Opinion

MACRO ADVISORY: Buckle up, August is coming

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory July 28, 2021

Russia’s recent history has repeatedly shown that August is a month when surprises, usually bad, can happen more often than in any other month.

COMMENT: Why has China’s foreign minister spent three days in Damascus? Probably not having trade discussions

Gav Don in Edinburgh July 25, 2021

A few days ago China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi spent three days visiting President Bashar al Assad in Syria, the first foreign dignitary the Syrian president has hosted since the start of his new term.

HOMANS: Putin's Epistle to the Ukrainians

Robert Homans in Washington DC July 20, 2021

On July 12, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, released an epistle entitled "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians" that has set the cat amongst the pigeons

Perspectives | Blame it on Russia? The danger of geopolitical takes on Georgia’s far right

Tamta Gelashvili for Eurasianet July 13, 2021

Framing Georgia’s far right as a unified pro-Russian actor obscures complex local problems.

COMMENT: Uzbekistan will have to host Afghan refugees in the near future

independent analyst Abdulla Abdukadirov July 13, 2021

Issue one of many to be addressed by July 15-16 conference, "Central and South Asia: regional dependence. Threats and opportunities", convened on initiative of Uzbek president.

STOLYPIN: Putin’s cybercrime challenge

Mark Galeotti director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence and also an honorary professor at UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies July 12, 2021

Following recent cases of Russian-linked cyberespionage and ransomware attacks. President Biden has cranked up the pressure on Vladimir Putin to act.

ING: Russian inflation hits 6.5%, and can go higher

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow July 8, 2021

Russian CPI jumped to 6.5% y/y in June and kept accelerating in the first week of July. While supply-side inflation seems to have stabilised, demand-driven CPI stands out in pharma, construction materials, and tourism sectors.

Perspectives - What to expect from the new Iranian president – a view from the Caucasus

Eldar Mamedov political adviser to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament July 8, 2021

The election of a hardliner could augur a more security-oriented approach by Tehran toward Armenia and Azerbaijan.

ING: OPEC+ fails to come to a deal

Warren Patterson ING’s Head of Commodities Strategy July 6, 2021

The standoff between the UAE and the rest of OPEC+ continues, with Monday’s meeting cancelled. In theory this means that OPEC+ output will remain unchanged in August, which would be bullish for prices in the short term.

COMMENT: Russian 'Jackson Hole' macro takeaways: monetary policy is put under review

Artem Zaigrin Chief Economist at Sova Capital July 6, 2021

The International Financial Congress was held by Central Bank of Russia (CBR) on June 28 –July 2. The conference was designed to discuss and reshape policies in the medium term.

COMMENT: Striking a balance in the global energy transition

Karin Kneissl former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria and an independent member of the board of directors of Rosneft July 5, 2021

As oil prices rise to their highest level in almost three years, OPEC and its partners are discussing a deal to increase production. Abandoning fossil fuels is a hot topic, but like it or not, oil remains the world’s most important commodity.

HOMANS: Ukraine takes control of unleashed drones

Robert Homans in Washington DC June 30, 2021

Since its independence in 1991, Ukraine has been largely limited in its capability to defend itself, partly through poor decisions made by Ukraine and partly due to limits placed on Ukraine by its Western partners. Turkish drones have changed that.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Czech and Hungarian central banks in sync in 2021 but longer term CNB to outpace MNB

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna June 25, 2021

This week the Czech National Bank increased its key interest rate for the first time in the last 16 months, while the Hungarian National Bank did so for the first time in the last 10 years.

RIMMER: Sea snot as metaphor

Julian Rimmer in London June 24, 2021

Sea snot is the perfect metaphor for the Erdogan regime. That was my first thought when I saw the visually arresting images of the Sea of Marmara enveloped in a suffocating gunk.

Amid Afghanistan pullout observers ask if there's a place for a US military base in Central Asia

bne IntelIiNews June 23, 2021

Carnegie analyst identifies Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan as long-shot options.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: EU and Austria – what is your stance on the Belarus sanctions?

Gunter Deuber Head of Research at Raiffeisen Bank International and Marcus How Head of Research & Analysis at ViennEast Consulting in Vienna June 23, 2021

In the end, the EU has agreed to comprehensive economic sanctions against Belarus. Sectoral EU sanctions are to be revealed and likely adopted by the EU on 24-25 June and reportedly include sanctions on potash and mineral fuel exports and finance.

ECFR: Biden meets Putin: America, Russia, and the return of diplomacy

Kadri Liik an ECFR Senior Policy Fellow June 19, 2021

Joe Biden is the fifth American president to hold a bilateral summit with Vladimir Putin. But he is likely the first post-Cold War US president to have a realistic understanding of what Russia is and what it wants.

RIMMER: Unhappy anniversary: Operation Barbarossa

Julian Rimmer in London June 15, 2021

It's the anniversary of Operation Barbarossa on June 22, when Hitler launched his surprise invasion of the Soviet Union, completely catching Stalin unawares. The ultimate victory over the Nazis has become a centre-piece of Putin's Russia.

THE VIEW FROM MITTELEUROPA: Surviving on life support – Belarus, sanctions and path-dependency

Gunter Deuber Head of Research at Raiffeisen Bank International and Marcus How Head of Research & Analysis at ViennEast Consulting in Vienna June 14, 2021

The Ryanair incident on 23 May was as much a bellwether for the status quo in Belarus as it is a geopolitical catalyst.

COMMENT: Time to end Putin's impunity

Jeff Lovitt and Jan Piekło June 10, 2021

The price faced by Russia for aggression must be too high for the Kremlin to countenance, and this is the message that Biden should deliver to Putin – and act upon.

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