Eastern Europe / Features

Gas, panic in 2023

Ben Aris in Berlin January 18, 2023

Last year was a disaster for Europe as Putin’s energy war wreaked chaos on Europe’s economies by sending up gas prices 20-fold, fuelling run-away inflation and an energy crisis that drove millions into poverty. Another crisis could be coming.

Maldives sees a sharp drop in Russian tourism due to Ukraine war tensions

bne IntelliNews January 13, 2023

Russian tourist traffic to the Maldives has plummeted by 8.4% year on year to around 200,000 visits in 2022 thanks to soaring travel prices and anti-Russian sentiment generated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine.

LONG READ: Putin has lost this winter gas battle, but another energy crisis is ahead

Ben Aris in Berlin January 12, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin needed a very cold winter. He didn’t get it. As a result, Europe’s gas storage tanks are at record-high levels and the price of gas has crashed on the Dutch TTF exchange to below pre-war levels.

What does 2023 hold for Belarusian potash exports?

bne IntelliNews January 12, 2023

Belarus has managed to redirect some of its potash fertiliser exports to Russia and China. With its new export routes, Belarus has big plans for 2023, but high delivery costs and global competition is squeezing its profit margins and market shares.

The looming fight over nuclear power in Kyrgyzstan

Aiday Erkebaeva for Eurasianet January 9, 2023

Can safety protocols be maintained in a poor country like Kyrgyzstan, where corruption is rampant?

The West breaks heavy weapons taboo, but is it enough for Ukraine to win?

Dominic Culverwell in London January 8, 2023

Kyiv is sending a strong message to the West; Ukraine needs offensive weapons if it's going to win this war.

Chinese car makers expected to rapidly expand in Russia in 2023

Ben Aris in Berlin January 6, 2023

The exit of the international car makers from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine has left a huge hole in what is one of the biggest car markets in Europe. China’s leading brands are rapidly moving in to fill the void.

Mutual FDI in Eurasia has been dominated by Russia, but war and sanctions make the outlook uncertain

Ben Aris in Berlin January 6, 2023

Mutual FDI stock in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries grew fast until Russia went into recession in 2012, when its GDP growth sank to zero. However, it soon started to recover, with Russia playing the leading role in the region.

Fighting back: Graph shows how Russia failed to keep Ukrainian territory

Dominic Culverwell in London January 4, 2023

Russia currently controls 16.55% of Ukraine, a huge drop from its peak of nearly 25% in March. War Mapper, an Open Source Intelligence Twitter account, uploaded several graphs on January 3 visualising the ongoing battle for territorial control.

Tide of Ukrainian refugees transforms Polish society

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw January 4, 2023

Influx of more than a million boosts economy and softens attitude to refugees, though fears remain that welcome could soon wear out.

The copper shortage is getting real

NEO January 1, 2023

Over the last several years, many analysts and mining experts have been forecasting a copper deficit as a result of the “energy transition.” The new Udokan Copper mine in Siberia can mitigate that as it ramps up production in the coming years.

Buyer of Siemens’ leasing arm in Russia in search of new deals as Western firms leave

Ben Aris in Berlin December 28, 2022

Russia’s Insight Investment Group has purchased a leasing company from the German engineering giant Siemens and is considering buying more lessors and fintech firms as the M&A tsunami unleashed by the Western sanctions on Russia continues.

Former shareholders ride anti-Russia wave to pressure country's top iron ore company in 15-year dispute

bne IntelliNews December 21, 2022

A 15-year-old dispute between minority shareholders and one of Russia’s biggest iron ore mines, Lebedinsky Mining and Processing plant, known as Lebedinsky GOK in Russian, has flared up as the investors claim they were duped by the metal works.

Private sector expansion in Belarus despite heavy political pressure

bne IntelliNews December 19, 2022

Western investors are under heavy pressure in Belarus and many wish to leave the country. However, foreign telecom companies in Belarus appear to be planning long-term expansion.

Kazakhstan’s pivot towards China

Antonio Graceffo in Ulaanbaatar December 16, 2022

History of Kazakh-Russian relations is long and troubled. Implications of Moscow’s decision to go to war in Ukraine mean the latest chapter threatens to generate some insoluble tensions.

Emerging Europe’s greatest scams

bne IntelliNews December 16, 2022

As Mongolians protest against the alleged embezzlement of up to $12.8bn in state coal export revenues, bne IntelliNews takes a look at the other greatest scams in the region over the last three decades.

Only 11 foreign car brands left in Russia out of 60 before the war

Ben Aris in Berlin December 15, 2022

There used to be 60 different foreign car brands in Russia, one of the biggest car markets in Europe, but by the end of this year only 11 will be left, reports Kommersant.

Start of a new super cycle – fat and flat for 2023?

Ben Aris in Berlin December 15, 2022

The global economy has been through some enormous changes in recent years, leading investors and analysts to believe we are at the start of a new high-inflation, lower-growth super-cycle that could last for as long as a decade.

Who is winning the sanctions war?

Ben Aris in Berlin December 14, 2022

In December the EU commissioned a secret report to assess just how badly the war in Ukraine, and the polycrisis it is fuelling, is hurting Europe’s economy. Good news: Europe is doing OK; bad news: so is Russia.

Is Belarus laying a trap with grain transit offer?

bne IntelliNews December 13, 2022

Belarus has offered to let Ukrainian grain go through its territory to Lithuania without preconditions. However Lithuania is wary of this sudden offer.