Russia’s industrial production slows to 6.8% as low base effects wear off

bne IntelliNews August 26, 2021

As the low base effects fade, the growth in industrial production (IP) is showing signs of moderating y/y. IP growth in July slowed to 6.8% y/y vs. Bloomberg consensus expectations of 8% and estimates of 8.2% y/y.

Nord Stream 2 fails to get exemption from EU gas market rules

bne IntelliNews August 25, 2021

A court in Germany has ruled that Russia’s controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline should not be exempt from EU gas market rules, creating new headaches for the project’s state-owned operator Gazprom, which may be unable to use half the capacity.

bneGREEN: Wishful thinking in Russia's EconMin CO2 strategy

bne IntelliNews August 25, 2021

Economic Development Minister Maksim Reshetnikov has outlined the main directions of the country's GHG reduction strategy, which is increasingly focusing on ESG as the Kremlin wakes up to the dangers of global warming.

SOVA CAPITAL: Putin promises more social spending in September at United Russia congress

Artem Zaigrin Sova Capital chief economist in Moscow August 25, 2021

President Vladimir Putin spoke at the party congress for the ruling United Russia Party on 24 August and promised to increase social spending in September.

Russia gets $18bn in IMF's record giveaway

bne IntelliNews August 25, 2021

Russia has received $18bn worth of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) in the latest $650bn (456bn SDRs) transfer of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will take its total reserves to a new all time high of $619bn.

KYIV BLOG: Merkel trying to cut an almost impossible gas transit deal for Ukraine

Ben Aris in Berlin August 24, 2021

With only a month left in office German Chancellor Angela Merkel is trying to cut an energy deal that will allow Germany to receive gas from Russia’s new Nord Stream 2 but keep some gas flowing through Ukraine’s Druzhba gas pipelines.

bneGREEN: Will the Belarus NPP become the elephant in the room for Lithuania?

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius August 24, 2021

Lithuania has passed legislation to ban electricity imports from Belarus, but power from Lithuania’s hostile and unpredictable neighbour keeps trickling across the border through four 330-kV interconnectors.

VTB accelerates relocation to Frankfurt as UK losses balloon to $213mn

Jason Corcoran in Moscow August 23, 2021

Kremlin-controlled lender VTB has relocated its CEO and chief operating officer from its London investment banking business to Frankfurt in the wake of a strategic business review and as its UK operation’s losses have quadrupled to $212.7mn.

Iran’s Caspian Sea gas find ‘may be so large it could meet a fifth of European gas needs’

bne IntelIiNews August 22, 2021

Some say field could be “geopolitical gamechanger”. Tehran reportedly working with Russia and China in exploiting resource. Distribution of gas reportedly to be conducted in consultation with Moscow.

15% of Russian industrial companies are zombies

Cameron Jones in London August 22, 2021

The share of zombie companies in Russian industry is 10-15%, according to the Centre for Business Studies of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Putin and Merkel meet in Moscow for the last time to talk democracy and gas

Ben Aris in Berlin August 21, 2021

German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew to Moscow on August 20 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the last time as chancellor for wide-ranging talks where jailed opposition critic Navalny and gas deliveries to Europe featured prominently.

The borscht index: The number of portions Russians can afford to cook has been falling

Cameron Jones in London August 20, 2021

The purchasing power of Russians in the first half of this year fell in 64 of Russia’s 85 regions, according to the “borscht index”, a sort of Russian version of the well-known “Big Mac index”.

Cash “in an envelope” salaries are on the way out as Russia’s tax service continues its reforms

Cameron Jones in London August 20, 2021

Only 11% of Russians receive remuneration for their work in whole or in part "in an envelope,” according to the results of a survey carried out by the state owned pollster VTsIOM.

Russia moves to take control of Afghan talks after Taliban takeover

bne IntelIiNews August 20, 2021

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has proposed to restart the “Moscow format” talks with the Taliban.

MOSCOW BLOG: Taliban say all the right things at their first press conference – perhaps too right?

Ben Aris in Berlin August 18, 2021

The Taliban gave its first proper press conference yesterday where they didn't not just say the right things, they said exactly the right things. Some are speculating if it has been given professional PR advice as the message is a little too perfect.

Russia’s RTS stock market index close to 10-year highs

bne IntelliNews August 18, 2021

Russia’s stock market is flying and approached a 10-year high on August 17 as the index reached 1,690 – its highest level since 2012.

Bruce Willis is back in Russia in a “deepfake” advertising campaign for mobile phone company Megafon

Cameron Jones in London August 18, 2021

Hollywood actor Bruce Willis’ face is back on the screens in Russia after he agreed to feature in the new advertising campaign of leading Russian mobile phone company Megafon. However, the actor will not physically participate.

MOSCOW BLOG: The Afghan failure – bombs & cash vs institution building

Ben Aris in Berlin August 18, 2021

A chaotic first day of the new regime in Kabul. The images coming out of Kabul airport are going to become iconic. As bad as, if not worse than, those that came out of Saigon.

Russia’s economic growth continues to surprise on the upside with 10.3% expansion in 2Q21

bne IntelliNews August 17, 2021

Russia’s GDP was up 1.3% vs. 4Q19, although it is still 3 percentage points below pre-COVID-19 trend levels.

US threatens to revoke Russia’s 'market economy' status

Ben Aris in Berlin August 17, 2021

The weapon, which has not been used since the 1990s, could lead to special duties more painful than the blunt instrument of sanctions.