Opinion

OPINION: Erdogan – how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Julian Rimmer in London March 26, 2021

Julian Rimmer mulls over the management style of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and why Turkey always seems to be in crisis.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Germany remains conflicted over Nord Stream 2

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 25, 2021

During the 4th German-Ukrainian Business Forum, Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasised Ukraine and Germany’s long-standing partnership, but she remained committed to the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Protesters trash Bankova’s façade in Sternenko demonstrations

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 25, 2021

On Saturday, March 20, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the President’s Office in Kyiv, demanding the immediate release of Serhiy Sternenko, a controversial Odesa activist who was sentenced to seven years in prison last month.

COMMENT: How the USSR’s collapse is remembered in Russia today

James C Pearce in Moscow March 24, 2021

Thirty years on and the jury is not out on this question. When it comes to the Soviet collapse, Russians increasingly regret this momentous event.

COMMENT: Navalny was box office for a fortnight but a decade of obscurity beckons

Julian Rimmer March 24, 2021

In WH Auden’s ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ he writes about the banality of suffering, how it “takes place/ While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along”.

COMMENT: Media freedom hits a rough patch in Uzbekistan despite presidential support

Fred Harrison in London March 23, 2021

The number of media outlets has expanded after President Shavkat Mirziyoyev called for the press to play a more prominent role in society, but old habits die hard after a prominent blogger was arrested after he exposed a price-fixing scam.

ING: Russian consumption improves in February, adding credibility to the hawkish CBR

bne IntelliNews March 22, 2021

Russian consumption surprised on the upside in February, responding well to the budget support and gradual improvement on the labour market.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Ruling party politics and the slow pace of reforms

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 22, 2021

The ruling Servant of the People party has expelled its most contentious member, the US-sanctioned lawmaker Oleksandr Dubinsky.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Central and Southeastern Europe head for a V-shaped recovery

Gunter Deuber and Nicolae Covrig of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna and Bucharest March 19, 2021

The moderate GDP setbacks in 2020 imply that for some CEE countries there will not be such drastic recovery and rebound effects in 2021 as in hard-hit countries in Western Europe.

BORDERLEX: EU edging closer to granting Uzbekistan GSP Plus trade status

Iana Dreyer of Borderlex March 19, 2021

The EU says there are few hurdles left to clear but human rights groups say Uzbekistan will need much closer monitoring.

FPRI BMB Russia: Schoolyard taunts from “Putin is a killer” exchange

FPRI BMB Russia March 19, 2021

US-Russia relations dipped to a new low when Biden was asked whether he believed Putin was a “killer” on Good Morning America. “Mhm I do,” he replied. Putin shot back "takes one to know one," citing a schoolyard rhyme

TIM ASH: Is sanctioning Russian sovereign debt such a big deal?

Tim Ash of BlueBay Asset Management March 18, 2021

The simple answer is no. Indeed, it’s the logical next step. When the question comes up about sanctioning Russian sovereign debt, the Russian influence lobby always comes out with the view that this is such a terrible idea, but Ash disagrees

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Zelenskiy approval ratings start to recover

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 18, 2021

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s political ratings are on the rise, according to the latest public opinion surveys. On Wednesday, the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) reported that 45% of Ukrainians trust Zelenskiy.

COMMENT: The EIB supports the long-term recovery of the Western Balkans

Lilyana Pavlova vice-president of the European Investment Bank March 11, 2021

The region’s economy needs to be more sustainable and connected, which can only be achieved through the digital and green transformation, writes EIB vice-president Lilyana Pavlova.

ING: Red hot enthusiasm for copper

Wenyu Yao is the Senior Commodities Strategist with ING in London March 10, 2021

Copper prices are approaching their all-time high as investors flood into the market for the red/green metal.

COMMENT: OPEC+ puts off production cut decision for a month

Guy Burton of Lancaster University March 7, 2021

A decision over oil production levels and prices looks to have been delayed for a month following the OPEC+ meeting, between OPEC’s 13 members and 10 other non-OPEC countries, on March 4.

COMMENT: Uzbek privatisation - this time it seems to be for real

Fiezullah Saidov director of Uzbekistan Equities in Tashkent March 7, 2021

Privatisation efforts in Uzbekistan are moving to a practical level. The newly appointed State Asset Management Agency head has started to implement the presidential decree on privatisation with a new zeal.

ING: Commodity supercycle calls grow

Warren Patterson Head of Commodities Strategy at ING in the Netherlands March 7, 2021

It has been an exceptional month for commodity markets, with growing inflation expectations increasing investor interest in the assets. Meanwhile, fundamental developments, particularly in the oil market, have only provided a further boost.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: The US takes on Kolomoisky

FPRI BMB Ukraine March 6, 2021

On March 5, the US State Department issued a public designation of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky for his involvement in “significant corruption,” and banned both him and his immediate family from entering the United States.

ING: Turkey’s inflation remains on an upward path

Muhammet Mercan Chief Economist for Turkey at ING in Istanbul March 4, 2021

Turkish inflation maintained its uptrend in February reflecting still strong cost-push factors, sticky services inflation and elevated inflation expectations.

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