COMMENT: The Romanian political crisis during the pandemic

Alexandru M. Tanase in London November 25, 2021

On November 25 one of Romania’s most controversial and unnecessarily prolonged political crises, with profound economic and social implications, came to an end.

ING: Polish retail sales boosted by low base

Rafal Benecki is the Chief Economist in Poland at ING November 24, 2021

Yearly retail sales in Poland have recovered after a soft third quarter. It's no surprise, given that this time last year the country was hit by COVID lockdowns.

Competitors are motivation, lockdowns are an opportunity

Theo Normanton in Moscow November 24, 2021

As huge swathes of the global population went into lockdown, many retailers faced heavy losses. The trends developing before the pandemic picked up pace, with online shopping and sustainable manufacturing gaining traction.

COMMENT: Let’s admit it: the hybrid war concept is useless

Anna Arutunyan in Moscow November 18, 2021

Watching with dismay the expert coverage of the Belarus-Polish migrant crisis, it occurred to me that we need to retire the hybrid war concept, at least from news coverage. It’s become unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Ukraine facing a potential energy crisis this winter

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 18, 2021

The geopolitical conflict over energy, particularly gas with the impending (though temporarily suspended) certification of Nord Stream 2, is spilling over into the coal and electricity sector, putting Ukraine on the verge of a potential energy crisis

ING: Poland’s current account balance is deteriorating quickly

Leszek Kasek is the Senior Economist in Poland at ING November 17, 2021

Compared to 2020, Poland’s current account balance is set to deteriorate by an equivalent of about 4.5% of GDP in 2021.

COMMENT: Talk of war increases long-standing tensions between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Nato

Leonid Ragozin in Latvia November 17, 2021

International headlines featured the word “war” with alarming frequency in recent days. It came in different contexts, but inevitably involved Russia as a key party. That makes it all the more alarming because Russia is not just any other country

HOMANS: Ukraine – a cryptocurrency hub?

Robert Homans in Washington DC November 16, 2021

There was an article in New York Times this month, entitled “The Crypto Capital of the World – It Has to be Somewhere. Why Not Ukraine?” Will that work?

STOLYPIN: The West’s response to Lukashenko’s migrant gambit might seal Belarus’ fate

Mark Galeotti November 15, 2021

Moscow’s problem is that having thrown their weight behind Lukashenko, they are stuck with him. It can't control the dictator but nor does it want to take over Belarus.

ING: Russia’s current account stabilises despite higher oil prices

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING November 12, 2021

The $12.3bn current account in October was big, but no bigger than the 3Q21 average, despite tighter energy markets. Exports are likely to catch up with it in November-December, but so will imports and FX purchases.

ING: Sticky inflation risks force CEE central bankers to keep on hiking rates

Valentin Tataru chief economist for Romania at ING, Peter Virovacz Senior Economist in Hungary at ING, Leszek Kasek is the Senior Economist in Poland at ING, Rafal Benecki is the Chief Economist in Poland at ING November 12, 2021

Disruptions in global value chains continue to weigh on Central and Eastern Europe, and the Delta variant is blurring the outlook for the fourth quarter. Record high inflation can no longer be written off as temporary as rates rise across CEE.

ING: Higher Romanian inflation points to more rate hikes

Valentin Tataru chief economist for Romania at ING November 11, 2021

We anticipated an upside surprise, but the number came in even higher than expected. October inflation reached 7.9% versus our 7.8% estimate. While energy is still to blame, it is clear that price increases have become more generalised.

ING: No brake on the Hungarian inflation train

Peter Virovacz is a Senior Economist with ING in Hungary November 9, 2021

Despite heightened expectations, October inflation was a significant upside surprise. Second-round effects are here as core inflation also jumped, heralding the need for stronger tightening.

FPRI BMB Ukraine Zelenskiy goes to COP26 in Glasgow

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 4, 2021

Participating in the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on November 1-2, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy presented new emission reduction goals and warned of “two eco-bombs in the centre of Europe: Crimea and Donbas.

COMMENT: Bosnia faces its most profound post-war crisis

Alex Young in Belgrade November 3, 2021

Threats to withdraw Bosnian Serbs from state institutions threaten to plunge the country into a deep and prolonged constitutional and security crisis.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Cabinet reshuffle under way

FPRI BMB Ukraine November 2, 2021

A Cabinet reshuffle is underway in Kyiv. Rumours of the impending reorganisation gained traction last week after Servant of the People faction head Davyd Arakhamia said that at least four personnel changes were under consideration.

THE VIEW FROM MITTELEUROPA: German traffic light coalition could worsen frictions with CEE

Marcus How and Gunter Deuber in Vienna November 1, 2021

A new centre-left government in Berlin could help create a two-tier Europe, especially if it promotes rule of law penalties.

Pyaterochka CEO sees growing demand for convenience in a post-COVID world

Theo Normanton in Moscow October 29, 2021

As consolidation continues apace in the Russian food retail market, a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour is keeping sector leaders on their toes.

COMMENT: Disinfo Napalm

Leonid Ragozin in Latvia October 20, 2021

It’s one thing encountering fakes and disinformation online, it’s quite another when someone fabricates a fake that strives to destroy your own life and career. This is what has just happened to me – a journalist with 20-year experience.

MACRO ADVISORY: Sanctions and oil fear force stability first in Russia

Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory in Moscow October 19, 2021

Several years ago, a young deputy minister started his description about the Russian economy by saying: "The good news about the economy is that it is stable.” After a brief pause, he added: "The bad news about the economy is that it is stable."