Chris Weston

Number of Entries : 30

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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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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