Belarus economy increasing well managed, but remains vulnerable to external shocks

Ben Aris in Berlin August 3, 2020

Belarus is having a few bad years. GDP grew only by 1.2% in 2019 and will contract by about 5% this year, but its finances are increasingly well run

TURKEY INSIGHT: With the lira through the looking glass, global finance questions whether Erdogan can sell eurobonds

Akin Nazli in Belgrade August 2, 2020

Robustness of country’s banks also scrutinised with observers fearing a perfect storm scenario ahead of ‘Currency Crisis II’.

Tajikistan: Coronavirus brings bonanza of aid, but zero accountability

Eurasianet July 30, 2020

$300mn has been given and another $70mn may be on the way.

After reopening, Armenian economy continues to struggle

Ani Mejlumyan for Eurasianet July 30, 2020

“It was the pandemic that hit the economy hard, not the lockdown itself.”

Misery vs death

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 29, 2020

The painful choice faced by poorer emerging European countries as they are forced to balance the risk to life of a new coronavirus spike with the economic and human cost of a second lockdown.

INTERVIEW: The long and painful path to a new normal

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 29, 2020

Romanian tech entrepreneur Radu Negulescu believes the early reopening of economies post-lockdown is self-defeating and forecasts years of hardship before the global economy finally rebounds.

Armenia gets vote of confidence from RAEX Europe ratings agency despite economic bludgeoning of COVID-19

bne IntelIiNews July 28, 2020

Most of small nation’s extra debt is related to donor support at concessional terms, says report, while fiscal and monetary policies are adequate. Continued high dependence on imports a drag on economic progress.

As first Friday prayer is held at Hagia Sophia since 1930s observers ask: “Is secularism dead in Turkey?”

bne IntelIiNews July 25, 2020

Erdogan wants Islamised one-party state says academic.

Risk analysis identifies Turkey, Iran and Russia among 37 nations likely to face mass ‘post-Covid’ protests

bne IntelIiNews July 22, 2020

“It’s a tinderbox” says analyst who determined projections of civil unrest and ability of countries to bounce back from pandemic.

“Putin must be happy with events in Minsk” says Belarusian analyst

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius July 22, 2020

Pre-election clampdown on the opposition has worsened Minsk’s relations with the West, making President Lukashenko more amenable in future talks with Moscow — including on the unification of Russia and Belarus.

Uzbekistan returns to its roots with cannabis cultivation

Eurasianet July 21, 2020

Hemp uses less water than cotton, a fact that should excite farmers in the rapidly desiccating region.

Who hacked the website of North Macedonia’s state election commission on election day?

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 19, 2020

Even though voting took place in a free and democratic manner the DDoS attack left a big stain on the election — the first since the country changed its name to North Macedonia and become a Nato member.

Corona vote gambles pay off for incumbents

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 17, 2020

Timing is everything as politicians seek to take advantage of poll boosts from steering their countries through the pandemic and launching stimulus packages, before populations really feel the impact of the crippling economic recessions.

LONG READ: Serbia’s hijacked protests

Ivana Jovanovic July 12, 2020

Protests against the Serbian government’s handling of the coronacrisis and the announcement of a new lockdown descended into violent attacks on police and state buildings after they were taken over by far-right groups, some linked to Russia.

Divided Poland to choose more turmoil in presidential election on Sunday

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw July 10, 2020

Whether incumbent President Andrzej Duda or the centre-right mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski wins the run-off presidential vote, it will mark the start of several years of turmoil.

No enthusiasm for July 15 election in North Macedonia amid relentless coronavirus epidemic

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 9, 2020

Both the ruling SDSM and opposition VMRO-DPMNE say they expect victory, but the electorate are more concerned about the seemingly unstoppable spread of the virus.

Mongolia to go ahead with Naadam festival, but with no tourists

Milena Mendes in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia July 9, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has played hell with the international event calendar everywhere this year. But not in Mongolia, which has decided to go ahead with Naadam, Mongolia’s biggest festival.