Eastern Europe / Features

Armenia marks new era with French military purchases

Neil Hauer in Yerevan November 28, 2023

After its army was battered in the 2020 Second Karabakh War, and with its traditional supplier, Russia, both unable and unwilling to send arms shipments, Yerevan has been desperately seeking other procurement partners.

INTERVIEW: Eurasian Development Bank brings Central Asia together with sustainable green investments

Ben Aris in Berlin November 23, 2023

Central Asia is once again the “navel of the world” as overland trade between Asia and Europe takes off.

Irish engineering firm owner flees Russia as companies fear hike in exit price

Jason Corcoran in Dublin November 23, 2023

Russian government commission now demanding additional discounts after previously seeking a 50% discount on all foreign deals plus a “contribution” to the Russian budget of at least 10% of the price.

Ukraine EU accession talks will be "difficult", European Council President Michel says

Ben Aris in Berlin November 23, 2023

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, predicts that the December summit on Ukraine's accession to the EU will be “difficult".

Will Vostok Oil be able to survive under sanctions?

Newsbase November 22, 2023

Vostok Oil, one of the largest greenfield oil projects in Russia, continues to push ahead, according to its state-owned operator Rosneft, in spite of sanctions imposed by the West.

Fico's opposition to arming Ukraine is just for domestic consumption

Albin Sybera November 22, 2023

Potential deals for Smer’s business backers look likely to outweigh any concerns the incoming Slovak premier may have about stoking the war in Ukraine.

INTERVIEW: Green transition must be a just transition, says EBRD chief economist

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow November 21, 2023

EBRD research shows majority in transition countries believe climate change will severely affect the children of today, but fewer people are willing to pay to address the climate emergency.

Denmark to police sanction-busting Russian tankers leaving the Baltic Sea?

Ben Aris in Berlin November 19, 2023

The European Commission may ask Denmark to block the exit from the Baltic Sea and introduce inspections on Russian oil tankers as a way to enforce the $60 oil price cap sanctions, France24 reported on November 18.

Mongolia: Love thy third neighbour

Antonio Graceffo in Ulaanbaatar November 17, 2023

Though always mindful of navigating the influences of Russia and China, Ulaanbaatar has completed a three-month campaign to foster closer ties with various nations, including France and the US.

Putin holds a third oligarch meeting

Ben Aris in Berlin November 17, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a late-night oligarch meeting on November 16 where dozens of Russia’s top oligarchs expressed anxiety over a wave of nationalisations since the start of the war in Ukraine just under two years ago.

Ukraine’s corporate lending recovers after Russian invasion slump

bne IntelliNews November 17, 2023

For the first time since the third quarter of 2022, Ukraine’s banks increased their net hryvnia portfolio of business loans, and the increase in consumer loans continued for the second quarter in a row, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) said.

China is the main supplier of dual-use goods needed to run Russia’s military machine

Ben Aris in Berlin November 16, 2023

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Beijing to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, as Ukraine's counteroffensive against Russian stalls. Beijing has emerged as the mainstay of military dual-use inputs for Russia.

Russian buyers of foreign assets seen as “new elite”

bne IntelliNews November 16, 2023

Many of the buyers of foreign assets in Russia that have emerged since the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine are still unsanctioned and do not belong to the “old guard” of Russian billionaires, or so-called stoligarchs close to Kremlin

PPF hunts for opportunities in Balkans as it retreats west

Robert Anderson in Bucharest November 15, 2023

Czech financial group is in the process of selling or scaling down its once sizeable consumer credit operations in Russia, China and Southeast Asia.

INTERVIEW: Andrew Michta, director of the Scowcroft Strategy Initiative

Robert Anderson in Bucharest November 14, 2023

“If we find ourselves in a situation where Ukraine is cut off financially and runs out of resources, if we force Ukraine into some sort of frozen conflict or armistice, that is a victory for Putin.”

Ukraine’s grain exports to fall in 2023, farms loss-making despite a bumper harvest

bne IntelliNews November 14, 2023

Despite expectations for a bumper grain harvest this year, Ukraine’s farmers are anticipating exports to fall this year, according to Deputy Minister of Agricultural Policy Taras Vysotsky.

Polish hauliers' border blockade becoming a new flashpoint between Warsaw and Kyiv

bne IntelliNews November 12, 2023

Thousands of trucks are stuck at the crossing after Polish haulage workers launched protests under the banner of the "Committee for Defence of Truckers and Employers in Logistics."

Putin's presidential election getting underway

Ben Aris in Berlin November 10, 2023

Russia goes to the polls next year and Russian President Vladimir Putin seems set to stand for his fifth term in office after already having served 24 years as Russia’s leader. The presidential campaign is already gathering momentum.

Zelenskiy under mounting pressure as Ukraine's allies suggest ceasefire talks

Ben Aris in Berlin November 6, 2023

US and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war, the US news channel NBC has reported, citing senior US officials.

Moscow bristles as Macron steps up West’s Central Asia charm offensive

bne IntelIiNews November 4, 2023

Mired in Ukraine, Russia is even struggling to convince region it is a security guarantor. For the Kremlin’s adversaries, the new reality has created an open door.