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Russian Banks Eye China’s Market Amid Regulatory Liberalization

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On ongoing liberalization of banking legislation in China will provide Russian banks with an opportunity to receive full licensing for China operations, China Briefing reports.

“It has always been difficult for banks to start their work and operate in China. We are studying the issue and we see its development in the following manner — one can say that now there are some steps, which allow us to say that there is an opportunity for a Russian bank to get a full-fledged license,” says Sergey Iniushin, Russia’s Trade Representative to China.

Currently, although a handful of Russian banks have operations in China, VTB is the only bank that has a license. However, its license does not cover all types of operations and the bank cannot operate as a full-fledged settlement bank.

Western sanctions, meanwhile, have pushed Russian businesses into Asia and bilateral trade with China hit $100 billion in 2018 and Russian Prime Minister Medvedev has stated there is plenty of opportunity to double that.

The governments of Russia and China have sought to develop their economic relationship to support more trade and investment between the two countries. For example, Russia and China cooperate in BRICS and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), while earlier his year China signed off a non-preferential free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.

“Service providers based in China may well need to start looking at attracting an alternative client base should the US-China trade dispute not be resolved. Russia is a large economy, with money to spend, and more politically and trade aligned with China. The Russia-China trade space is a place to be active in and developments such as permitting Russian banks operating and trade facilities is a natural evolution in this trend,” said analyst Chris Devonshire-Ellis of financial services firm Dezan Shira & Associates.

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Erdogan says he will not declare ceasefire in northern Syria

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear to U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northern Syria and will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region.

Turkey forged ahead with its offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and calls for it to stop, while Syria’s Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces.

The YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.

On Monday, Trump announced sanctions on Turkey to punish it for the offensive. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.

However, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its aims, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.

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Woman killed in Russian apartment building blast

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A woman died and other young woman sustained injuries when a five-story building partially collapsed following an explosion in Russian village of Novonezhino.

Around 17 apartments were damaged when the ceiling slab, wall and the stair case of the building collapsed, Emergency Department said.

“The people were evacuated, 17 apartments were damaged. Seven elders have been transferred to temporary accommodation center,” the authorities said.

Rescue crews were searching for people who are believed to be trapped under the rubble. Rescuers were assisting the residents save their pets and belongings from the damaged apartments.

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Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine

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The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios

The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October 19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence

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