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Putin holds meeting with Luhansk People’s Republic’s acting head, Pasechnik



Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a working meeting with Leonid Pasechnik, the acting head of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), in the Kremlin.

The meeting has been focused on issues concerning the situation in the LPR.

Putin has told the meeting that the situation “on the line of contact is stable now,” adding that he is amazed by the Ukrainian authorities pushing their citizens into the minefields.

“I sometimes look at what the enemy side does – I get the impression that it is not their people at all, whom they are pushing into the minefields … acting like it is not their citizens at all … But this is their business, their problems,” Putin said.

The president has also said that the present team is doing a good job and will be able to organise the elections in the republic in the current difficult conditions.

He drew attention to the need to establish direct contact with people for feedback, saying that the Russian authorities would contribute to the process with a positive attitude.

The president also said that low income and rising prices were the republic’s main problems.

He added that there are issues with the need to restore the residential complex, social sphere, communications, housing and utilities, as well as industry.

Pasechnik, on his part, told the meeting that an uneasy calm had come very the LPR due to the proximity of the front line.

The republic’s head has added that work is underway to regulate the legal status of institutions, ministries are carrying out tasks under national projects, and the budget system has been set up in the LPR in accordance with Russia’s federal legislation.

The 2023 general elections in Russia will be held on Sept. 10 in 20 regions of the country.

Top officials and lawmakers will be elected to take four vacant seats in Russia’s lower house.

The elections will also be held in the LPR, the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions.


Putin Registers As Candidate For Russia’s Next Presidential Election



Russia on Monday officially recognised Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidential elections in March, a vote that he is all but certain to win.

The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.

The Central Election Commission said it had registered Putin, who nominated himself, as well as right-wing firebrand and Putin-loyalist Leonid Slutsky as candidates for the vote.

The election will be held over a three-day period from March 15 to 17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.

Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers are likely to be barred from monitoring the vote.

While Putin is not expected to face any real competition, liberal challenger Boris Nadezhdin has passed the threshold of signatures to be registered as a candidate.

However, it is still unclear if he will be allowed to run, and the Kremlin has said it does not consider him to be a serious rival.

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Hong Kong court grants Chinese real estate giant reorganisation postponement



Hong Kong’s Supreme Court has once again granted the highly indebted Chinese real estate giant Evergrande a postponement for its reorganisation plan.

Judge Linda Chan surprisingly postponed the decision until Jan. 29, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

The property developer, which has liabilities estimated at more than 300 billion dollars, is threatened with liquidation.

However, creditors from abroad had taken the company to court because of its missing several payments.

Chan had already said at the previous hearing that this would be the last postponement and that she would very likely agree to liquidation if China Evergrande did not find a plan for restructuring with its creditors.

According to reports, however, the lawyers of the Hong Kong-listed group had now held out the prospect of being able to reach an agreement with the lenders in the coming weeks.

In the case of liquidation, an insolvency administrator would monetise the company and pay out the creditors.

Meanwhile, some experts were of the opinion that liquidation would return less money to creditors than a reorganisation, China Evergrande argued the same in court, according to reports.

The group had been trying to submit a restructuring plan since 2022, without success. Its founder and once China’s richest man, Hui Ka Yan, is being investigated by the Chinese authorities.

Like many other property groups, the company had been in a serious crisis for some time because it is earning significantly less on the slumping property market.

The company is finding it more difficult to obtain state support and is no longer able to service its loans.

“The Evergrande case also shows that the era of large private property developers in China is coming to an end,’’ says Max Zenglein from the Merics China Institute in Berlin.

If Chan decides to wind up China Evergrande, this could also have an impact on other companies.

“One challenge for the government will be to prevent domino effects in the economy caused by major bankruptcies,’’ says Zenglein.

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