Opinion

THE VIEW FROM MITTELEUROPA: German traffic light coalition could worsen frictions with CEE

Marcus How and Gunter Deuber in Vienna November 1, 2021

A new centre-left government in Berlin could help create a two-tier Europe, especially if it promotes rule of law penalties.

Pyaterochka CEO sees growing demand for convenience in a post-COVID world

Theo Normanton in Moscow October 29, 2021

As consolidation continues apace in the Russian food retail market, a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour is keeping sector leaders on their toes.

COMMENT: Disinfo Napalm

Leonid Ragozin in Latvia October 20, 2021

It’s one thing encountering fakes and disinformation online, it’s quite another when someone fabricates a fake that strives to destroy your own life and career. This is what has just happened to me – a journalist with 20-year experience.

MACRO ADVISORY: Sanctions and oil fear force stability first in Russia

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory in Moscow October 19, 2021

Several years ago, a young deputy minister started his description about the Russian economy by saying: "The good news about the economy is that it is stable.” After a brief pause, he added: "The bad news about the economy is that it is stable."

Perspectives | Russia’s (not so free) trade agenda

Aruzhan Meirkhanova for Eurasianet October 19, 2021

Recurring import bans by the Russian agricultural watchdog attest to a problem with Moscow’s idea of free trade.

OPINION: Afghanistan’s neighbours recast refugee finance formula

Gary Kleiman of Kleiman Intl Consultants Inc October 16, 2021

Neighbouring markets could be tapped as part of the global refugee fundraising effort, and bridge the tens of billions of dollars annual gap in UN appeals.

FPRI BMB Russia: Russia launches its Strategic Initiatives programme

FPRI BMB Russia October 13, 2021

The Russian government approved a list of 42 strategic initiatives for socio-economic development of the country on October 7. Their aim, according to the official announcement, is “to improve people’s quality of life."

ING: Russian ruble enters 4Q21 on a strong note

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow October 12, 2021

Russia's exceptionally strong current account surplus helped the ruble outperform its peer currencies in 3Q21 and is likely to keep doing so in 4Q21. As a result, we see USDRUB appreciating to 70.0-71.0 in the coming month.

STOLYPIN: It isn’t the ‘Usual Suspect' who is really 'weaponising gas'

Mark Galeotti October 11, 2021

That naughty Vladimir Putin is up to his tricks again. Not weaponising football hooligans or COVID vaccines this time, but gas. Politicians are queuing up to blame Russia. The trouble is, this is not just bad analysis but also bad politics.

ING: Winter is coming… and so is further volatility for energy markets

Warren Patterson Head of Commodities Strategy at ING in Holland October 10, 2021

Energy prices have seen significant strength recently. European gas prices have rallied 94% during September, taking them to record levels. Oil and coal have also strengthened.

ING: consumption surge and rising in investment driving Russian GDP growth in 3Q21

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING October 8, 2021

Consumption was the key driver of the 2Q21 economic recovery and remains so in 3Q21, with August employment and retail trade above expectations ahead of the likely spike in September.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Ukraine has more politicians in Pandora Papers than any other country in the world

FPRI BMB Ukraine October 8, 2021

Thirty-eight Ukrainian politicians are named in the Pandora Papers, including President Zelenskiy himself. In fact, Ukraine had more politicians pop up in the leak than any other country in the world.

COMMENT: Energy lobby dominates Czech climate change debate

Albin Sybera October 8, 2021

Whoever wins the election, the energy lobby will continue to slow down the country's transformation to a carbon-neutral future.

Immaturity of Azerbaijan’s numerous political parties means transition to bipartisan system not yet in reach says top ReAl official

Javid Agha in Baku October 7, 2021

Not much is heard in the West from opposition parties in the South Caucasus country. There are plenty of them, but “immaturity” means none have made a big breakthrough, says ReAl official Natig Jafarli.

AFC CAPITAL: Uzbekistan’s capital markets entering Phase II

Scott Osheroff October 6, 2021

Phase I re-rating has seen listed equities go from “never should have been so cheap” to now value-oriented and buttressed by strong profit growth profiles.

ING: Russia to stabilise FX intervention, reinforcing ruble

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING October 6, 2021

Despite the recent spike in oil and gas prices, Russia will limit mandatory FX purchases to $4.4bn, significantly lower than the $9-10bn monthly current account surplus that is to be expected for 4Q21 to support the currency.

Avoiding water bankruptcy in the drought-troubled southwest: What the US and Iran can learn from each other

Mojtaba Sadegh & Ali Mirchi & Kaveh Madani, & Amir Agha Kouchak October 2, 2021

Iranians have learnt the hard way that water shortages cannot be mitigated only by increasing water supply – it’s also important to manage water demand.

ING: Inflation in Poland continues unabated, could near 7% in December

Rafal Benecki Chief Economist at ING in Poland October 1, 2021

Polish inflation is set to keep rising in the coming months, nearing 7% by December 2021. We see average CPI in 2021 at 4.75% y/y and at 4.5% y/y in 2022. The NBP may quite likely under-deliver with tightening vs elevated market expectations.

COMMENT: New skirmish between Serbia and Kosovo threatens the future of dialogue

Alex Young in Belgrade September 29, 2021

Without a comprehensive normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, tensions will continue to fester and the daily lives of Kosovo’s Serbs and Albanians alike will be sorely affected.

FPRI BMB Russia: Oil prices over $80, Russia accused of playing politics to get long-term deals

FPRI BMB Russia September 29, 2021

The price of gas in Europe has increased dramatically in recent weeks, influenced by surging demands and insufficient production. The price of North Sea Brent crude approached the level of $80 per barrel for the first time in three years.

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