Russia offered New Zealand fighter jets for butter: Book
Its been a very quick shift from the vehicles which were successful historically, such as the Focus, Stephen Odell, president of Fords European, Middle Eastern and African business, said in an interview in Moscow late yesterday. The segment which is growing in Russia is sport-utility vehicles. Its fashionable to have SUVs. The partnership between Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford and Sollers took over the U.S. companys car plant in Vsevolozsk and builds models including the Explorer SUV and Kuga crossover in Elabuga in the Russian republic of Tatarstan. The Edge will be produced at another plant in Naberezhnye Chelny, also in Tatarstan, the companies said yesterday. Balanced Strategy Ford operates under a 50-50 joint venture because we thought it was important to have balanced equity and balanced growth in the business, Odell said. With the addition of the EcoSport and the Edge, an offroader between the full-size Explorer and more compact Kuga, well have a complete portfolio of products in the growing SUV segment, actually way faster than you wouldve thought wed be able to respond, Odell said. Russias car market will probably amount to about 2.8 million vehicles this year, versus projections exceeding 3 million units at the beginning of the year, Odell said, declining to specify forecasts for Ford. Russias gross domestic product expansion slowed to 1.2 percent in the second quarter from 3.4 percent last year. GDP may not grow as fast as you like, but its still a strong economy, Odell said. Russia has the opportunity to surpass Germany as Europes largest car market in the middle of this decade, he said.
Unbeaten Russia and Ukraine take Group 13 spoils
Russia says foils plot to attack chemical arms facility
Viktor Kovalenko’s goal earned Ukraine a 1-1 draw against Russia on the final round of UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying Group 13 although the 2009 champions had to be happy with second place, behind their opponents on goal difference. Related Items Turkey, Montenegro qualify The eventual top two were in control of the section from the outset, Russia putting four goals past Malta without reply including two for Denis Davydov before overwhelming Estonia 5-1. Davydov added two more as Russia responded perfectly to Joseph Saliste’s 23rd-second opener for Estonia. Ukraine were only marginally less emphatic with a 3-1 opening victory against Estonia although the former winners had to come from one down with all their goals, including two for Artem Radchenko, coming in the final 26 minutes. Oleksandr Petrakov’s side then repeated Russia’s 4-0 victory against Malta, Radchenko taking his total for the section to four. Russia looked set to make it three wins from three when Aleksandr Morgunov gave them a 17th-minute lead in their final fixture yet Kovalenko replied on the stroke of half-time. With each team collecting a second-half red card, for Russia’s Eduard Sobol and Vladislav Masternoi respectively, the eventual point that maintained both’s unbeaten record. Malta, meanwhile, twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against 2012 finals hosts Estonia, although they finished behind their opponents on goal difference. UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved. Last updated: 15/10/13 19.36CET
RELATED LONDON: Fighter jets and nuclear submarines for milk! The extraordinary offer was made by Russia to New Zealand in 1993, a new book has claimed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union , Russia was struggling to pay the $100 million it owed New Zealand for a range of imported dairy products, Guardian reported. In a meeting with Russian officials to chalk out payment terms, Jim Bolger, then New Zealand prime minister, was left “absolutely stunned” to be offered a nuclear submarine and two MiG fighter jets in lieu of money, according to Clive Lind, the author of the book, ” Till the Cows Came Home “. Lind, who interviewed Bolger and former New Zealand Dairy Board chairman Dryden Spring, who was also present at the meeting, said the offer had been made by Alexander Shokhin, then deputy prime minister of Russia. “The Russians were trying to come up with lines of credit before Shokhin mentioned there were other funding arrangements,” Lind was quoted by the daily as saying. “He pointed out that MiG jets were highly desirable and that they also had surplus tanks to offer. Jim Bolger had to explain that he wasn’t in the market for second-hand tanks,” Lind added. Perhaps most remarkably, Shokhin then offered a nuclear submarine to wipe out Russia’s debt. Noting that New Zealand was a staunchly non-nuclear-powered country, he suggested hooking the vessel up to the national grid and using it as a power plant for a coastal city, the report said. “Bolger recalled the reaction he would have got if he returned to a nuclear-free New Zealand and told people that he hadn’t got any money for them but had secured a nuclear submarine instead,” Lind said. “It simply wasn’t going to fly.” After politely declining the offer of the military equipment, New Zealand managed to secure a number of periodic payments from Russia, totalling about $30 million less than a third of the total debt. “The world was awash with butter at the time and we needed Russia to take ours.
Russia Foils Plot to Attack Chemical Arms Facility
Militants have previously carried out deadly bombings in Moscow and other parts of Russia outside the mostly Muslim North Caucasus, but specific allegations of plots to attack sites holding weapons of mass destruction in nuclear-armed Russia are almost unheard of. Authorities believe the suspects planned to build a bomb and attack the Maradykovsky chemical weapons storage and disposal facility in the Kirov region, about 1,000 km (620 miles) northeast of Moscow, the Federal Investigative Committee said. “The suspects planned a terrorist attack … that could have risked killing hundreds of people,” it said in a statement. It said the men had travelled north to the remote Kirov area from Moscow to plan the attack and it identified them as followers of Wahhabism – an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam that is practised in Saudi Arabia and which has become a derogatory term for Islamist radicalism in Russia. Investigators found bomb components and “literature with extremist content” in an abandoned house in the area where the suspects, aged 19 and 21, were living, the committee said. It said the suspects were natives of the North Caucasus, a mountainous southern region not far from the Black Sea city of Sochi, where Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics in February. The region is some 2,000 km (1,200 miles) from Kirov. Insurgent leader Doku Umarov, a Chechen, has urged fighters to use “maximum force” to stop the Olympics taking place. President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on the Games and ordered authorities to boost security in the North Caucasus, where the Islamist insurgency is rooted in two post-Soviet wars pitting Chechen separatists against the Kremlin. After suicide bombings that killed dozens in the Moscow subway in 2010 and at a Moscow airport in 2011, Umarov called for more attacks on infrastructure in the Russian heartland, but no other major attacks have occurred outside the North Caucasus. Russia inherited the Soviet Union’s declared stockpile of 40,000 metric tonnes of chemical weapons. In 1997 Moscow ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, which requires member states to declare and dispose of all chemical weapons and production facilities. Russia and the United States had pledged to destroy their chemical arsenals by 2012 but both missed the deadline. They have recently led diplomatic efforts to ensure Syria starts destroying its own chemical weapons stockpile.
WILL KERIMOV SELL? Baumgertner was initially put in pre-trial detention but later moved to house arrest. Charged with abuse of power and embezzlement, he faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted. Russia’s federal Investigative Committee, which answers to President Vladimir Putin, said it had opened an investigation into Baumgertner on suspicion of abuse of power and would request his extradition. The extradition could save face for Lukashenko, who has said his country could hand over Baumgertner as long as Russia took steps to prosecute him. An extradition would not necessarily lead to a trial, however, and it could reduce pressure on the main owner of Uralkali, Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, to sell his stake so that the cartel can re-form. It would, though, put the asset more firmly in Putin’s hands. There has been intense lobbying by businessmen with past ties to the Russian leader to buy Kerimov’s 21.75 percent stake in Uralkali. With two partners, Kerimov controls a third of the business. Both the Kremlin and Belarus have tried to play down the arrest by suggesting bilateral ties between the Slavic neighbors, allies in Russian-led security and trade groups that are important to Putin, should trump business disputes. But Baumgertner’s return to Russia would remove an irritant in relations and end a situation that critics say is embarrassing for Putin, because it makes him appear powerless to influence even a relatively small and friendly neighbor.