Opinion

BEAR MARKET BRIEF: Russia’s 20/20 tax vision

Aaron Schwartzbaum in Washington DC April 24, 2017

The manoeuvre is just a ship-steadying change: notable, but still not the sort of fundamental structural reform seen as necessary.

KRUK REPORT: Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency shows its teeth with new detentions

Kateryna Kruk in Kyiv April 21, 2017

Detention of former MP Mykola Martynenko offers new hope against endemic corruption, while shaking up party politics at a crucial time.

STOLYPIN: Adding spooks to companies creates stagnation

Mark Galeotti of the Institute of International Relations Prague April 20, 2017

Embedding spies in the private sector has become one more way the Russian state risks becoming privatised through the back door.

Was the Turkish referendum vote rigged?

Ben Aris in Berlin April 17, 2017

Opposition claims at least 1.5mn votes should be disallowed, which if upheld would be enough to reverse the narrow lead held by President Erdogan.

ALACO DISPATCHES: Nuclear deal looms large as Iran’s presidential election approaches

Yigal Chazan of Alaco April 13, 2017

Ebrahim Raisi has emerged as a strong conservative contender who can take advantage of disappointment with the meagre dividends from the end of sanctions.

STOLYPIN: Stagnation as strategy evident in Tillerson’s trip to Moscow

Mark Galeotti of the Institute of International Relations Prague April 12, 2017

This is not just a question of US-Russian relations: it also speaks to the Kremlin’s fundamental uncertainty about a whole series of urgent concerns.

COMMENT: Ukraine's banking is mission not accomplished

Alexander Valchyshen in Kyiv April 5, 2017

Seldom are the words “corrupt” and “banking” seen together on the Financial Times’ pink pages. But there they were in an article featuring the governor of Ukraine’s central bank, Valeriya Gontareva, and unfairly, in my opinion.

MACRO ADVISOR: Ruble defies Kremlin and falling oil price

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory April 4, 2017

Despite its previous calls for a weaker exchange rate, a stronger ruble may suit the government as it enables industry to import technology more cheaply.

STOLYPIN: Terrorism back at the top of Moscow’s agenda

Mark Galeotti of the Institute of International Relations Prague April 3, 2017

The challenge for the Kremlin is to nurture public resilience to cope with isolated atrocities such as the St Petersburg bombing, and to avoid the temptation to use them for sordid political advantage.

BEAR MARKET BRIEF: Russia's new generation of janitors takes to the streets

Aaron Schwartzbaum in Washington DC March 31, 2017

What surprised about the anti-corruption demonstrations was not their size but the youth of the crowd. Russia's youth face a bleak future, and the Kremlin has little control over them.

COMMENT: A new crackdown against dissent is coming in Russia – it’s only a matter of time

Natalia Antonova in New York March 30, 2017

Things in Russia are likely to get ugly before they get better, and they could get out of control randomly and quickly.

BEAR MARKET BRIEF: Putin’s 70/70 corporate re-election plan for 2018

Aaron Schwartzbaum in Washington DC March 29, 2017

Two pieces of news have gone largely under the radar, both with major implications for the 2018 election: the Kremlin’s plans to use state-owned enterprises as get-out-the-vote machines; and to watch the regions for signs of instability.

INVISIBLE HAND: Foreign investors in Russia ignore Cold War rhetoric

Liam Halligan in London March 28, 2017

For all the Cold War chest beating, Russia’s growth uptick has sparked renewed foreign direct investment.

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