Russia to Lose Billions Over Sanctions, Falling Oil Prices
Russia's finance minister says Russia is on a course to lose more than $100 billion due to Western sanctions and falling oil prices.
Anton Siluanov said Monday at an economic forum in Moscow that Russia could lose as much as $40 billion per year because of Western sanctions.
The United States and the European Union have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia for its role in the conflict in Ukraine. Russia denies involvement in hostilities in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian forces are frequently involved in skirmishes against Ukrainian government troops, despite a cease-fire agreement.
Siluanov also said Russia could lose up to $100 billion annually because of oil prices that have fallen by 30 percent.
The Ria Novosti news agency says the Russian ruble has fallen about 23 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past three months as a result of the falling oil prices.
Astronauts Dock at International Space Station
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut has safely docked with the International Space Station.
The U.S. space agency NASA said Samantha Cristoforetti, along with Russians Anton Shkaplerov and American Terry Virts arrived at the space station Monday nearly six hours after taking off from Russia's space facility in Kazakhstan. They will remain on the station until May.
The Russian news agency Itar Tass says the astronauts brought 15 30-gram cans of caviar to the station to use in the New Year's celebration on the station.
The newly arrived astronauts are joining three other astronauts, one American, Barry Wilmore, and two Russians, Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova, already on the space station.
Since the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet in 2011, Russian Soyuz spacecraft have served as the only means to ferry crew to and from the space outpost.