Features

Lithuanian hemp growers seek new (legal) high

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius October 25, 2021

After ranking second in the EU two years ago, production has now sunk back amid rising costs and legislative hurdles.

Uzbekistan’s president Shavkat Mirziyoyev wins re-election with over 90% of vote

Ben Aris in Tashkent October 24, 2021

Incumbent swept the board, but the race was largely uncontested.

EBRD celebrates 15 years in Mongolia

Anand Tumurtogoo in Ulaanbaatar October 24, 2021

Plans to further boost the non-extractive sector and make the country’s economy greener are priorities, development bank’s country head Hannes Takacs tells bne IntelliNews.

Erdogan goes high-voltage with another rate cut

Akin Nazli in Belgrade October 21, 2021

Wayward monetary policy dives deeper into uncharted territory. Turkey may be in for a “hardcore” crisis. The Erdogan succession talk is growing louder.

Slowing Russian imports suggest the bounce back momentum is faltering already

Theo Normanton in Moscow October 21, 2021

In the first half of 2021, the Russian economy was firing on all cylinders. Commodity prices were rising, employment was remarkably high, and real wages were growing. Now it's slowing and some worry the economy is losing what little momentum it had.

Russia at the Dubai Expo 2020

bne IntelliNews October 21, 2021

The Russian and Ukrainian pavilions at the Dubai Expo 2020 opened on October 1 to showcase the two countries to the rest of the world.

Balkan Stream countries hope to avoid worst of international gas crisis

Clare Nuttall in Zagreb October 21, 2021

While the debate rages over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a separate pipeline system carrying Russian gas to Southeast Europe has been quietly opened over the last few years, which enables the countries on its route to avoid the worst of the gas crisis

Homegrown vendors gain on multinationals in Russian retail boom

bne IntelIiNews October 20, 2021

Financial results from the first half of 2021 show that Russian retailers are chipping away at the market share of international rivals within the Russian Federation. This comes as a domestic and global retail boom is shaking up the sector.

Russia’s coronavirus spike threatens the whole region

bne IntelliNews October 20, 2021

Vaccine scepticism means just under a third of the Russian population is vaccinated and the government admitted last week that it had “lost the information campaign” to persuade its people to take the pandemic seriously.

Kudrin pours cold water over the Kremlin’s budget optimism, says 3% growth unobtainable

Ben Aris in Berlin October 18, 2021

Former Finance Minister and Audit Chamber head Alexei Kudrin poured cold water over the government’s new budget, saying in a report the assumptions are overly optimistic and the forecast 3% growth for this year is “nowhere to be seen.”

Rooting out corruption proves a tough job in North Macedonia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje October 13, 2021

The Social Democrat-led government came to power pledging a vigorous and transparent fight against corruption, but tackling entrenched corruption has not been easy.

Uzbekistan’s economy bouncing back strongly, World Bank ups 2021 GDP forecast to 6.2%

Ben Aris in Berlin October 13, 2021

As one of only two major economies in the world to avoid recession last year, the Uzbek economy is recovering robustly from the coronacrisis crisis. The World Bank has increased the growth forecast to 6.2% for this year.

Familia leads Russia’s off-price retailers with knock-down high fashion offering

Ben Aris in Berlin October 12, 2021

What happens to last season’s clothing that big fashion retailers can’t sell? Landfill is not the only choice for producers. Enter off-price retailers, who buy the end-of-season surplus from top names and sell it at low prices.

China looks to Kazakh coal amid energy crisis

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet October 12, 2021

But how much coal Kazakhstan already sells China is a mystery, because the two sides publish different figures.

From Dutch earthquakes to a UK fracking ban: how declining European gas supply has contributed to the current crisis

bne IntelliNews October 12, 2021

There are many underlying causes behind the current gas supply crisis unfolding in Europe. A “V” shaped market has seen global gas demand surge but adding to a perfect storm is that the EU's own gas production has been plummeting.

Bosnia’s Dodik steps up RSexit rhetoric

Eldar Dizdarevic in Sarajevo October 12, 2021

Serb member of Bosnia’s presidency Milorad Dodik says Republika Srpska will withdraw its representatives from the joint armed forces, top judicial body and tax administration.

Nobel prize fight

Leonid Razgozin in Latvia October 11, 2021

In 1993, Mikhail Gorbachev spent a small portion of the money from his Nobel Prize for Peace, awarded three years prior, on eight computers requested by a modest journalistic startup. The latter grew to become the liberal newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Fitch: Uzbek banking sector faces increasing asset quality risks

Ben Aris in Berlin October 10, 2021

The Uzbek banking sector faces increasing asset quality risks due to rapid lending growth, high balance sheet dollarisation and an increased reliance on external funding, Fitch Ratings said in a report released on October 8.

LONG READ: The plight of Mongolia’s young herders

Antonio Graceffo & Munkhbat Norovjamts October 8, 2021

A mix of modernisation and holding on to the old ways causes many dilemmas such as a shortage of female partners for marriage on the steppes—while the girls head for the city to get educated and do not return, the boys stay behind to herd.

Vodka drinking on the decline in Russia

bne IntelIiNews October 8, 2021

Russia is a top ten global alcohol producer and has one of the highest vodka consumption levels globally: 3.5 litres per capita in 2020 of pure alcohol. But the shape of the market is also rapidly changing.

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