CEE companies weather the COVID-19 crisis

Robert Anderson in Prague May 23, 2022

Prompt and decisive government intervention, financial lifelines and firms’ involvement in global value chains have helped minimise insolvencies, says EIB/EBRD report.

Russia halts gas deliveries to Finland

Jennifer DeLay May 23, 2022

Gazprom, Russia’s state-run natural gas giant, said on Saturday, May 21 that it had stopped all deliveries to Finland as of 6:00 a.m. local time.

Bulgarian PM says Putin tried to split EU and bring down his government with targeted gas cut-offs

bne IntelliNews May 23, 2022

Kiril Petkov believes Moscow deliberately targeted Bulgaria, where top officials were divided between Russia hawks and Kremlin sympathisers, with the aim of destabilising the government.

MACRO ADVISORY: Ruble at 5-year high, how strong can it get?

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory in Moscow May 22, 2022

The current ruble exchange rate is where the government wants it to be – the fundamental rate is in the RUB75-85/$ corridor but it is currently trading at closer to RUB60/$

Russian population's inflation expectations drop six points to 12.5% as economic crisis fears fade

Ben Aris in Berlin May 21, 2022

The inflation expectations of the Russian population fell 6pp in March to 12.5%, as consumers feel the relief of the rapid stabilisation of the economy thanks to the fast action of the Central Bank of Russia.

The Mariupol siege is over as the last Azov defenders surrender

bne IntelliNews May 20, 2022

The month-long siege of the Azovstal metal works in Mariupol is over after the remaining members of the Azov fighters surrendered and Russian forces took complete control of the almost totally destroyed sprawling plant.

bneGREEN: Fossil fuel closures needed to stand any chance of meeting 1.5°C target

bne IntelliNews May 20, 2022

Ending new oil, gas and coal developments is not enough to reach net zero by 2050, according to new research. Instead, already built fossil fuel projects must be decommissioned early if climate change is to be limited to 1.5°C.

bneGREEN: More proof that climate change threatens lives and causes economic damage

Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh May 20, 2022

Human activity has caused irrevocable damage to the climate, causing hundreds of billions of dollars of economic damage and threatening water and food supplies to millions of people.

Russia’s CBR reserves down $43.7bn since the start of the war

bne IntelliNews May 20, 2022

Russia’s gross international reserves (GIR) held by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) have fallen from $629.4bn on February 25 to $585.7bn as of May 13, a fall of $43.7bn according to the latest data released by the regulator.

Azov commanders have remained behind in the Mariupol steelworks to continue the fight

bne IntelliNews May 20, 2022

Russia claims 1,730 Ukrainian soldiers from the Azov brigade holed up for nearly tw months in the Azovstal metal works have been taken prisoner since May 16, but a video released by the deputy commander claims the leaders are staying and will fight.

Anthems of victory: How Ukraine is winning the online culture war

Social media correspondent Dominic Culverwell May 20, 2022

Whilst all eyes are on Donbas as Russia continues its devastating invasion of Ukraine, another war is being fought on our TVs, phones and computers: the culture war. From the start, Ukraine has been quick to establish the cultural narrative.

Russia hopes Chinese carmakers will help revive Moskvitch brand

bne IntelIiNews May 20, 2022

Moscow is reportedly in talks with Chinese carmakers in the hopes of obtaining parts and design expertise for the revival of the Soviet-era Moskvitch brand.

Russia may leave the WTO and WHO. In practice, it never really joined

Theo Normanton May 20, 2022

Russia's parliament will consider leaving the World Trade Organisation, World Health Organisation and other international organisations which it feels have "neglected their obligations towards Russia".

Amid sanctions, Kazakh firm stops supplying Russian steelworks

Joanna Lillis for Eurasianet May 19, 2022

Kazakh companies are treading carefully doing business with Russia.

Russians trade TV news for social media as war-weariness sets in

Theo Normanton May 19, 2022

Trust in TV news is declining among Russians, as social media news gains popularity. At the same time, Russian support for the war in Ukraine appears to be slipping, as does the belief that Russia is winning a global power struggle.

ISTANBUL BLOG: Erdogan spikes Nato accession talks with Sweden and Finland

Will Conroy in Prague May 18, 2022

Turkish leader leaves US and Europe wondering what his price might be for unblocking what was supposed to be a routine process.

bneGREEN: Brussels puts €300bn price tag on ending Russian energy imports, but relies on new spending on gas

Richard Lockhart in Edinburgh May 18, 2022

The European Commission has set 2027 as its target date for ending Russian energy imports, warning it would require €300bn of fresh investment and that new short-term spending on fossil fuel infrastructure would be needed.

COMMENT: Sanctions are working, but the West risks isolating Russian reformers instead of galvanising them

bne IntelIiNews May 18, 2022

As the war rages on, more and more Russians report feeling the effects of sanctions. Under pressure to keep up the impressive rate of new sanctions, the West risks isolating liberal reformers from Russia's business community instead of oligarchs.

NEMETHY: Where are US markets? Where are they heading?

Les Nemethy CEO of Euro-Phoenix Financial Advisors May 18, 2022

Whereas in previous crises the Fed tried to actively stem crises, currently it seems to be proactively inducing the crisis.

EU opens loophole for Russian gas-for-rubles scheme

bne IntelliNews May 18, 2022

The EU said that companies could keep buying Russian gas through Gazprombank without breaching sanctions for Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, with the condition that they consider their obligations fulfilled once they pay in euros or dollars