LONG READ: The oligarch problem

Ben Aris in Berlin January 17, 2021

Andrew Meier had a good joke about the problems post-Soviet countries face with their oligarchs: "What is to be done with those who are to blame."

COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020

bne IntelliNews January 15, 2021

2020 was a bad year for human rights around the world, but the US’ upcoming Biden presidency is an opportunity for change, says Human Rights Watch.

New Ukrainian VC firm QPDigital aims to invest up to $100 million in digital startups

East West Digital News in Moscow January 14, 2021

In late 2020 Quarter Partners, an established Ukrainian investment group, launched the venture firm ‘QPDigital‘ to invest up to $100mn in digital startups

EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow January 14, 2021

The development bank's focus has been helping existing clients by providing short-term liquidity and working capital.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Most Ukrainians are optimistic about 2021 – poll

FPRI BMB Ukraine January 14, 2021

According to the Rating Group’s first public opinion poll of 2021, just over half of Ukrainians surveyed (52%) believe that the new year will be better than the one before.

Ukrainian government will cap natural gas price for households in a move that endangers its IMF deal

Ben Aris in Berlin January 14, 2021

Ukrainian government will cap natural gas price for households in a move that may further jeopardise the country’s co-operation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Moldova fears flooding from Ukraine's planned Dniester hydropower plants

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest January 14, 2021

President Maia Sandu plans to ask to EU opinion on Kyiv's plans as environmental groups say existing HPPs are responsible for flooding in Moldova.

Ukraine’s international reserves end 2020 at $18.1bn, up 20% y/y

bne IntelliNews January 12, 2021

The net international reserves of Ukraine as of January 1 amounted to $18.1bn, which is 19% more than at the beginning of December 2020 ($15.2bn), Head of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Bohdan Danylyshyn said.

COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF

Ben Aris in Berlin January 12, 2021

The global economy starts 2021 with record amounts of debt that will slow the recovery and could destabilise some countries, the Institute of International Finance warned.

World Bank improves Ukraine's growth forecast in 2021 from 1.5% to 3%

bne IntelliNews January 9, 2021

The World Bank revised upward its forecast for Ukraine's growth in 2021 to 3.1% from its earlier forecast of 1.5% issued in October, according to the January 2021 World Bank's Global Economic Prospects.

Ukraine's banking sector ends 2020 with best monthly profits in four years

Ben Aris in Berlin January 8, 2021

Ukraine’s banking sector remained impressively healthy throughout 2020 and finished the year on a high. The sector posted a sectoral profit of UAH43,365mn ($1.5bn), which was still down on the 2019 result, the best monthly result in four years

Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits

bne IntelliNews staff January 7, 2021

The US has been rocked by the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters. But in New Europe, protesters storming parliament buildings is a common experience.

COMMENT: The Manafort Pardon: a finger in the collective eyes of Ukrainians

Robert Homans in Washington DC January 6, 2021

Paul Manafort, one-time adviser to former President Viktor Yanukovych and soon-to-be former President Donald Trump, recently received a full presidential pardon. That means he is innocent in the eyes of the law. But not in the eyes of Ukrainians

STOLYPIN: Scope for limited progress under Biden, so long as the past remains the past

Mark Galeotti January 6, 2021

Joe Biden seems to be getting the band back together, drawing heavily on veterans of the Obama administration for his foreign policy team. In many ways that is a good thing after four years of erratic decision-making and malign neglect.

Kyiv accuses Bosnian President Dodik of lying about icon gifted to Russian foreign minister

bne IntelliNews January 6, 2021

Moscow returned the 300-year-old icon after Ukrainian officials warned it could have been stolen by mercenaries in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian city of Luhansk.

China remains Russia's biggest trade partner, trade volumes with Belarus, Ukraine down, with UK up

bne IntelliNews January 3, 2021

China remains top dog as Russia’s biggest trade partner and the two countries are aiming to achieve $200bn trade turnover in the next years.

Ukraine’s international reserves over $28.5bn, highest in eight years

bne IntelliNews January 2, 2021

Ukraine’s international reserves are “over $28.5bn,” their highest level in eight years, Bohdan Danylyshyn, head of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine, wrote on his Facebook page

Ukrainian utility DTEK launches new green strategy

Ben Aris in Berlin December 25, 2020

Ukraine’s leading utility DTEK announced a new corporate strategy on December 22 that will dramatically increase the share of green energy it produces and puts ESG principles at the core of its business

The decline of Ukraine’s industrial output slowed to 0.3% y/y in November

bne IntelliNews December 25, 2020

The decline of Ukraine’s industrial output slowed to 0.3% y/y in November from 5.0% y/y in October, the State Statistics Service reported on December 23. Seasonally adjusted output increased 1.5% m/m in November.