The Kremlin's prized oil firm Rosneft is cutting staff and production and selling stakes in Siberian fields in the strongest evidence to date that Western sanctions are hurting what was the world's fastest growing oil firm in recent years.
The European Union slapped new economic sanctions on Russia on Friday, but said they could be suspended if Moscow withdraws its troops from Ukraine and observes a ceasefire.
Asian shares steadied near seven-year highs on Thursday, underpinned by hopes of a ceasefire in Ukraine, although a cautious mood prevailed for now ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later in the session.
World markets jumped on Wednesday as Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said a ceasefire had been reached with Russia, raising hopes that a recent escalation in the conflict could be reversed.
European Union ambassadors reached a preliminary agreement on Friday to push ahead with hard-hitting economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis but details remained to be worked out, diplomats said.
Fighting flared in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday as investigators began to inspect the bodies of victims of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last week.
The state of Russia under President Vladimir Putin agreed to acquire $15 billion worth of Ukrainian Eurobonds to help the beleaguered country of Ukraine out of a potential currency crisis, according to a Reuters report.
Investbank, Smolenksy and Project Finance Bank had been stripped off of their operating licenses due to dubious activity and payment issues with creditors and depositors, the Russian central bank said in separate statements on Friday.
At his annual speech at the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that actions to improve Russia's business climate should be done immediately after finally conceding that the state's economic problems were grown at home.
Rumors of coercion by the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin on local wealthy industrialists had been shut down by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who said the moguls enjoyed good deals out of their investor participation for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Despite investor criticism it received for paying more investment attention on its non-core division, Gazprom announced on Tuesday in a joint statement that it had acquired Profmedia from metals tycoon Vladimir Potanin.
Allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin will reportedly get upset about the Russian state chief's latest economic policy to freeze prices starting next year, Bloomberg said in its report.
The shutdown of Russian bank Master Bank was the central bank's most high-profile move yet under the leadership of Russia's first female governor Elvira Nabiullina.
OAO Sberbank, under the leadership of CEO Herman Gref, had undergone layoffs as well as transitions to become one of the top banks in Europe, with interests in Eastern Europe and Turkey.
In an The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors's (G20), attendees would be seeing a show of power and influence between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin arguing on how to act on the crisis in Syria.
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