Crisis? What Crisis?: Russia`s Economy at the end of Q3

Crisis? What Crisis?: Russia`s Economy at the end of Q3

Students of British history will not soon forget the glib remark by Prime Minister Jim (a.k.a. "Sunny Jim") Callaghan, following a 1979 return from the Caribbean to a nation beset ...

A Most Unwanted Man: Mukhtar Ablyazov ’s Extradition takes one more step forward

A Most Unwanted Man: Mukhtar Ablyazov ’s Extradition takes one more step forward

Major Kazakhstani bank, BTA has lauded an October 12, 2015 decision by the French government to push for the extradition of Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is accused of defrauding that bank ...

Vlad Filat-ed: The Ongoing Fallout from the Moldovan Banking Scandal

Vlad Filat-ed: The Ongoing Fallout from the Moldovan Banking Scandal

Following a vote in the Moldovan parliament which saw the lifting of his immunity, Vlad Filat, a former premier of the country from 2009 to 2013 and indeed, at one time, its interi ...

Investigators request to extend Russian businessman Polonsky ’s detention

Investigators request to extend Russian businessman Polonsky ’s detention

Russian authorities have sought to extend the detention of Sergei Polonsky, a Russian real estate tycoon. ...

Romanian court bans Lukoil to liquidate Petrotel refinery

Romanian court bans Lukoil to liquidate Petrotel refinery

The Romanian Prahova County Court has prohibited the liquidation of one of the Romania’s largest refineries, controlled by Petrotel Lukoil. ...

A right ol’ Goulash: but departure of top Hungarian tax official brings some relief

A right ol’ Goulash: but departure of top Hungarian tax official brings some relief

In October 2014, thanks to a whistle-blower in the Hungarian tax office, Nemzeti Adó- és Vámhivatal (the NAV), it emerged that high NAV officials had been engaged in practices that ...

Crisis? What Crisis?: Russia`s Economy at the end of Q3

Students of British history will not soon forget the glib remark by Prime Minister Jim (a.k.a. "Sunny Jim") Callaghan, following a 1979 return from the Caribbean to a nation beset by winter strikes, increased inflation and a faltering economy. "Crisis? What Crisis?," said Callaghan. And voters soon gave him the boot. Now in the face of rising food prices, economic challenges and sanctions, it appears that R ...

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Terrorists operate in Poland

“We are monitoring several tens of people,” the general said, explaining that the people are usually Poles, who years ago emigrated to Germany or Norway, where they converted to Islam and from where they have relocated to fight in the name of the IS. The ABW is also closely monitoring foreigners living in Poland who are known to have travelled to areas that lie within the IS. ...

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Not waving, just drowning: Further bad news clouds the Russian economy

Russia`s reaction to the introduction of western sanctions, largely following the downing of a civilian airliner MH-17, led to it placing an embargo on food imports from the EU. This led to a significant increase in food prices borne by Russians and was further compounded by a collapse in the Russian ruble both in the run up to Christmas last year - and, despite a modest recovery, is continuing its slide – ...

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Russia`s Pivot or Pirouette to the East? A reality check

Thus Russia`s pivot to the East is unlikely to constitute the strategic coup that President Putin presented to the audience. In fact, it may well have been more directed at reassuring a domestic audience that Russia has options aside from the west. If so, Russia`s geopolitics may yet encounter reality in terms of hard economic truths. ...

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Transneft: Russian state-owned pipeline behemoth or ad hoc investment fund?

In particular, the changes in investments seem to reflect decisions made on high and on an ad hoc basis. Transneft is becoming involved less in its own business activity than as a state means of supporting the market elsewhere for Russian corporate and even municipal bonds. It is becoming a state investment vehicle “of last resort” and it may yet end up becoming hostage less to the fall in oil prices than t ...

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Modern Day Kremlin watching: back to the future

The national interest is thus replaced by money interests. This makes today`s Kremlin watching difficult as not all the various economic interests are obvious – some are hidden and some players have multiple conflicting interests, both economic and political. A return to Kremlin watching should not be grounds for misplaced optimism of so called hardliners being sidelined. Instead a closer look at “following ...

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Promoting ”Family Values” in Baku: Swedish telecom company TeliaSonera’s alleged involvement in another corruption scandal

In the Azerbaijan instance, it is alleged that TeliaSonera financed and aided the Azeri President's family in taking over the state's stake in Azerbaijan's largest telecoms company and received preferential treatment in return. According to TeliaSonera`s website, after the oil sector, the telecommunication industry is the largest in Azerbaijan. ...

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Not banking on them: Russian state-owned VTB Bank posts questionable results for the 1H 2015

A key aspect here is that the IMF believed that the damage wreaked to the economy by a combination of a 46-percent slide in the rouble, high interest rates that went as far as 17 percent, falling oil prices, capital flight, high rates of inflation and sanctions, on top of an economy that barely grew during 2014, would assuredly lead to non-performing loans rising than more than 1.5 percent – a lot higher. ...

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Belarus: Problems with the Neighbour

First of all, Belarus, contrary to some perceptions, is one of the world`s most open countries by trade with total of imports and exports of the order of 140 percent of its GDP. However, Russia is both its main importer (59 percent of imports) and leading export market (35 percent of total exports). ...

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Russian banking: up to its ears in arrears

The release of the Russian second quarter GDP figures showing a 4.4 percent decline were enough of a surprise to those who had not expected quite so dramatic a fall, but a closer look at Russia`s financial sector would tend to reinforce perceptions that the country might be headed for a far deeper recession than has so far been forecast. ...

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Russia and Ukraine: That Reichenbach falls moment?

The town of Reichenbach and the falls are known the world over as the setting for a fictional event: it is the location where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's hero, Sherlock Holmes, fights to the death with Professor Moriarty, at the end of The Final Problem, first published in 1893. For reasons of balance, let us avoid saying which of the countries above represents Holmes and which Moriarty but Russia and Ukraine ...

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The Russian economy in the 2Q 2015

Russian economy contracted by 4.6 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year and more than double the 2.2 percent contraction recorded in the previous quarter, which is the largest drop in six years and were viewed as worse than expected, according to estimates provided by the Federal Statistics Office on August 10. ...

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New US sanctions in force

Notwithstanding “arm in arm” photo opps of John Kerry, US Secretary of State, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, following the Iran “nuclear deal,” the fact remains that the Crimea annexation and the (largely currently unreported) ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict are still “unfinished business” as far as the US is concerned. ...

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How aggressive are Polish police?

The Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs (MSW) just announced a public tender for carrying out an audit among police officers to measure violence displayed by Polish police officers against citizens. ...

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