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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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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