Lukashenko says he may quit as president
Belarus hits EU with tit-for-tat sanctions
Belarusian police introduce colour-coded torture system for detained protesters
Kremlin publicly condemns Belarusian police brutality in hint of growing frustration with Lukashenko
Russian services PMI rises to 48.2, but remains underwater as recovery continues to slow
Russia to start mass vaccinations on December 7
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev calls on Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran to assist in creating Nakhchivan land corridor
FPRI BMB Russia: Sberbank releases a three-year transformation strategy to e-commerce concern
Ukraine’s banking sector continues recovery, but profits still lagging last year
Ukraine’s real wages up over 10% in October but have been stagnant in dollar terms for almost a year
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Public has confused opinions on resolving the Donbas conflict
Western Balkans plus Ukraine subsidised coal with over €900mn in 2018-2019
Estonian parcel robot firm Cleveron eyes €30mn state loan
Estonia’s chief auditor says €1bn in state COVID-19 loans issued haphazardly
Economic sentiment in CEE falls in November as recovery momentum splutters
Estonian animation studio Imepilt to hold IPO
Brighter days ahead: The economic bounce back in 2021
Central, Southeast Europe stock markets jump in anticipation of COVID-free future
VISEGRAD BLOG: An easing of trade tensions but still an uncertain situation for export-oriented Central Europe
Hungary's PM risks isolation as Poland mulls dropping EU budget veto
Poland ready to back down from veto of EU budget
Hungary's ruling party in damage control mode after MEP sex scandal bombshell
Poland’s PMI remains stuck just above the improvement line at 50.8 in November
Czech companies dominate this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE
Coronacrisis to get worse before it gets better forecasts wiiw
EU diplomats say no chance of Bulgaria removing veto for Skopje to start EU accession talks
IMF says downside risks to Albanian economy are increasing
EU ministers fail to agree on launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia
Western Balkans commit to green agenda and regional common market at Sofia summit
Bosnia’s opposition ousts nationalist parties in major cities
Bosnia’s main ethnic parties fight to hold onto power in local elections
Southeast Europe’s EU members to get biggest boost from next budget and recovery funds
Bulgaria imposes 3-week lockdown to slow down COVID-19 spread
CEE politicians highlight trade and security ties as they congratulate Biden
Breakaway Transnistria fully under Sheriff’s control as Obnovlenie party sweeps board in parliament election
Moldova’s presidential election is over, now the battle for the parliament begins
Moldova’s foreign policy reset
Russian establishment quick to congratulate Moldova's new president-elect
Rising COVID-19 cases put intense pressure on CEE healthcare systems
MEPs urge European Commission to act against Hungarian media financing in North Macedonia and Slovenia
North Macedonia mulls decriminalising cannabis to boost tourism
Retail surpass pre-crisis peak as Romanians shop instead of holiday
Romania’s stability election
Romanian venture capital firm Catalyst launches new €40mn-50mn fund for TMT
The state is back in business
Slovenian PM Jansa stands alongside Hungary and Poland in EU rule of law row
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Turkish number crunchers deliver November inflation surprise of 14%
Erdogan needs to go says analyst assessing Turkey’s economic collapse
Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict
In Karabakh deal, as many questions as answers
Protesters flood Yerevan demanding Armenia’s “traitor” PM quit over Nagorno-Karabakh surrender
Who emerge as the real winners from the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Below average 2020 wine production destined for volatile and uncertain global market
Iran calls on Saudis to limit $67bn defence spending to Tehran’s $10bn
Iranian prosecutors pledge to pursue Trump for Soleimani killing even after he leaves White House
No reaction from Kazakh elites as bombshell FT report says Nazarbayev’s son in law siphoned millions from pipeline scheme
UK court freezes $5bn in assets connected to fugitive Kazakh banker Ablyazov
Attack of the Debt Tsunami: global debt soars to a new all-time high
Kyrgyzstan's proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion
Kyrgyzstan's China debt: Between crowdfunding and austerity
CFC joins RWC in assessing KAZ Minerals buyout offer as under-valuation
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage
No surprises in Tajikistan as Rahmon retains presidency with 91% of vote
A Tajikistan poised on verge of economic calamity set for vote
Tajikistan revives on-off dispute with Iran
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
Turkmenistan: Everybody yurts, sometimes
Dirty money investigation reviews identified payments worth $1.4bn linked to Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan unveils extensive privatisation programme
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A new monitor from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reveals that numerous states from the Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe and Eurasia regions are highly vulnerable to external shocks in a variety of areas.
Specifically, the EBRD looks at the resilience of states in the region to falling commodity prices, value chain disruption and a decline in tourism and remittances, as well as assessing their economies’ resilience to domestic disruption.
Not surprisingly, the main oil and gas exporters in the region — Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Russia — are vulnerable to commodity prices shocks, as are Mongolia and Tajikistan, which rely on metals and mining, and to a lesser extent Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia.
On the other hand, the main hit to the economies of Central Europe relates to their integration into global value chains.
For Albania, Croatia, Montenegro and Georgia, the biggest threat is from the almost total shutdown of their tourism sectors, as hotels and restaurants are closed and flights grounded. In all four countries tourism accounts for a quarter or more of GDP.
The poorer countries in the region depend heavily on remittance inflows, in particular Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, though to a lesser extent also Moldova, Ukraine and some countries in the South Caucasus and Western Balkans.
When it comes to domestic shocks to the economy — specifically those related to the lockdowns aimed at preventing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) — the EBRD writes that "demand-side economic effects are likely to be larger in countries where retail services account for a greater share of GDP, as in Lithuania, Poland, Cyprus, Montenegro and Turkey. Effects are also likely to be larger where temporary restrictions on work result in significant income losses: for instance in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the southern and eastern Mediterranean.”
The EBRD also looks at countries’ ability to implement fiscal measures to support vulnerable individuals and companies. This will depend on existing levels of debt and fiscal deficits as well as the cost of borrowing in the market, the development bank says.
“Fiscal space is already limited in many countries, in particular in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the southern and eastern Mediterranean. External financing needs are already high relative to reserves in several economies. Financial systems may also come under greater pressure in countries with already high levels of non-performing loans,” says the report.
Montenegro, which has already borrowed heavily for infrastructure investment, has the least fiscal space among the Central and Southeast European countries.
To assess the ability of countries’ healthcare systems to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the EBRD compares public health spending as a share of GDP and the number of physicians per 100,000 of the population.
“The coronavirus is placing countries’ healthcare systems under unprecedented strain, while domestic containment measures are weighing on both supply and demand,” it comments.
Worryingly, the monitor “shows that public-sector health spending in the EBRD regions is far below that in advanced economies, with typically fewer doctors per population, in particular in the lower-income economies.”
Public health spending is particularly low in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan — both of which claim they so far have no coronavirus cases at all — and in parts of the South Caucasus.
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