products 'criminal'. There was also fierce comment on the Kremlin. "It isn't Barack Obama who is responsible for the high interest rates," according to one of the directors during the Forum.
Traffic jams on the border
A traffic jam has grown at the border between Lithuania and Russia. According to the Russian news agency TASS there are 400 trucks waiting for the control post. The trucks were at the border for 42 hours. There are often jams at the border around Christmas, since Russia tighten the border controls in 2013.
Israeli pepper refused
The Russian inspection stopped 24 tonnes of Israeli peppers in the port of Novorossiysk. According to the inspection the peppers are contaminated with Western (Californian) trips. This year the inspection has already stopped 33 parties with a total weight of over 400 tonnes.