Eastern Europe / Features

CEPR's action plan for Ukraine's wartime economy

Ben Aris in Berlin August 15, 2022

The war in Ukraine is starting to look like it might last a long time and that means putting the economy onto a war footing. Over the first six months of fighting running the economy has been little more than crisis management. Now it needs a plan.

Missiles or sabotage: What caused the explosion at the Russian airbase in Crimea?

Dominic Culverwell in Berlin August 12, 2022

Satellite images show that a mysterious explosion on August 9 destroyed at least nine planes and multiple storage facilities at a Russian air base in Crimea.

Population decline to take Emerging Europe back to the early 20th century

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow August 12, 2022

Population decline across almost all of Emerging Europe will result in the populations of many countries dropping to levels not seen since the early 20th century.

What's the current outlook for Belarus' export sector?

bne IntelliNews August 10, 2022

After February 24, sanctions began mounting on Belarus due to its support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. So, what can we expect from Belarus’ foreign trade for the rest of 2022?

Russian gas exports to Europe tumble in June

Ben Aris in Berlin August 10, 2022

Russian exports of gas to Europe have tumbled by two thirds, but oil exports by sea have recovered to pre-war levels, according to the European Central Bank’s latest economic bulletin.

Can we trust Russia’s economic statistics?

Ben Aris in Berlin August 8, 2022

Russia’ state statistic agency RosStat and the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) have released a string of good economic results recently. Of course Russia’s economy has been badly hurt by sanctions, but by just how much? No one is sure.

LONG READ: Is Russia’s economy headed for 'economic oblivion', as a report from Yale says?

Ben Aris in Berlin August 8, 2022

Russia’s economy seems to be doing a lot better than was expected. The International Monetary Fund recently improved its growth outlook for this year.

Is Lukashenko preparing to help Russia reopen Ukraine’s northern front?

bne IntelliNews August 7, 2022

Recent Russian and Belarusian military activity on Belarusian territory could be laying the groundwork for Russia to reopen the northern front in its invasion of Ukraine.

Belarus risks losing long-term potash deals unless it manages to find new ports

bne IntelliNews August 3, 2022

As Belarus has been blocked from using EU or Ukrainian ports to transport its potash, it has also been effectively shut out from the world market. If this problem isn't solved soon, Belarus could lose out on long-term deals.

Sanctions bring Russian car market screeching to a halt

Theo Normanton in London July 31, 2022

Western car brands are leaving Russia en masse as sanctions cause a critical shortage of components. The Russian government promises that homegrown alternatives will fill the gap, but in the meantime, spiralling prices are causing demand to collapse.

Russia woos Africa with arms, grain and nuclear power

Ben Aris in Berlin July 29, 2022

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took to the road this week and toured Africa to build closer ties with non-aligned nations.

INTERVIEW: Usmanov’s sister Saodat Narzieva battles sanctions imposed on her by the EU

Ben Aris in Berlin July 29, 2022

Saodat Narzieva, the sister of Uzbek-born oligarch Alisher Usmanov, was placed on the EU sanctions list on April 8. An investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) linked her to a number of his bank accounts.

What’s in Istanbul grain deal for Russia?

Ben Aris in Berlin July 28, 2022

Millions of tonnes of grain trapped in Ukraine can now be exported thanks to the Istanbul grain deal that was signed on July 22 by Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN. But what does Russia get out of the agreement?

The Great Escape: The Odyssey of Renault in Russia

Professor Thane Gustafson in Washington July 27, 2022

Carlos Ghosn, the onetime CEO of Renault and Nissan who brought the company to Russia, fled corruption charges in Japan by escaping to Lebanon; now Renault has fled Russia, leaving Lada-maker Avtovaz in the lurch.

DON: Why is Russia’s progress in the Ukraine campaign so slow?

Gav Don in Edinburgh July 24, 2022

Ukrainian resistance in the Severodonetsk and Lysychansk salient finally collapsed, but it took Russia more than 60 days to capture the towns, despite seriously outgunning its opponents. Russian forces are advancing at a snail's pace.

Pentagon issues rare warning to Iran on sending drones to Russia but experts question battlefield value of systems at hand

Will Conroy in Prague July 21, 2022

Britain’s spy chief, meanwhile, assessing the likely fate of the JCPOA nuclear pact, says “I don't think the Supreme Leader of Iran wants to cut a deal”.

Kremlin reminds Nur-Sultan who’s boss over Kazakh oil exports

Fuad Shahbazov July 20, 2022

And there’s not much the Kazakhs can do about it.

DATACRUNCH: Stagflation visualisation

Ben Aris in Berlin July 18, 2022

Stagflation is here. The world is facing a global recession that could go on for several years as central banks everywhere will be forced to put through growth-crushing large rate hikes to control runaway inflation. But just how bad is it now?

The CBR’s macroeconomic survey paints a mixed picture of Russia’s growth out to 2025

Ben Aris in Berlin July 15, 2022

The impact of the sanctions on Russia have been milder than expected and the record-high current account surpluses have cushioned the blow. The Central Bank of Russia has released the results of its macroeconomic survey of expected results to 2025.

Russians and Ukrainians pile into Turkish real estate market

Justine Mazonier July 14, 2022

Buyers flee war impacts to protect assets. Ukrainians seen as very likely to depart for home once conflict is over. The Russians, less so.