Opinion

ING: Czech economy falls by less than previously feared in 1Q

Jakub Seidler Chief Economist at ING in the Czech Republic May 5, 2021

The preliminary GDP figure for the first quarter surprised on the upside. The economy fell just 0.3% quarter on quarter, with pandemic restrictions being in place throughout the quarter.

COMMENT: “Patronagists” scandal brings back memories of the communist era in Albania

Jona Koprencka in Tirana May 5, 2021

Ahead of the April general election Albania’s ruling Socialists were revealed to be keeping the population under surveillance.

Taking the Tashkent Stock Exchange to the next level

Akmal Djalilov May 1, 2021

Akmal Djalilov, founder of Uzbekistan’s BeTrader platform, looks at a new decree allowing Uzbek companies to list abroad.

COMMENT: Philanthropy in Russia – not for the faint-hearted

Stephen Bierman in Moscow April 30, 2021

Wealth in Russia comes with no small number of headaches. But one of the more surprising ones, linked to money, is that sometimes you can’t even give it away.

COMMENT: Was Russia preparing to invade Ukraine? A look inside Moscow’s strategy

bne IntelliNews April 30, 2021

The recent build-up and withdrawal of Russian forces at Ukraine's eastern border forms part of President Putin's coherent strategy to recover control of Ukraine and reverse the 1991 territorial losses stemming from the 1991 collapse of the USSR.

COMMENT: Political interference in Naftogaz supervisory board operations is a major setback in corporate governance reform

American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine April 30, 2021

Ukraine’s business community and its supporters abroad condemned the Cabinet’s decision to sack the widely respected CEO of Naftogaz Andriy Kobolev on April 28, calling it an abuse of corporate governance that will undermine foreign investment.

RIMMER: Armenia Genocide recognition – better late than never?

Julian Rimmer in London April 26, 2021

The US recognition of the Armenian Genocide was more than 100 years coming, but it runs the risk of looking more like realpolitik than a sincere gesture.

COMMENT: Putin restructures Russia’s regional debt

Andras Toth-Czifra in New York April 26, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposals to restructure the debt of Russia's regions in his State of the Nation speech on April 21 will likely provide them with some much-needed fiscal relief in an election year.

RIMMER: King of the swingers

Julian Rimmer in London April 22, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin fancies himself as The King of The Swingers, but it’s The Simple, Bare Necessities that Russians care about. State of The Nation? It’s a mess.

Turkmenistan: My kingdom for a horse association

Akhal-Teke: Eurasianet April 22, 2021

Legacy and death must linger perennially even in the minds of the most megalomaniacal autocrats, and this is why preparations for Turkmenistan’s future are proceeding apace.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: How well could Ukraine defend itself against a Russian attack?

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 20, 2021

Russia’s military exercises near the Ukrainian border have many analysts looking into Ukraine’s capacity to defend against a full-fledged attack. While Kyiv has invested heavily in modernising its military, it remains seriously outgunned.

Romanians gripped by cryptocurrency euphoria during the pandemic

Alexandru M. Tanase and Mihai Radoi April 19, 2021

The euphoria of the 1990s is back as small investors ignore the risks and dream of getting rich overnight.

BORDERLEX: EU Commission goes back to the drawing board to revive Turkey trade talks

Iana Dreyer of Borderlex April 18, 2021

The Commission's latest attempt to revamp the customs union with Turkey faces many obstacles before it can even start.

COMMENT: Strengthening the foundation of the Uzbek capital markets infrastructure

Fiezullah Saidov in Tashkent April 18, 2021

After their sitting moribund for two and half decades, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has just launched a major reform of the Uzbek capital markets that could transform financing in the republic.

COMMENT: Fresh US sanctions and OFZ primary market ban a global non-event, but sanctions possibly now entrenched quasi indefinitely

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna April 15, 2021

The US took a mild path for the time being with the new sanctions on Russia’s debt. Sanctioning the primary market activity of OFZs for US entities has little impact on Russia and international financial markets.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Russian 'sanctions bubble' vs Ukrainian and Turkish fundamentals

Gunter Deuber in Vienna April 14, 2021

For financial market investors, Russia is currently in the same basket as Turkey and Ukraine, but only on a temporary basis.

TRENIN: Russia-Ukraine war alert – what’s behind it and what lies ahead?

Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center April 13, 2021

Perhaps the most important thing for the Russian leadership in this episode was to prevent the need to actually go to war against Ukraine in the future. Going for overkill in terms of military manoeuvres now prevents actual war later.

ING: Russian ruble downgraded on weak balance of payments in 1Q21

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING April 13, 2021

In 1Q21, ruble weakness was caused not just by political tensions, but also by a disappointing trade balance and resumed preference for foreign assets by residents. ING has downgraded its mid-year ruble expectations to USD/RUB75.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Minsk peace talks may abandon Minsk

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 12, 2021

Ukraine has announced that it will not hold further peace talks in Minsk within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Turning up the heat in the Donbas and Crimea

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 11, 2021

For the past couple of weeks, videos have flooded social media showing convoys of Russian military trucks, trains full of tanks, and hordes of helicopters heading toward Ukraine. The question everyone’s asking is: is Russia going to invade Ukraine?

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