Russia’s coronavirus epidemic in retreat

bne IntelliNews February 24, 2021

Russia recorded less than 100,000 new weekly coronavirus cases last week for the first time since October. While the situation is improving the pandemic is not over, but the spread of the virus is slowing rapidly.

Putin, Lukashenko meet for six hours of intensive talks in Sochi

Ben Aris in Berlin February 23, 2021

This was the second time the two presidents had met in Sochi since Belarus was plunged into its worst political crisis of Lukashenko’s 26 years in office following the disputed August 9 presidential elections.

Rolls-Royce set new Russian sales record in 2020

bne IntelliNews February 22, 2021

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced a new sales record in Russia for 2020, delivering more than 200 vehicles to customers

Navalny loses two appeals and starts 2.8-year prison sentence

bne IntelliNews February 22, 2021

Russia ignores ECHR ruling to 'immediately release' the opposition politician.

Russia approves its third coronavirus vaccine CoviVac for domestic use, production launched before trials complete

bne IntelliNews February 21, 2021

Russia has approved CoviVac, its third coronavirus vaccine, for domestic use, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on state TV, although large-scale clinical trials have not started yet.

ING: Oil prices at $60, now what?

Warren Patterson head of commodities strategy at ING in Singapore February 19, 2021

There seems to be no stopping oil prices, with ICE Brent now trading well above $60/bbl. Clearly OPEC+ cuts are doing their job, while global recovery hopes are playing a big part. Will the oil price keep rising?

Russian message service Telegram hopes to raise $1bn with a convertible bond private placement

Ben Aris in Berlin February 18, 2021

In January the popular messaging service WhatsApp experienced an exodus of users. Most of them went to Telegram, which is now looking for money to continue its development.

Russia’s USM, Group, RDIF and Megafon to create a digital finance and payments JV with Jack Ma’s Ant Group

Ben Aris in Berlin February 18, 2021

Russia’s telecom and tech giants and Megafon, together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) will create a digital payments joint venture with Ant Group

EU imports of Russian gas surge in January, despite objections to Nord Stream 2

bne IntelliNews February 18, 2021

As leading EU countries lobby Germany to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2, the same countries have been dramatically increasing their imports of Russian gas as a cold snap sweeps the Continent

Navalny back in court on charges of slandering a WWII veteran

bne IntelliNews February 17, 2021

Anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny was back in court on February 16 to face charges of slandering a WWII veteran in the latest stage of a full-scale media campaign by the Kremlin to discredit its most vocal opponent.

Russian retail investors put $8.6bn into foreign stocks, bonds in 2020

Ben Aris in Berlin February 16, 2021

Russian retail investment into stocks and bonds has finally taken off after decades of effort by the financial authorities. In 2020 retail investors put RUB638bn ($8.6bn) into foreign stocks and bonds, according to the Central Bank of Russia.

MOSCOW BLOG: US and EU debate new sanctions on Russia but that will take some time

Ben Aris in Berlin February 16, 2021

The European Union and new Biden administration have opened talks on the “what to do about Russia?” question and new sanctions are expected, but the question remains over what exactly can the Western allies do?

Russia’s industrial production fell 2.5% y/y in January

bne IntelliNews February 16, 2021

Russia’s industrial production fell 2.5% y/y in January, according to Rosstat’s monthly report released on February 16.

Petrostates to lose trillions of dollars in revenues amid clean energy push: report

Newsbase February 14, 2021

New “wake-up call” analysis from Carbon Tracker looks at impact of shift towards lower-carbon energy.

Russia’s Watcom Group signs an exclusive distribution agreement of RetailNext sophisticated retail analytic tools in Russia and the CIS

bne IntelliNews February 12, 2021

Russia’s leading retail analytics company, and the author of the Watcom Shopping Index, has signed off on an exclusive distribution agreement of the US-based RetailNext’s advanced suite of in-store analytics.

Russia's CBR defies IMF, keeps rate flat, ends cutting cycle

bne IntelliNews February 12, 2021

The board of the Central Bank of Russia resolved to keep the key interest rate unchanged at 4.25% at the first policy meeting of 2021 held on February 12. This makes it the fourth time in a row that the CBR has kept the rate flat.

Russia’s Lavrov threatens to break off diplomatic relations with EU if sanctioned

Ben Aris in Berlin February 12, 2021

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on February 12 that Moscow is ready to sever relations with the EU if sanctions are imposed that threaten its economy

Russian agriculture enjoys another year of growth in 2020, dacha-grown food production soars

Ben Aris in Berlin February 12, 2021

Russia’s agriculture sector is one of the great unsung successes of reform in recent years and put in another strong year in 2020 despite the multiple shocks to the economy.

NO YARDSTICK: Navalny protests turn the screws on Russia’s “systemic opposition” ahead of September’s Duma elections

Andras Toth-Czifra in New York February 11, 2021

Navalny’s campaign has paused its protests and will likely focus on this year’s Duma election – which is expected to be heavily rigged – even as the leaders of loyal opposition parties are scrambling to assure the Kremlin of their loyalty.

Rostec to be in charge of Russia's 5G scheme

Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow February 11, 2021

Russia's state-controlled tech corporation Rostec will lead a consortium of equipment manufacturers for the country's fifth generation mobile communication scheme, while the prospects of 5G in Russia remain unclear.