Russia Suspends Opposition Leader's Sentence. Will It Quiet Criticism Of Kremlin? (+video)

Under current law, foreigners are allowed to buy property on almost the same terms as Russians. They are forbidden, however, from owning real estate in border zones, agricultural land, land near sea ports, infrastructure hubs and military establishments. Russias Real Estate Market Earlier this year, Ernst & Young released a global real estate survey that suggested Russian real estate was at least as attractive as traditional Europe. Some 87% of companies surveyed said Russia was an attractive or very attractive investment for properties, while 83% said the same about Europe. According to the companies surveyed, which include large banks and insurance firms, Russian real estate portfolios are expected to increase this year with 84% of respondents saying theyll close more deals in 2013 compared with 57% saying so last year. As a result of this burgeoning demand for Russian property, housing and commercial real estate values are expected to rise, though the report did not estimate by how much. Tom Griffin, regional director of commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle, said Russias $8.7 billion real estate market is less than 1% of the countrys GDP. In the U.K., its more than double that. Theres ample opportunity and investors are eyeing the place, especially Moscow, home to the largest number of billionaires than any other city. In the housing and commercial space, some 40% of institutional investors are foreign. Much of the crackdown will likely target individuals. Companies with a track record will face greater bureaucracy, but are unlikely to get rejected by the powers-that-be in Moscow. If you look at Russian real estate from a foreigners perspective, theyre all here, Griffin said during VTB Capitals Russia Calling! investors forum in Moscow recently. The major sovereign wealth funds are here.

Russia qualifies for World Cup with draw

Will it quiet criticism of Kremlin? (+video) The case of Russian anticorruption crusader and former Moscow mayoral candidate Alexei Navalny has put a spotlight on politically motivated trials in the country. By Whitney Eulich ,Staff writer / October 16, 2013 Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny embraces his wife Yulia after the announcement of the verdict at a court building in Kirov today. A Russian court on Wednesday upheld the theft conviction against Navalny but suspended his five-year prison sentence, meaning the prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin will not be jailed. Maxim Shemetov/Reuters Whitney Eulich Latin America Editor Whitney Eulich is the Monitor’s Latin America editor, overseeing regional coverage for CSMonitor.com and the weekly magazine. She also curates the Latin America Monitor Blog. The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition Russian protest leader Alexei Navalny on Wednesday avoided being sent to jail after a Russian court changed a five-year penal colony sentence against him in an embezzlement case into a suspended term. A Russian appeals court today suspended the five-year prison sentence handed down over the summer to opposition leader and anticorruption blogger Alexei Navalny. The ruling, some observers say, highlights the administration’s attempts to keep opposition demonstrations under control and international criticism of Russia to a minimum, particularly in the lead-up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The political motivation in this case is obvious, Mr. Navalny told the judge in todays hearing, noting that the prosecutions case was based on false testimony and that he was refused any opportunity to bring witnesses of his own.

“We needed to demonstrate better quality if we wanted the top spot.” In Baku, Roman Shirokov gave Russia the lead in the 16th minute from a cutting pass from Alexander Samedov. Vagif Javadov headed in the equalizer in the 90th. Azerbaijan was reduced to 10 men in the 73rd when Maksim Medvedev was given a red card for a rough tackle. “I’m satisfied with this qualifying campaign,” Russia coach Fabio Capello said. “With such a strong opponent as Portugal in our group, we grabbed the top place.” Capello still had some concerns, saying it was the third time that Russia conceded a goal in the last minute. “We should look ahead and improve our game,” he said. Portugal also had to go through the playoffs to qualify for its last two major tournaments, the 2012 European Championship and 2010 World Cup. It was a semifinalist at Euro 2012. The Portuguese have been dogged by inconsistency. They have won just eight of their 16 qualifiers and friendly games since Euro 2012. Their qualifying campaign was spoiled by a 1-1 home draw against Northern Ireland and two draws against Israel. Portugal, playing without suspended Cristiano Ronaldo in Coimbra, struggled to find a way through the Luxembourg defense until Aurelien Joachim was shown a straight red card for a high tackle on Andre Almeida in the 28th. Two minutes later, Joao Moutinho set up Silvestre Varela for his fourth international goal.

Brazil to ask Russia for permission to question Edward Snowden

The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. (AP Photo)The Associated Press In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Award, according to videos released by the organization WikiLeaks. The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. (AP Photo)The Associated Press In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden smiles during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Award, according to videos released by the organization WikiLeaks. The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. Snowden, who is charged by a U.S. court with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing the classified NSA programs, has been granted asylum in Russia.