The U.S. and Europe are threatening to step up economic sanctions against Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s move to annex Crimea from Ukraine last month. Higher borrowing costs led the government to scrap ruble-bond auctions in five of the last six weeks. Since the incursion into the Black Sea peninsula on March 1, investors turned to offshore equity trading, with U.K. volume growing faster than in Moscow.
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“This is a question of economic security,” First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told reporters after a government meeting near Moscow today. Speaking later in a telephone interview, he said the move isn’t mandatory and that companies should make independent decisions.
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