Russia: Buying or Selling a Home

In recent weeks, several readers have inquired as to real estate prices in Russia, and specifically in relation to the ongoing economic crisis in Russia. The housing market is depressed, and in the words of real estate investors, it is a “buyers” market at the moment.

To give some perspective, we snapped this photo while riding on the Moscow Metro last night.

Moscow Jun2 2015 Z 1113 ed To give some perspective, we snapped this photo while riding on the Moscow Metro last night. Granted, this is not a development in the centre of Moscow, but it is a brand new development just outside the Moscow Ring Road–a very popular place to live in the Moscow suburban areas.

Amenities include a gated community, 24 hour security on-site with swimming pool, golf privileges nearby, and fitness facilities. There is a supermarket adjacent to the development and a kindergarten already built inside the development. These homes feature large kitchens, playgrounds for children, plenty of green space including a park with trees, and a parking space assigned to each apartment. Brand new brick construction with modern insulation will make these homes to be energy efficient.

Price: 2,9 million rubles (just under $53,000 USD).

The ruble continues to struggle, having dropped another 1.9% over the past three days. We are guessing that this price will torpedo the notions of big money for some who hope to sell an older flat. On the other hand, it will perhaps encourage some readers to invest at this time of low prices for homes.

Metropolitan Jonah Released From the OCA to ROCOR

For our readers interested in the Orthodox Church in America, this is good news.

Orthodox in the District

His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah, then Primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in St Catherine's, the OCA podvorie in Moscow, with His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations for the Moscow Patriarchate. His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah, then Primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in St Catherine’s, the OCA podvorie in Moscow, with His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev), Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations for the Moscow Patriarchate.

Dear friends in Christ,

It is with a glad heart full of rejoicing that I share with you that earlier today Metropolitan Jonah received a signed letter of official release from Metropolitan Tikhon and the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) releasing him to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), First Hierarch of ROCOR, has been notified that the OCA Synod has, at long last, made good on their promise to release Metropolitan Jonah. Vladyka Jonah is thus received into ROCOR’s jurisdiction as a retired Metropolitan.

This means that, at long last, Metropolitan Jonah will be free to serve wherever he is blessed…

View original post 335 more words

The Future of Russia’s Neighbors

A lot has been made of the “reverse sanctions” imposed by the Putin government against Western, and specifically Western European, food products. The nation of Belarus has and continues to be a large supplier of agricultural products to Russia. In spite of many attempts, the Russian agricultural sector continues to lag behind even smaller former Soviet republics.

While one can hear many complaints from the government about banned food gaining entry to Russia via the Eurasian Customs nations such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, the complaining is in reality for show. Those products help keep the inflation of food costs from rising even more rapidly and keeping a ready supply on store shelves.

Moscow 10 June 2015 189 ed
These are carrots imported from Belarus and were purchased yesterday from a large Russian supermarket.

Not only are they very tasty, but are of very nice size. In fact, the quality and size strikes this writer as being even superior to many Western vegetables.

In traveling the Russian countryside, the main source of farm tractors are generally manufactured in Belarus. It is a somewhat backward country in many ways, but one with great agricultural potential in spite of its small size. Belarus, along with Kazakhstan, is one of the Eurasian Custom Union’s founding members.

What do you think about the future of Russia’s closest neighbors?