“All signs point to Ukraine,” German investigation into Nord Stream 1&2 pipelines bombing finds

Ben Aris in Berlin August 29, 2023

A year has passed since a series of underwater explosions destroyed the Nord Stream 1&2 pipelines ending Russia’s delivery of gas to Germany. An official investigation has concluded that “all signs point to Ukraine,” Der Spiegel reports.

China to build a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia

bne IntelliNews August 29, 2023

Saudi Arabia is reportedly contemplating a Chinese proposal to construct a nuclear power plant (NPP) only a week after the Kingdom was offered a place in the expanded BRICS+ club designed to counter a Western hegemony.

Perspectives: Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan building up for another potential round of fighting

Svenja Petersen for Eurasianet August 29, 2023

An unusual constellation of outside players taking shape.

Wildberries founder Bakalchuk still Russia’s richest woman worth over $7bn

bne IntelliNews August 29, 2023

Russia’s richest woman is still the founder, CEO and main shareholder (99%) of country’s largest e-commerce platform Wildberries Tatyana Bakalchuk, with Forbes estimating her fortune at $7bn in the latest rating of the 20 richest women in Russia.

S&P upgrades Armenia to 'BB-' as Russians boost economy

bne IntelliNews August 28, 2023

Armenia is poised to experience a slightly reduced growth of 7.5% in 2023 after a 12.6% expansion last year, says rating agency.

BRICS MATERIALS: the flourishing intra-BRICS oil trade

Ben Aris in Berlin August 28, 2023

The addition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Iran to the BRICS+ at a summit on August 24 came as a surprise to many, but it has also significantly increased the body's clout in international oil markets.

Estonian PM to face no-confidence vote over husband’s Russian business links

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius August 27, 2023

Estonian daily Eesti Paevaleht revealed PM Kaja Kallas’ husband's firm earned €1.5mn from Russia business since February 2022.

COMMENT: Five key takeaways from the BRICS summit

bne IntelliNews August 25, 2023

The recent BRICS summit showcased efforts by the five member countries to demonstrate unity and cooperation, but the policy proposals put forward were limited in scope and ambition due to unresolved rivalries and conflicting national interests.

US Department of Defence claims missiles not used to shoot down Prigozhin’s plane

Ben Aris in Berlin August 25, 2023

The US Department of Defence ruled out missiles as the cause of a plane crash that killed Wagner boss Evgeny Prigozhin on August 24, adding to the growing confusion over what caused the death of the notorious private military company leader.

Indonesia says “not now” to BRICS membership offer

Ben Aris in Berlin August 25, 2023

The BRICS group expanded adding six new members on August 24 (Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)) but one important name was missing: Indonesia.

COMMENT: So what did happen to that claimed Turkish aspiration to join BRICS?

bne IntelIiNews August 24, 2023

Evidence of any real intent in Ankara to join the emerging economies club is rather thin on the ground.

Joining BRICS is a big win for Iran

bne IntelIiNews August 24, 2023

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has flown to South Africa to begin talks on Tehran's integration into BRICS starting from January. The move could finally free Iran's economy from four decades of US sanctions applied since the 1979 revolution.

BRICS adds six new members, including Iran and Saudi Arabia

Ben Aris in Berlin August 24, 2023

The five-nation BRICS club of emerging economies announced on August 24 at its summit that it would add six new members from the start of 2024.

Wagner boss dead in jet reportedly shot down by Russian air defences

Ben Aris in Berlin August 24, 2023

Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin was among the dead after a private jet was reportedly shot down over Russia’s Tver region on August 24 killing all ten people on board.

KABANOVSKY: Prigozhin is served, with a side of Duck

Alexander Kabanovsky August 24, 2023

Like him or hate him, Evgeny Prigozhin and his sidekick, Dmitry Utkin, aka “Wagner”, had quite the run. Their coup-not-coup captured the world’s attention at the end of June until Prigozhin changed his mind, and did a deal to save his life.

Bulgaria’s uneasy liberation from Russia's grip

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia August 23, 2023

Once a loyal ally of Russia, Bulgaria been struggling to put an end to the Kremlin’s powerful influence.

#BREAKING: Wagner boss Prigozhin reportedly killed in plane crash outside of Moscow

Ben Aris in Berlin August 23, 2023

Wagner PMC owner Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list for the private jet that crashed north of Moscow.

Triumph for India, PR disaster for Putin as Chandrayaan-3 successfully lands on the moon

Ben Aris in Berlin August 23, 2023

The successful landing of the Chandrayaan-3 probe is a PR disaster for Russian President Vladimir Putin after Russia’s own moon probe, the Luna 24, crashed at the weekend.

Differences over what BRICS should do already visible on summit's first day

Ben Aris in Berlin August 22, 2023

Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping were no-shows at the opening session of the BRICS summit in South Africa, but divisions over the members' basic positions were visible on the very first day.

The rise of the BRICS

Felix Richter of Statistia August 22, 2023

Over the past two decades, the world has witnessed a profound shift in the global economic and geopolitical landscape, as the rise of the BRICS nations has introduced a growing counterweight to the traditional dominance of the G7.