How France is losing Africa

Ben Aris in Berlin September 4, 2023

France is rapidly losing its influence in Africa as country after country rebel against their former colonial master and rally to the new BRICS bloc.

Latvian exports of sanctioned goods soar to Russia's neighbours

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius September 4, 2023

In mechanical and electrical equipment, where Latvian exports to Russia fell by a quarter last year, growth in Kazakhstan, KyrgyzstanArmenia was between five and 12 times.

UN and Turkey propose reconnecting subsidiary of Russian Agricultural bank to SWIFT to restart Black Sea Grain Initiative

bne IntelliNews September 4, 2023

Proposals come as Turkey attempts to broker a deal between the West and Russia after the Kremlin pulled out of the agreement.

Russian companies build up $200bn secret slush fund despite the oil sanctions

Ben Aris in Berlin September 4, 2023

The unprecedented and extensive sanctions to limit Russia’s oil export income have successfully reduced Russia’s export earnings and budget revenues, but via various scams Russian companies have built up a slush fund of some $200bn abroad.

Russia’s manufacturing PMI up modestly to 52.7 as Russia goes for end of year sprint finish

Ben Aris in Berlin September 4, 2023

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global Russia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index was up slightly in August to 52.7 from the previous month’s 52.1 in July, “pointing to a solid strengthening of operating conditions".

Can Europe simply ban Russia's soaring LNG imports too?

Ben Aris in Berlin September 4, 2023

Europe has cut itself off from Russian gas following the destruction of the Nord Stream 1 & 2 pipelines last year, but imports of Russian liquefied natural gas have soared as it seeks sources of fuel and has few other options. Or does it?

Ukrainian forces finally making progress in south-eastern offensive

Ben Aris in Berlin September 1, 2023

After three months of a stalemate, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) seem to be finally making progress against Russia in the south-eastern offensive.

Bulgaria to probe secret deals with blacklisted Russians on TurkStream construction

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia August 31, 2023

Prosecutors are probing allegations that Bulgarians officials secretly met sanctioned Russians to speed up construction of the local stretch of the TurkStream pipeline.

Russian inflation breaks above 5% in August

Ben Aris in Berlin August 31, 2023

Russia’s inflation accelerated to 5.03% on August 22-28 from 4.88% in the previous week, the Economic Development Ministry reported on August 31. (chart)

Russian unemployment hits fresh all-time low of 3%

Ben Aris in Berlin August 31, 2023

Russia’s unemployment rate fell to a fresh all-time low of 3% in July, down from 3.1% in June, Rosstat reported on August 30.

MOSCOW BLOG: Unemployment down, retail up, but Russia’s economy is off the boil

Ben Aris in Berlin August 31, 2023

Russia’s unemployment rate just fell to a new all-time low of 3% and the latest data on economic activity during July paints a picture of robust retail sales performance on the back of rising real and nominal wages that are fuelling consumption.

Russians rally round war-time Putin, propensity to hold protests has fallen

Ben Aris in Berlin August 31, 2023

In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating was 82%, according to the last available Levada centre poll.

PROFILE: Timur Turlov, the Kazakh financier behind Nasdaq-listed Freedom Finance

Jason Corcoran in Dublin August 30, 2023

His Kazakhstan-based brokerage has come under attack from short-seller Hindenburg Research for alleged sanctions busting and money laundering.

bneGREEN: ExxonMobil says world will fail to meet Paris goal in 2050

Roberta Harrington in Los Angeles August 30, 2023

Oil supermajor ExxonMobil says that the world will fail to meet the Paris Agreement goal to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by 2050.

Russian business confidence back in the black, with consumer rising

Ben Aris in Berlin Ben Aris in Berlin August 30, 2023

Business confidence has made a remarkable recovery in recent months after it collapsed to a low of -7.2 points in August last year following the start of the war. But now it is back in the black thanks to heavy state spending.

Wave of Ukrainian drones strike five Russian regions

Ben Aris in Berlin August 30, 2023

Five Russian regions were hit with a wave of Ukrainian drone strikes on the night of August 30, in a widespread attack targeting Central Russia, as well as the Pskov region and Sevastopol.

Binance crypt exchange considers Russian exit

bne IntelliNews August 30, 2023

Binance is re-evaluating its Russian business with an option of full withdrawal, the Wall Street Journal reported citing the representatives of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Russian textbook calling 1956 Hungarian revolution a fascist uprising puts Orban in tight spot

Tamas Csonka in Budapest August 30, 2023

Kremlin-friendly government has yet to denounce textbook attacking the 1956 revolutionaries, a key source of identity for many Fidesz supporters.

Kremlin draws up candidate list for 2024 presidential election race

Ben Aris in Berlin August 30, 2023

The Kremlin has approved the “candidate” list for those that will run against Russian President Vladimir Putin in the 2024 presidential elections. The list has no young people on it, and none of them is expected to come anywhere close to winning.

Outbound Russian tourism recovering but destinations have changed

Ben Aris in Berlin August 30, 2023

Outbound Russian tourism is recovering fast, the choice of destination has changed since the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and sanctions.