Eastern Europe / Opinion

COMMENT: The West must cut a deal with the Taliban to prevent mass starvation in Afghanistan

Louise Grogan for The Conversation December 7, 2021

The lack of food security in Afghanistan may soon become a threat to the stability of many other countries.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Russia wants to talk about Ukraine, not to Ukraine

FPRI BMB Ukraine December 6, 2021

“We will not be able to stop the war without direct talks with Russia,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in an address. But its not going to happen yet. In the meantime Moscow will only negotiate with Washington, without Kyiv's participation.

COMMENT: Russia coal mine explosion also highlights environmental tragedy

Anatoli Smirnov and Conal Campbell of www.ember-climate.org/ December 1, 2021

A methane explosion killed 52 people at a coal mine in Siberia on November 25 – the worst accident in a decade. But coal mine methane has a profound impact on the environment too. But fixing the problem could generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: 20 step plan to de-oligarchize Ukraine

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 30, 2021

On November 24, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers approved a 20-step plan outlining measures for implementing the “law on oligarchs” and the strategy for the development of the justice system in 2022–2023.

HOMANS: Putin’s Choice – continue invading Ukraine or keep doing what he’s been doing?

Robert Homans in Washington DC November 29, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made clear that he believes Ukrainians and Russians are “one people,” and wants Ukraine to return to the Russkiy Mir. Will he achieve his objective by invading or just wear Ukraine down?

Competitors are motivation, lockdowns are an opportunity

Theo Normanton in Moscow November 24, 2021

As huge swathes of the global population went into lockdown, many retailers faced heavy losses. The trends developing before the pandemic picked up pace, with online shopping and sustainable manufacturing gaining traction.

COMMENT: Let’s admit it: the hybrid war concept is useless

Anna Arutunyan in Moscow November 18, 2021

Watching with dismay the expert coverage of the Belarus-Polish migrant crisis, it occurred to me that we need to retire the hybrid war concept, at least from news coverage. It’s become unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Ukraine facing a potential energy crisis this winter

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 18, 2021

The geopolitical conflict over energy, particularly gas with the impending (though temporarily suspended) certification of Nord Stream 2, is spilling over into the coal and electricity sector, putting Ukraine on the verge of a potential energy crisis

COMMENT: Talk of war increases long-standing tensions between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Nato

Leonid Ragozin in Latvia November 17, 2021

International headlines featured the word “war” with alarming frequency in recent days. It came in different contexts, but inevitably involved Russia as a key party. That makes it all the more alarming because Russia is not just any other country

HOMANS: Ukraine – a cryptocurrency hub?

Robert Homans in Washington DC November 16, 2021

There was an article in New York Times this month, entitled “The Crypto Capital of the World – It Has to be Somewhere. Why Not Ukraine?” Will that work?

STOLYPIN: The West’s response to Lukashenko’s migrant gambit might seal Belarus’ fate

Mark Galeotti November 15, 2021

Moscow’s problem is that having thrown their weight behind Lukashenko, they are stuck with him. It can't control the dictator but nor does it want to take over Belarus.

ING: Russia’s current account stabilises despite higher oil prices

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING November 12, 2021

The $12.3bn current account in October was big, but no bigger than the 3Q21 average, despite tighter energy markets. Exports are likely to catch up with it in November-December, but so will imports and FX purchases.

ING: Sticky inflation risks force CEE central bankers to keep on hiking rates

Valentin Tataru chief economist for Romania at ING, Peter Virovacz Senior Economist in Hungary at ING, Leszek Kasek is the Senior Economist in Poland at ING, Rafal Benecki is the Chief Economist in Poland at ING November 12, 2021

Disruptions in global value chains continue to weigh on Central and Eastern Europe, and the Delta variant is blurring the outlook for the fourth quarter. Record high inflation can no longer be written off as temporary as rates rise across CEE.

FPRI BMB Ukraine Zelenskiy goes to COP26 in Glasgow

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 4, 2021

Participating in the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on November 1-2, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy presented new emission reduction goals and warned of “two eco-bombs in the centre of Europe: Crimea and Donbas.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Cabinet reshuffle under way

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 2, 2021

A Cabinet reshuffle is underway in Kyiv. Rumours of the impending reorganisation gained traction last week after Servant of the People faction head Davyd Arakhamia said that at least four personnel changes were under consideration.

THE VIEW FROM MITTELEUROPA: German traffic light coalition could worsen frictions with CEE

Marcus How and Gunter Deuber in Vienna November 1, 2021

A new centre-left government in Berlin could help create a two-tier Europe, especially if it promotes rule of law penalties.

Pyaterochka CEO sees growing demand for convenience in a post-COVID world

Theo Normanton in Moscow October 29, 2021

As consolidation continues apace in the Russian food retail market, a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour is keeping sector leaders on their toes.