Russian President Vladimir Putin called for changes to the constitution that would shift power to the Duma, the Russian parliament, as well as imposing some new limits to the president’s power, during his annual state of the nation speech.
A row with Russia that saw Belarus' oil supplies cut off caught the headlines but the bigger problem the country faces is its demographic trends. The government wants to boost technological industries and increase diversification.
In 1991 the Soviet Union broke apart and created 15 independent countries. But over the last three decades, while these countries are politically independent, the economies of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan (KRUB) remain joined at the hip.
Russia’s RTS returned just under 45% in 2019 and all of the dozen exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that foccus on Russia did well, with a few beating the index and returning more than 50% to investors in 2019.
2019 was a decent year for bond issues in Central and Eastern Europe, but still behind the vintage year of 2017.
2020 will be a big year for Ukraine as there is a possibility that a peace deal could be reached with Russia and the effects of the first round of reforms made by the new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s administration start to kick in.
Russia’s economy is basically healthy and solid. It’s just not growing fast enough. The Kremlin is attempting to address this problem, but so far its efforts have been off to a slow start. 2020 should be the year when the pace picks up.
Russia's RTS index broke through the 1,600 mark for the first time in seven years just as the traditional spring rally gets underway.
Ukraine is grappling with creating a market for farmland that could boost economic growth by as much as 3% and increase the value of the economy by $85bn if introduced.
Thanks to heavy investment by the state, as part of its autarky food security policy, agriculture has been one of Russia's most dynamic growth sectors and a real policy success.