Eastern Europe / Features

Is Russia putting additional pressure on Belarus to join the war?

bne IntelliNews December 7, 2022

Lukashenko's and Shoigu's latest meeting in Minsk has spurred new fears that Russia may be putting increased pressure on Belarus to join the war by putting boots on the ground.

Can Russia sneak gas into the EU via a Turkish gas hub?

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2022

Russia has been eagerly pushing for the further development of Turkey as a “gas hub” for its gas supplies to Europe. Analysts are asking if this simply a ruse to dodge sanctions and surreptitiously continue to export gas to EU members.

Roddy Scott Foundation providing education to the children of war-torn Pankisi Gorge

Ben Aris in Berlin December 6, 2022

Twenty years ago the young freelance photojournalist Roddy Scott was killed by Russian forces in the Pankisi gorge in Georgia, a refuge for terrorists and a transit point into neighbouring Chechnya during the war there.

Belarus Corruption Watch: living the high life with Dimitry and Anna Lukashenko

bne IntelliNews December 4, 2022

The Lukashenko family members hold very favourable positions in Belarus’ SOEs. The family often invite their business partners on expensive trips, the costs for which wildly exceed the family members’ official earnings.

New START missile treaty suspended as tensions escalate between Russia and US

Ben Aris in Berlin December 4, 2022

Russia has called off what were supposed to be routine talks on implementing the new START missile treaty, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden in the first week after he took office in 2021.

How well will the EU’s oil embargo on Russia’s seaborne exports work?

Ben Aris in Berlin December 3, 2022

The EU’s oil embargo, contained in the sixth and eighth packages of sanctions, comes into effect on December 5 and is likely to severely disrupt Russia’s oil trade but not stop it.

Belarus’ government to expand political-economic control at the expense of economic growth

bne IntelliNews December 1, 2022

Belarus continues to service its foreign debt in Belarusian rubles and its new budget will focus on assuring political-economic control in the country. Meanwhile, growth and real income is decreasing across the country.

Sino-Russian ties continue to deepen as Western sanctions drive their economies together

Ben Aris in Berlin November 30, 2022

Widely seen as a marriage of convenience, economic ties between Russia and China are rapidly deepening as the two countries are driven together by pressure from the West.

INTERVIEW: Son of sanctioned Vladimir Yakunin goes on trial in Norway for illegally flying drones

Ben Aris in Berlin November 30, 2022

Andrey Yakunin, son of the former head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin, who is sanctioned as a "Kremlin insider", went on trial in Norway on November 29 having been accused of illegally flying drones in Norway.

Yandex Board gathers in Istanbul after parent company announces intention to exit Russia

Theo Normanton in London November 29, 2022

Yandex's Board is meeting to discuss re-structuring plans. The Board has already announced that it hopes to divest most of its Russian business, with hopes of maintaining four key startups and developing them outside of Russia.

The Ukraine war will break up Russia’s internet champion Yandex

Ben Aris in Berlin November 28, 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused a tsunami of M&A deals as Russia’s private companies scramble to restructure their businesses. Yandex, Russia's internet giant, will be the biggest victim and it will cost investors billions of dollars.

Foreign investments in Belarus under heavy pressure

bne IntelliNews November 28, 2022

Foreign investors are coming under increasing pressure to divest from Belarus due to the regime’s human rights abuses, and Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko is helping to speed up the process.

Swedish funds have billions of euros of investor money frozen in Russia

Jason Corcoran in London November 25, 2022

Prosperity Capital and East Capital, who were pioneering investment funds in Russian stocks, have billions of euros of Western investment money frozen in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Belarus-Russia trade increased 9% for first nine months of 2022

bne IntelliNews November 25, 2022

According to one Russian official, Belarus and Russia's bilateral trade for January-September 2022 increased by 9%. Belarus and Russia will continue their economic integration this year and are likely to push other post-Soviet countries to follow.

Bond investors rush into high yielding bonds on receding EM debt crisis fears, but the polycrisis pressure is still on

Ben Aris in Berlin November 25, 2022

The polycrisis has eased off and the US Fed signalled that it will slow rate hikes as inflation appears to be peaking. That is good news for EM markets and investors have been buying high yielding debt as default fears abate.

Belarus Corruption Watch: Lukashenko’s Shadow Diplomacy

bne IntelliNews November 24, 2022

Belarus is one of the world’s largest hubs for “Shadow Diplomacy”, where foreign countries employ businessmen to further their business interests with the regime. Similarly, Belarus is also engaged in its fair share of shadow diplomacy abroad.

Is the Kremlin betting on Wildberries to consolidate e-commerce as foreign players exit Russia?

bne IntelIiNews November 23, 2022

After a hugely successful couple of years, Wildberries dominates the Russian e-commerce market. bne IntelliNews looks into the company's rise and its prospects for further growth as foreign competitors pull out of Russia.

Belarus plans to modernise its agricultural industry

bne IntelliNews November 23, 2022

Belarus is planning to modernise its agricultural sector, which could help it keep its comparative advantage. However, sanctions are looming.

Ukraine faces one of worst declines in GDP from a war, says EBRD

Robert Anderson in London November 22, 2022

The contraction in Ukraine’s GDP will be among the worst 10-20% of those in conflicts in the last 200 years, the development bank predicts in its 2022/23 Transition Report.

Europe woos Central Asia as Russia’s appeal wanes

Joanna Lillis for Eurasianet November 21, 2022

EU’s foreign policy chief is latest high-level Western official to visit Central Asia.