Poland burnishes its new geopolitical clout with the US

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw April 20, 2023

During his trip to the US, Morawiecki reasserted Europe’s need for US leadership, while also underscoring the strength of the Polish-American alliance.

Fighting Russia from Chechnya to Ukraine – and back again

Neil Hauer in the Donbas April 20, 2023

Chechens are not just fighting on Russia's side. Several thousand pro-independence Chechen fighters have raised the banner again, fighting alongside Ukrainian troops against Russia’s forces.

Minsk is using Budapest to block new mooted potash sanctions

bne IntelliNews April 19, 2023

Belarus and Hungary are forging closer economic ties as Minsk seeks to deflect new EU tough sanctions on its potash exports, one of the country’s biggest foreign exchange earners.

Overflowing Russian grain storage puts $3.4bn worth of grain at risk of rotting in silos

bne IntelliNews April 18, 2023

Full to overflowing, the lack of grain storage space and problems with export transportation due to sanctions have put grain worth $3.4bn at risk of rotting in the silos, a survey by Russia-based consulting firm Jacob & Partners found.

Sanctions-hit IIB admits it is suffering a liquidity crisis

Tamas Csonka in Budapest April 17, 2023

The Budapest-based international development bank finally officially admits that it cannot meet its obligations after being frozen out of international financial markets. At the same time it insists that it is not yet insolvent.

Kazakhstan: Security fatal for gun trade business

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet April 17, 2023

New rules and other restrictions have mainly affected hunters, by very far the mainstay of Kazakhstan’s firearm market.

LONG READ: Russia the mining and minerals titan of the future

Ben Aris in Berlin April 16, 2023

Russia is already a mining and minerals titan but as the green and EV revolutions unfold its position will only improve as minerals gradually replace hydrocarbons as Russia’s major exports and give the Kremlin fresh international leverage.

Economic derailment prices Mongolians out of family life

Antonio Graceffo in Ulaanbaatar April 14, 2023

Those who can leave to take a chance abroad, often do. Amid the cost-of-living crunch, things just don’t add up.

Russian labour crisis looming as unemployment falls and emigration rises

bne IntelliNews April 14, 2023

Russia is facing a mounting labour crisis as worker shortages grow, sending unemployment to record lows. Emigration is soaring and immigration tumbling.

Lavrov meets with Eurasia leaders to work on Afghan problem

Ben Aris in Berlin April 13, 2023

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is attending the fourth ministerial conference of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries on April 13 in the Uzbek city of Samarkand to try to find a solution to the Afghan problem.

LONG READ: China reshaping a new multipolar world order

Ben Aris in Berlin April 12, 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron caused a storm with his trip to China in April to meet China’s President Xi Jinping. Macron was lambasted as a “Gaullist” attempting to aggrandise himself on the international stage by playing at peacemaker.

Central and Southeast European companies eye lucrative Ukraine reconstruction opportunities

bne IntelliNews April 11, 2023

There is no end in sight yet to the war in Ukraine, but governments and businesses in Central and Southeast Europe are already eyeing potential contracts when the war finally does cease and rebuilding on a massive scale can start.

MACRO ADVISORY: Mongolia, surfing the seven Cs

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory April 6, 2023

This time last year Mongolia faced a difficult future, with a high risk of debt default. The country’s main trade partner, China, had mostly closed its borders and reduced imports of coal and copper. Now its doing well thanks to the seven Cs.

LONG READ: China and the West are on a collision course

Ben Aris in Berlin April 6, 2023

Global investors are “desperate for signs” that Chinese President Xi Jinping and France’s President Emmanuel Macron can improve relations and avoid a hemispheric geopolitical clash as Macron starts a three-day visit to Beijing and Guangzhou.

Moscow's fancy bars and restaurants battle rising import prices and exodus of wealthy clientele

bne IntelliNews April 5, 2023

Moscow’s affluent Patriarch Ponds district was regularly packed with the capital’s movers and shakers. One year on, with the exodus of the country’s rich and famous, its lavish bars and restaurants are stuck treading water and gasping for air.

Ukrainian banks earn strong profits in 2M23, but sector remains under war pressure

bne IntelliNews April 4, 2023

Ukraine’s banks are growing again and reported their most profitable start to a year in over five years, but the decaying quality of credit portfolios could cause problems later this year.

Russian oligarchs’ wealth up by $13bn since the start of this year

Ben Aris in Berlin April 4, 2023

Hundreds of Russian oligarchs have been hit with sanctions and their yachts and luxury homes abroad seized by the authorities, but rather than crushing their businesses, the oligarchs added a collective $13.7bn to their wealth in three months.

Will Putin be arrested if he attends August’s BRICS summit in South Africa?

Ben Aris in Berlin April 3, 2023

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 16 for the illegal deportation of at least 100 Ukrainian children.

Surge in PPP investments in the Western Balkans threatens fiscal stability

bne IntelliNews April 3, 2023

A new study published by the IMF finds PPP investments in the region compared to GDP are higher than in the EU, and warns of the risks from poorly managed PPP projects.

Journalism in Russia just got more dangerous: WSJ reporter Gershkovich arrested on spy charges

Ben Aris in Berlin March 31, 2023

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested on espionage charges by Russia’s Federal Security Service on March 30, the first US journalist to be arrested in Russia since the Soviet-era in 1986.