ING: Russia balance of payments: supportive of ruble in the near-term, but risks for 2H21 mount.

Dmitry Dolgin chief economist Russia at ING in Moscow January 20, 2021

Russia's current account surplus was relatively strong in 4Q20 on merchandise exports and services imports, but it could be in trouble in the second half of this year, along with the ruble

ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?

Valentin Tataru and Trieu Pham of ING in Vienna January 14, 2021

ING reviews the main macroeconomic forecasts for Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Serbia. While the resurgence of coronavirus infections has dashed hopes for a rapid V-shaped recovery, 2021 should still be a good year.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Most Ukrainians are optimistic about 2021 – poll

FPRI BMB Ukraine January 14, 2021

According to the Rating Group’s first public opinion poll of 2021, just over half of Ukrainians surveyed (52%) believe that the new year will be better than the one before.

COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF

Ben Aris in Berlin January 12, 2021

The global economy starts 2021 with record amounts of debt that will slow the recovery and could destabilise some countries, the Institute of International Finance warned.

COMMENT: The Manafort Pardon: a finger in the collective eyes of Ukrainians

Robert Homans in Washington DC January 6, 2021

Paul Manafort, one-time adviser to former President Viktor Yanukovych and soon-to-be former President Donald Trump, recently received a full presidential pardon. That means he is innocent in the eyes of the law. But not in the eyes of Ukrainians

STOLYPIN: Scope for limited progress under Biden, so long as the past remains the past

Mark Galeotti January 6, 2021

Joe Biden seems to be getting the band back together, drawing heavily on veterans of the Obama administration for his foreign policy team. In many ways that is a good thing after four years of erratic decision-making and malign neglect.

COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?

Fred Harrison in London January 6, 2021

In his two and half hour end of year address to the Uzbek parliament, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev used the word “reform” 34 times, but only mentioned democratic reforms three times. The need for political reform is the elephant in the room.