Eastern Europe / Opinion

STOLYPIN: Communists face new realities as United Russia steals their votes

Mark Galeotti director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence and also an honorary professor at UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies September 22, 2021

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) massively improved its standing following the elections for a new Duma, but were robbed of the much larger share it actually won. The question now is what – if anything – can the KPRF do?

FPRI BMB Russia: Doppelgänger Duma Elections

FPRI BMB Russia September 13, 2021

Russia’s ruling party, United Russia, has been cracking down on opposition politicians and independent media in order to influence the fast-approaching Duma elections and has rolled out a number of dirty tricks.

FPRI BMB Russia: Kremlin sweetens the pot ahead of elections, but ready to play dirty too

FPRI BMB Russia September 6, 2021

With Russians set to vote in Duma elections on September 17-19, the government keeps finding ways to sweeten the pot, but it is also getting ready to play dirty.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Zelenskiy meets Biden in Washington

FPRI BMB Ukraine September 2, 2021

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy finally had his first face-to-face meeting with his American counterpart Joe Biden on Wednesday, September 1. The two leaders issued a joint statement afterwards laying out their agenda.

HOMANS: Presidents Zelenskiy and Biden to meet

Robert Homans in Washington August 31, 2021

Likely due to the ongoing events in Kabul and the arrival of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, the meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskiy will take place on September 1, rather than on August 31.

IFPR BMB Ukraine: Crimea Platform inaugural meeting

FPRI BMB Ukraine August 26, 2021

The inaugural Crimea Platform Summit was attended by more than 40 international delegations in Kyiv on August 23. Though it didn’t result in concrete steps, the summit did put the Crimea issue back on the international agenda.

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.

ASH: US pulls out of Afghanistan to focus on China problem, but that is harder now

Tim Ash of BlueBay Asset Management in London August 16, 2021

The fact the Biden administration pulled the plug on allies and friends in Afghanistan, and against the advice of allies in Nato, just affirms its all encompassing focus on China in foreign policy.

ASH: Confusion over the details of the new Belarus sanctions but they will work

Timothy Ash Senior Sovereign Strategist at BlueBay Asset Management in London August 10, 2021

Putting a few concluding remarks around the latest Western sanctions iteration around Belarus. There is some confusion around what has been done, or not, but the bottom line is the screw has tightened and western firms are unlikely to do business.

Perspectives | Augmented Azerbaijan? The return of Azerbaijani irredentism

Laurence Broers for Eurasianet August 6, 2021

For decades Azerbaijan denounced Armenian irredentism. Now it is advancing expansionary territorial claims of its own as it seeks to impose peace on its terms.

COMMENT: Duma Elections 2021: Russia’s Communist Party looks interesting again

James C Pearce in Moscow August 5, 2021

Russia’s Communist Party (KPRF) occasionally takes its role as the main opposition party seriously. Its MPs voted against the constitutional amendments in 2020 and giving Putin two more terms. But can it remake itself into a real opposition?

HESS: Europe goes sectoral on Belarus

Maximilian Hess head of political risk at Hawthorn Advisors in London August 2, 2021

Sectoral sanctions have arguably been the most significant innovation in the sanctions tool box over the last decade. Despite reticence over Russia, Brussels now leads the way on expanding their use beyond the Ukrainian conflict, targeting Belarus.

MACRO ADVISORY: Buckle up, August is coming

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory July 28, 2021

Russia’s recent history has repeatedly shown that August is a month when surprises, usually bad, can happen more often than in any other month.

COMMENT: Why has China’s foreign minister spent three days in Damascus? Probably not having trade discussions

Gav Don in Edinburgh July 25, 2021

A few days ago China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi spent three days visiting President Bashar al Assad in Syria, the first foreign dignitary the Syrian president has hosted since the start of his new term.

HOMANS: Putin's Epistle to the Ukrainians

Robert Homans in Washington DC July 20, 2021

On July 12, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, released an epistle entitled "On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians" that has set the cat amongst the pigeons

STOLYPIN: Putin’s cybercrime challenge

Mark Galeotti director of the consultancy Mayak Intelligence and also an honorary professor at UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies July 12, 2021

Following recent cases of Russian-linked cyberespionage and ransomware attacks. President Biden has cranked up the pressure on Vladimir Putin to act.

ING: Russian inflation hits 6.5%, and can go higher

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow July 8, 2021

Russian CPI jumped to 6.5% y/y in June and kept accelerating in the first week of July. While supply-side inflation seems to have stabilised, demand-driven CPI stands out in pharma, construction materials, and tourism sectors.

ING: OPEC+ fails to come to a deal

Warren Patterson ING’s Head of Commodities Strategy July 6, 2021

The standoff between the UAE and the rest of OPEC+ continues, with Monday’s meeting cancelled. In theory this means that OPEC+ output will remain unchanged in August, which would be bullish for prices in the short term.

COMMENT: Russian 'Jackson Hole' macro takeaways: monetary policy is put under review

Artem Zaigrin Chief Economist at Sova Capital July 6, 2021

The International Financial Congress was held by Central Bank of Russia (CBR) on June 28 –July 2. The conference was designed to discuss and reshape policies in the medium term.

COMMENT: Striking a balance in the global energy transition

Karin Kneissl former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria and an independent member of the board of directors of Rosneft July 5, 2021

As oil prices rise to their highest level in almost three years, OPEC and its partners are discussing a deal to increase production. Abandoning fossil fuels is a hot topic, but like it or not, oil remains the world’s most important commodity.