Most important discussions and agreements at Samarkand gathering likely to concern regional connectivity, and the odd men out are Russia and Belarus.
While the territory captured has little strategic importance, the 2,000 square kilometres taken will massively energise and encourage Ukraine’s will to resist, and the will to pay for Ukraine’s resistance within the Nato alliance.
On September 11, Russia held regional and municipal elections. 14 of its regions will see direct gubernatorial elections, while six vote for a whole new legislature. Elections are also set for local councils across 11 cities.
Uzbekistan's chairmanship in the SCO has come at a moment of great change in the world – a period of "historical fracture", when one era ends and another begins, still unpredictable and unknown.
Russia is holding local elections in 14 regions, which are supposed to be boring, but coming in the midst of a war they are more important than usual. However, with the introduction of online voting any chance of a free vote is gone.
Six months after the beginning of the Russian invasion, the “Devil’s Dance” of Western sanctions and Russian oil exports and revenues has barely begun. The main contest still lies ahead.
Global inflation was generally moderating when the pandemic began, and the downward trend continued into the early months of the crisis. But surging prices since late 2020 have pushed inflation higher than in all of the last five years combined.
Soaring inflation, rate hikes and a stronger dollar are reminiscent of the early 1980s – a decade that brought a wave of EM sovereign debt crises. This year has already seen Sri Lanka default, hit by an external liquidity crisis.
The European Central Bank has decided on the largest rate hike since the start of the monetary union and has given the impression that it is fully determined to do more on September 7.
As the invasion of Ukraine grinds past the half-year mark, Russian policymakers have finally begun to reckon with the scale of the economic crisis on their hands. Sanctions and a slowdown have already led to a RUB900bn deficit.
While there are short-term fluctuations in interest rates caused by economic circumstances and central bank policies, there are also long-term structural trends affecting interest rates.