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.