Eastern Europe / Features

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.

Lukashenko’s post-Soviet allies in 2022

bne IntelliNews December 11, 2022

For Lukashenko, the pursuit of regional political stability is incompatible with having to show strong allegiance to his larger regional allies’ geopolitical goals. His unpredictability will continue to increase tensions in the post-Soviet space.

Gas crunch emerging in East as Kazakhstan fails to meet China’s import requests

Fuad Shahbazov December 10, 2022

Try as it might, Beijing is unable to lock in Kazakh gas flows. Russian shipments via Uzbekistan might eventually be the answer.

CENUSA: Moldova chooses lesser evil and restores energy dependence on Russia-controlled Transnistria

Denis Cenusa in Germany December 9, 2022

The current energy crisis has been the biggest challenge for Moldova since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. It has had to swallow bitter medicine and make itself once more dependent on Russian power shared with Transnistria.

bneGREEN: Vertical farms to feed the cities of the future

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 7, 2022

Indoor vertical farms in Emerging European cities are replacing costly and polluting air imports to supply leafy vegetables for the region’s urban populations.

Turkmenistan: A shining city in a book of records

Akhal-Teke: A Eurasianet Bulletin December 7, 2022

Russia is proposing a major reconfiguration of the Central Asian gas market. Eurasianet’s weekly Turkmenistan briefing.

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.