Eastern Europe / Opinion

ASH: The West is short-changing Ukraine

Timothy Ash Senior Sovereign Strategist at BlueBay Asset Management in London August 15, 2022

Ukraine received some good news in the middle of August, receiving the backing of private sector bondholders to give Ukraine a 24-month debt service freeze. That helps, but Kyiv is still running a $5bn a month deficit and the West needs to help.

RIDDLE: If they fear us they respect us

Alexey Levinson is Head of Sociocultural Research at Levada Center in Moscow August 15, 2022

A July opinion poll conducted by the Levada Centre revealed that, despite the ongoing ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russia, more than two-thirds of Russians believe that the country is on the "right track."

COMMENT: Can Russia pivot its European gas sales to Asia?

James Henderson of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies August 12, 2022

The search for alternative markets is being stepped up to secure the long-term future of the Russian gas industry. In the short-term Russia can't switch to Asia, but by the early 2030 Russia could be sending up to 126bcm to Asia.

Perspectives | Beijing and Moscow clash over Kazakhstan’s oil

Joe Webster, & Paddy Ryan for Eurasianet August 12, 2022

China wants Russia to stop interfering with Kazakh oil exports.

COMMENT: Emerging European tightening cycle coming to an end

bne IntelliNews August 8, 2022

The tightening cycle by central banks in Emerging Europe is coming to an end as regulators across the region start to get inflationary pressures under control, Capital Economics said in a note on August 8.

COMMENT: Does Russia have any friends left in Southeast Asia?

Mark van Loon in Seoul August 4, 2022

The geopolitical earthquake that is the Russian invasion of Ukraine has clearly strengthened alliances between Russia and China, but the war has wrecked trade relations in SE Asia and most countries are trying not to take sides.

COMMENT: Will an Italian right-wing victory in upcoming elections be another win for Putin in Europe?

Marco Cacciati in Berlin August 4, 2022

On July 21, the Italian government headed by Mario Draghi collapsed, and elections were promptly called for September 25. The new right-wing government that is expected to win is worryingly pro-Russia.

COMMENT: War as a sign of weakness: failure of reforms and of branding of a Russian nation.

Dr Leila Alieva of the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin July 28, 2022

Putin’s war has so far achieved the opposite to all the declared goals: Nato has come even closer to its borders; Ukraine has become more militarised; long-time neutral Sweden and Finland have applied for Nato membership; and the West is united.

HESS: Putin doesn’t fit with China’s plans for an alternative global financial order

Maximilian Hess in London July 27, 2022

For Russian President Vladimir Putin, his invasion of Ukraine is not only an attempt to subdue, and possibly destroy, the Ukrainian nation; It is also the key front in his long-standing desire to upend the global order.

COMMENT: As geopolitical tectonic plates shift, Central Asia's getting nowhere fast on unity

Fuad Shahbazov July 26, 2022

Tricky relations with Moscow and Beijing, a destabilised Afghanistan below the region’s soft underbelly and intra-regional rivalries turned a summit into a curate’s egg.

NEMETHY: Demographics and GDP

Les Nemethy CEO and founder of Euro-Phoenix Financial Advisors July 26, 2022

Demographics and GDP Many believe that demographics is at most remotely related to economics. If you are one of these, perhaps by the time you finish reading this article, you will be convinced how fundamentally demographics underpins economics.

COMMENT: Are the foreign fighters in Ukraine propaganda tools or effective combatants?

Naman Karl-Thomas Habtom in Cambridge July 22, 2022

A few days after Russian forces entered Ukraine, President Zelenskiy announced the formation of an International Legion and waived visa requirements for volunteers that were prepared to take up arms. Within a week 20,000 foreigners had signed up.

Russian business is turning to new markets – Europe must do the same

Theo Normanton July 19, 2022

Russian companies have been nimble in re-directing trade flows from Europe towards developing countries. If Europe plans to continue giving Russia the cold shoulder, European companies must also learn to look elsewhere to cover the trade shortfall.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Oligarch no more

FPRI BMB Ukraine July 19, 2022

On July 11, Rinat Akhmetov, the richest and one of the most powerful men in Ukraine, took everyone by surprise when he announced the transfer of his TV channels’ broadcasting licences to the Ukrainian state.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Brussels needs to jump-start the Western Balkan accession process

Gunter Deuber in Vienna, Fjorent Rrushi in Tirana, Ivona Zametica in Sarajevo July 13, 2022

Only when the Western Balkans is integrated into the EU, and the EU reforms itself, can Brussels really turn its attention to Ukraine or other potential accession candidates.

NEMETHY: The riskiest macroeconomic environment of the 21st Century!

Les Nemethy CEO and founder of Euro-Phoenix Financial Advisors July 12, 2022

In my opinion, the macro environment is riskier than before the Dotcom Bubble and before the Great Financial Bubble. Why? A nasty cocktail of factors which may reinforce each other:

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Martial labour law

FPRI BMB Ukraine July 11, 2022

Wartime economics and workers’ rights are not exactly good friends. Ukraine, despite its socialist heritage, is no exception. With nearly 5mn people out of work since the full-scale war began, production lines are at a standstill or idling.

MACRO ADVISORY: Is Putin moving towards a ceasefire in Ukraine?

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory in Moscow July 7, 2022

A lot of rhetoric last week and several summits, but President Vladimir Putin's rhetoric has changed; he has gone from demanding the de-nazification of Ukraine to talking about the security of the Donbas. Is he signalling he is open for talks?

COMMENT: Issuing money is no solution: Ukraine’s economy needs other support options

National Bank of Ukraine Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko in Kyiv July 6, 2022

National Bank of Ukraine Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko’s column about the risks of continuing the monetary financing of the state budget and how to minimise them.

RIMMER: No Laughing Matter – the unintended hilarity of Russia’ special military operation

Julian Rimmer in London July 6, 2022

The Ukrainian War is no laughing matter, but the Russians are doing their level best to make it funny. Coverage of the war is extensive, but observers have overlooked the comedy inadvertently provided by the Kremlin.