SPECIAL REPORT: Uzbekistan Rising

Ben Aris in Berlin January 4, 2022

Uzbekistan’s economy has taken off in the last two years as the reforms implemented by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev start to bear fruit. We collect our recent articles on the transformation in a special report.

OUTLOOK: 2022 Slovenia

bne IntelliNews January 3, 2022

Prime Minister Janez Jansa's rightwing government faces an opposition determined to unseat him in the spring general election.

Russia’s Otkritie bank rescued and ready to IPO

Ben Aris in Berlin December 22, 2021

Otkritie bank nearly went bust in 2017 and was taken over by the CBR. But today it is one of the fastest growing banks in Russia and the regulator is looking to offload it some time next year via an IPO.

Armenia’s new road projects: no simple endeavour

Neil Hauer in Ltsen December 22, 2021

Armenia is now scrambling to improve alternative roads or construct them from scratch after the vital southern highway to Iran was seized by Azerbaijan in last year's war.

DEATH OF THE SOVIET UNION: The borders drawn in the 1920s are serving Russia well in the 2020s

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 17, 2021

Frozen conflicts along contested borders in the former Soviet space have created levers for Russian influence.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Dispatch From Kharkiv

Clara Marchaud for BMB Ukraine in Kharkiv December 17, 2021

Although far from the front line, Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city, has suffered from the economic and political consequences of the conflict in the Donbas. The war has been shaping the population’s opinion for nearly eight years now.

Azerbaijan's new law on media unites journalists in opposition

Javid Agha in Baku December 17, 2021

The law envisages the creation of a registry of journalists, and demands that owners of media outlets be Azerbaijani residents.

Healthy eating and “humanocracy” – the making of Russia’s biggest food brand

Theo Normanton in Moscow December 17, 2021

Vkusvill Director Yury Alaashev speaks to bne IntelliNews about how Russia's biggest food brand grew out of a single dairy stall in a Moscow market.

PROFILE: Petr Fiala, new Czech prime minister

Robert Anderson in Prague December 16, 2021

ODS leader has defied sceptics not just by winning the October general election but also by besting the country’s domineering president.

The rejuvenation of Uzbekistan’s NavoiAzot chemical works

Ben Aris in Navoi December 15, 2021

NavoiAzot's renovation was kicked off in 2016 with some state-guaranteed credits, but since then it seems the investment drive has reached a critical mass, and NavoiAzot has attracted several partners. Business is booming.

Russian policymakers face economic perfect storm

bne IntelliNews December 15, 2021

Russia's economic growth appears to be slowing as problems like capital flight, sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic pile up. Policymakers will have a difficult time trying to balance these competing demands.

Mongolian traders in disarray as China’s zero-Covid policy chokes business

Antonio Graceffo & Khangal Odbayar, & Enkhjin Erdenetulga December 15, 2021

Prolonged border closures disrupt supply chains, drive up inflation and hammer exports. Mongolia, dependent on China for 60% of its economy, remains at the mercy of Beijing’s coronavirus directives.

INTERVIEW: Bootstrapping Uzbekistan’s finances

Ben Aris in Tashkent December 14, 2021

Uzbekistan was one of the only two major economies in the world to avoid recession last year but now the economy is bouncing back. The new government hopes to lift the economy up by its bootstraps by smart spending and targeted privatisations.

Kyrgyzstan: TV presenter’s racy photos ignite morality furore

Ayzirek Imanaliyeva for Eurasianet December 14, 2021

Debates about women’s bodies recur periodically in Kyrgyzstani social media skirmishes; now there are signs that policymakers are eager to get involved.

DEATH OF THE USSR: Remembering Moldova's children of the Gulag

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 13, 2021

An exhibition at the National Museum of History of Moldova tells the story of the tens of thousands of children deported from the Moldovan SSR.

Back to rail at the start of the Western Balkans’ green transition

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow December 13, 2021

The Western Balkans states are looking anew at long-neglected rail networks as they embark on the green transition. The EIB’s Matteo Rivellini outlines efforts to develop rail in the region.

LIIK: The last of the offended – Russia’s first post-Putin diplomats

Kadri Liik in Berlin December 13, 2021

Russia’s new generation of foreign policy professionals bring with them a shift in attitudes. Young professionals are often bitterly affected by “disillusionment” with the West, those in their 20s are mostly realist and pragmatic.

Uzbek banking privatisation gathering steam

Ben Aris in Tashkent December 13, 2021

Uzbekistan's most profitable bank, UzPromStroyBank is going to be the first big bank to be sold off as the country’s banking sector privatisation gets under way.

Gap between Tether/TRY and USD/TRY pairs widening as Turkey intervenes in interbank market

Akin Nazli in Belgrade December 10, 2021

Critics say the discourse the Erdogan regime is coming up with to explain anomalies in the market is becoming more and more hilarious.

North Macedonia a critical part of Instadose’s plans to become world’s largest medical cannabis supplier

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje December 10, 2021

Instadose imports cannabis from Africa to North Macedonia for processing, citing its favourable business climate and geographic location to supply the EU.