A gathering of people in the elevator business has taken place in Moscow. The event presented a good opportunity to reassess the advantages of economic ties with Russia while Western sanctions against it were still in place.
The US has blacklisted 16 Chinese and Russian entities for their role in North Korea's weapons development. The move coincided with reports the UN is investigating North Korean shipments to a Syrian chemical arms agency.
Germany's economy minister has urged the EU to consider countermeasures against the US after it imposed new sanctions against Russia. Brigitte Zypries has said the US sanctions end up affecting German firms.
Russia finds itself confronted with a widening of EU sanctions over the country's annexation of Crimea in 2014. The transfer of Siemens turbines to the peninsula triggered a fresh round of punitive measures.
Stringent international sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict have sucked the momentum out of the Russian economy over the past couple of years. The nation's growth prospects remain lethargic.
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