Masha Tsigal: Moscow’s 1990s it-girl on how war has changed fashion in Russia

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2023

Decades on from Russia’s wild 1990s, the country’s cultural landscape continues to be largely shaped by the enduring influence of the giants that hogged the limelight in the shadow of the former Soviet Union.

Retail booms off the beaten track in Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2023

Investment into new shopping centres is going strong in the smaller markets of the Western Balkans and outside the main cities in Southeast Europe's EU members where demand for new modern retail space is high.

INTERVIEW: Ruben Vardanyan, ousted state minister of Nagorno-Karabakh

Robert Anderson in Prague March 23, 2023

The status of the breakaway territory must be settled as part of any final peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and this will require a joint effort of Russia and the West in the UNSC, says Armenian billionaire.

Xi, Putin meeting: “Loud thunder but few raindrops”

Ben Aris in Berlin March 23, 2023

Chinese President Xi Jinping took his leave of Russian President Vladimir Putin from a two-day visit to Moscow with a smile on his face. But despite the important show of solidarity, Putin got little in concrete terms from the Chinese leader.

Georgia sticking with its EU ambitions

Ben Aris in Berlin March 22, 2023

Despite mass demonstrations in Georgia against the seemingly pro-Russian “foreign agents” law in March and growing Russian trade turnover following the start of the war in Ukraine, the government in Tbilisi remains dedicated to joining the EU.

Russian banks earn a record profit in January as the sector starts to recover from sanctions shock

Ben Aris in Berlin March 22, 2023

Russian banks earned profits of $3.4bn in January, the most ever for the first month of the year, but the banking sector is still limping from the shock of extreme sanctions imposed last year.

Georgia’s economy outperforms with 10% broad-based growth and record investment in 2022

Ben Aris in London March 22, 2023

The Georgian economy has bounced back fast from the series of sharp shocks of recent years, and rather than being dragged down by the polycrisis that has been unfolding.

Putin woos 40 Africa lawmakers at Moscow conference with promises of money, nuclear power, arms and free grain

Ben Aris in Berlin March 21, 2023

Putin took time out from meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping who had just arrived in Moscow for a three-day state visit to speak to lawmakers from more than 40 African countries and woo them with generous promises of economic and military aid

Kazakhstan: Low election turnout tempers talk of political reset

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet March 21, 2023

Only one in four voters in Almaty, the country's largest city, cast their ballot.

All to play for in Russian-Chinese backyard

bne IntelIiNews March 21, 2023

Russia and China will struggle for common policy on possible Russian soft underbelly Central Asia, Afghanistan, Mongolia, the vital Europe/Asia Caucasus crossroads, the Baltics, CEE and SEE.

TBC Bank looks to Uzbekistan for growth

bne IntelIiNews March 20, 2023

Georgia's leading bank is expanding its international operations and investing in cutting-edge banking technologies.

Mongolian herders’ lives out of ‘steppe’ with global economic realities

Antonio Graceffo in Ulaanbaatar March 17, 2023

Pandemic and Ukraine war impacts bring hardship that makes battle to subsist outside of the city a gruelling challenge.

Demining Ukraine: "The most important thing is to protect people"

Dominic Culverwell in London March 17, 2023

Ukraine is the most mine-contaminated country on Earth. Red warning signs bearing skulls and crossbones litter the fields and forests of liberated territories.

A fresh face and dirty games in Montenegro’s presidential election

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 16, 2023

Longstanding ruler Milo Djukanovic is fighting off challenges from newcomer Europe Now’s candidate Jakov Milatovic and pro-Russian Andrija Mandic.

Has Southeast Europe come of age as an investment destination?

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 15, 2023

The Western Balkan countries are following the path established by Central Europe that emerged as a prominent manufacturing and services hub early in the transition period.

Volunteers tackle Ukraine's food poverty crisis

Dominic Culverwell in London March 14, 2023

The Russian invasion has caused a poverty crisis in Ukraine and the most vulnerable citizens are struggling with basic necessities, particularly food.

Combined economic and political pressure push Serbia towards sanctions decision

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 14, 2023

As economic and political pressure on Serbia to join Western sanctions on Russia grow, Serbian Economy Minister Rade Basta took the unexpected step of calling for Belgrade to impose sanctions.

The wheels are coming off Russia’s banking sector

Jason Corcoran in Dublin March 14, 2023

From March, Russians struggling to make ends meet will be able to take “credit holidays” for mortgages, consumer loans and credit card bills.

Turkey cuts trade ties with Russia, Hungary to “rethink” relationship as Western pressure to end sanctions-busting mounts

Ben Aris in Berlin March 12, 2023

Turkey has abruptly stopped exporting goods to Russia and one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strongest advocates in Europe, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, has said that he might “rethink” his relations with Russia in the future.

Russian oligarch Fridman sells out of Alfa Bank that made him rich

Ben Aris in Berlin March 10, 2023

Alfa Bank is a doyen of the Russian banking sector, a well spring of trained talent in the 1990s that did “real” banking business at a time when most oligarchs’ banks were either “bank-like” institutions or glorified treasury operators.