BRICKS & MORTAR: What happens if Russia’s mortgage subsidy programme ends?

Ben Aris May 8, 2021

Almost as soon as the double whammy of the coronavirus pandemic and a concurrent collapse in oil prices hit Russia’s economy last March, the government reacted by introducing a mortgage subsidy programme; that may end this summer.

Turkey's "crazy" canal would impact Eurasian trade, geopolitics

David O'Byrne for Eurasianet May 7, 2021

The project threatens the delicate regional military balance.

Russian ice cream consumption to hit new record of 3.1kg per person

Ben Aris in Berlin May 6, 2021

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was in Moscow in winter to meet Stalin during WWII. Passing a group of Russians he asked his driver: "What are they doing?" "Eating ice cream, sir." He paused and said: “These people will never be defeated."

Baltic states want to ensure the golden goose keeps producing unicorns

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius May 5, 2021

Lithuania is starting to catch up with Estonia in terms of startups but the small size of the local talent pools is acting as a constraint.

DATACRUNCH: Russian economy makes a stronger than expected recovery

Ben Aris in Berlin May 4, 2021

Russia’s economy contracted less than feared in 2020 and now it is bouncing back from the coronacrisis faster than analysts were expecting.

Chinese researchers calculate Central Asia’s water waste, agriculture potential

David Trilling for Eurasianet April 28, 2021

If Central Asian farmers don’t radically change how they use water, the region will not feed China.

Climate change to amplify border tensions in Southeast Europe

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 27, 2021

OSCE report identifies border hotspots across the region where rising temperatures and more extreme weather events risk adding to border tensions.

Chernobyl anniversary: the next phase

EBRD in London April 25, 2021

The failure of a routine test at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine released a cloud of radioactive particles in the worst nuclear accident ever.

Kazakhstan: Land ban pleases activists but leaves farming with fewer options

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet April 23, 2021

Fear of China fuelled the activism, though frustrations had accumulated over stagnant living conditions in the provinces.

Fears Albania will erupt as brutal election campaign heads towards knife-edge result

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 23, 2021

Shootings and incendiary rhetoric mar final days of a tight race between ruling Socialists and main opposition parties, in which neither side is expected to concede easily.

Uzbekistan’s stock market coming to life

Ben Aris in Berlin April 22, 2021

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has launched a new push to develop the Uzbek capital markets with a decree that brings in sweeping reforms. The market is already growing, but there is a lot of work still to do.

Putin promises to make Russians' lives better in his State of the Nation speech but adds threats to the West

Ben Aris in Berlin April 21, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual State of the Nation address to the Federal Assembly was peppered with promises of heavy social spending and a better quality of life, but also spiked with threats to Russia’s opponents.

Turkey’s descent into coronavirus hell

bne IntelIiNews April 20, 2021

Now second only to India for new infections, the country is in a desperate situation that health professionals say the government is failing to acknowledge.

Unbundled: the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine

Ben Aris in Berlin April 20, 2021

Ukraine's gas market reforms have been a huge success. By unbundling production and transport, the country has attracted hundreds of traders that compete on a vibrant market that has eliminated corrupt scams and brought prices down.

EXPLAINER: Just how bad are the sanctions on Russia’s ruble-denominated OFZ treasury bonds?

Ben Aris in Berlin April 19, 2021

The White House has slapped new sanctions on Russia and targeted the Russian Ministry of Finance ruble-denominated OFZ treasury bills for the first time, the workhorse bond that is used to fund the budget. But what do the sanctions mean in practice?

Uzbekistan's stock market sees its first big "pump & dump" incident

Ben Aris in Berlin April 19, 2021

The share price of Uzbek insurance company Universal Sugurta rose 200,000% in the first two months of this year, only to collapse again in March. It looks like a classic "pump and dump" play, but for the nascent market that's probably a good thing.

Allegro will have to move fast to stem the Amazon flood

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw April 18, 2021

US e-commerce giant's push into the booming Polish market will make it much more competitive overnight.

Kyrgyzstan president prescribes poison root for COVID-19

Ayzirek Imanaliyeva for Eurasianet April 16, 2021

The health minister then drank the concoction at a press conference.

Geopolitics makes the Russian ruble rate highly volatile

Ben Aris in Berlin April 15, 2021

The Russian ruble has been through some wild swings this year as it has almost completely decoupled from the price of oil and is almost entirely dependent on the ebbs and flows of geopolitical tension.

The new no 1 in Romania’s private medical sector

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow April 11, 2021

Regina Maria overtook rival MedLife to become the biggest player in the Romanian private medical services market. Private equity backer Mid Europa Partners plans to build it up further.