COMMENT: Ukraine’s the Old Rotten System is alive and well

Robert Homans in Washington September 17, 2020

In the nearly 18 months since Volodymyr Zelenskiy was inaugurated President of Ukraine, it has become increasingly clear that he, like all his predecessors, is willing to accept, and even support, the Old Rotten System.

STOLYPIN: Whatever is happening to Putin?

Mark Galeotti director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence and also an honorary professor at UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies September 14, 2020

Something has changed, Russian president Vladimir Putin seem to have lost some of his finesse as his regime becomes more brutal and aggressive. Has he just been on the job too long?

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Lawmakers’ promises, one year later

FPRI BMB Ukraine September 10, 2020

During last summer’s parliamentary elections VoxUkraine’s analysts collected the promises made by party leaders. One year later, they’re back to see which political parties have actually delivered.

FPRI BMB Russia: Russian to hold elections in 83 regions

FPRI BMB Russia September 9, 2020

Russia will hold local elections on September 11-13. In contrast to previous years, voting will take place over three days, culminating on Sunday, Russia’s “single voting day”. Elections will occur in 83 regions.

Turkmenistan: They call me Mr. Boombastic

Akhal-Teke. Eurasianet September 8, 2020

For all the bombastic propaganda, there is no papering over the fact that Turkmenistan is still clearly struggling with a COVID-19 problem.

The Balkans: External debts in uncertain times

Alexandru M. Tanase in London September 8, 2020

Are countries in the Balkan region taking on more debt than they can afford?

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Belarus – out of the frying pan and into the “Rublezone”

Gunter Deuber Head of Research at Raiffeisen Bank International and Marcus How Head of Research & Analysis at ViennEast Consulting in Vienna September 8, 2020

Belarus’ faked presidential election shows how quickly a domestic problem can become international and geopolitical. Moscow looks set to force Minsk into a “Rublezone” deal that will tie their economies much closer together.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: The battle for control over NABU

bne IntelliNews September 7, 2020

The Constitutional Court declared illegal a 2015 presidential decree appointing Artem Sytnyk as the first (and so far, only) director of the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine

The Tajik election—Stick not twist for Moscow

Nizom Khodjayev in Bishkek September 5, 2020

Nevertheless, one analyst holds that the Kremlin “sees growing discontent” with dictator of three decades Emomali Rahmon and “probably understands that very soon he will be unable to prevent a social explosion”.

COMMENT: How Covid-19 is changing international business and politics

David Landsman OBE and Khawar Qureshi QC in London September 2, 2020

Ever since the plague in Athens in 430 BC described by Thucydides, epidemics have followed movements of people and changed the course of history. Today Covid-19 risks challenging the foundations of business in our modern interconnected world

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Zelenskiy asks the EU to clarify membership prospects for Ukraine

FPRI BMB Ukraine August 28, 2020

Volodymyr Zelenskiy this week gave a rare interview to a foreign news outlet. The whole discussion, published on August 25 by Euronews, is largely unremarkable. There’s one quote worth talking about, however: will Ukraine ever join the EU?

International mediation mechanism for Armenia, Azerbaijan conflict “does not seem fit for purpose” says former co-chair

bne IntelIiNews August 28, 2020

Noting July skirmishes took place far from contested Nagorno Karabakh territory, former US diplomat says clashes “may have unleashed a dangerous new geopolitical dynamic” partly given their proximity to strategic oil and gas pipelines.

TURKEY INSIGHT: How Ankara is selling more “fake” domestic USD papers to dollar-short state banks

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 25, 2020

Ex-central banker says FX bonds in question are “theoretical” as they’re not issued in line with international law. Refers to ‘local dollars’ printed by Turkish Treasury. Market unsettled by "financial alchemy".

'Daunting challenges lie in way of those minded to revive Trans-Caspian Pipeline project'

bne IntelIiNews August 23, 2020

Analyst says: “TCP has great political appeal and is destined to remain alive for many years, if only on PowerPoint presentations... it will provide fodder for politicians and bureaucrats (ignorant of or not understanding commercial realities)."