Russia / by Lewis McKinnon

Thirty-seven Russian athletes were banned from competing in the 2016 Olympic Games hosted in Rio de Janeiro. The Russian ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) stated at the NATO summit in Warsaw that NATO military decisions were creating a new Iron Curtain across Europe. The Russian government strongly opposed the United States' installation of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system. The Russian and Syrian governments promised to open a route from the city of Aleppo to allow besieged civilians and surrendering rebels to exit the city. After an internal audit of Baltic Sea leadership, the Russian government discharged 50 senior naval officers for dereliction of duty. Prior to the Central Bank of Russia's annual policy meeting, Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 0.5 per cent. However, Russia’s economic slowdown has levelled out, with the GDP contracting by 0.6 per cent during the second quarter of 2016.