Russian opposition activist Navalny calls for supporters to take to the streets this weekend

Ben Aris in Berlin January 19, 2021

Jailed anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny calls on Russians across the country to take to the streets this weekend, Saturday January 23. “Do not be silent. Resist. Take to the streets – not for me, but for you."

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny arrested on arrival as he returns home

Ben Aris in Berlin January 18, 2021

Russian anti-corruption blogger and opposition activist Alexei Navalny was arrested at passport control as he retuned home after spending five months in Germany recovering from a poison attack that immediately sparked an outpouring of commendation.

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."

One of Russia’s biggest wood product companies, Segezha could be Sistema’s next IPO

Ben Aris in Berlin January 15, 2021

Segezha is Russia's biggest pulp and paper company. Owned by multi-industry conglomerate Sistema, the company could be the next up in the groups string of IPOs

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.

Durov rejects Western funds’ offer to buy 5%-10% of Telegram with $30bn valuation

Ben Aris in Berlin January 15, 2021

Russia’s most famous tech entrepreneur and the creator of the Telegram messaging service has rejected an offer by Western funds to buy a 5%-10% stake in the company with a valuation of $30bn.

The volume of the Russian National Wealth Fund tops $183.93bn as gold overtakes dollar asset for first time

bne IntelliNews January 15, 2021

The volume of the Russian National Wealth Fund in December 2020 increased by RUB89bn ($1.21bn) to reach RUB13.546 trillion ($183.93bn) as of January 1 as the share of gold in reserves overtook dollar assets for the first time ever.

EU to begin certifying Russian Sputnik V vaccine for use in Europe

Ben Aris in Berlin January 13, 2021

Russia will begin the process of certifying its Sputnik V vaccine for use in Europe on January 19, according to Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that funded the development of the medicine.

Russia’s Watcom shopping index recovers some ground in December, still down by half on previous year

Ben Aris in Berlin January 12, 2021

Russia’s Watcom shopping index, which measures foot traffic in Moscow’s major shopping malls, recovered some of the ground lost after the second wave of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started, but it is still down by half on last year.

Lukashenko: I am no enemy of the people

Ben Aris in Berlin January 12, 2021

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has but one friend in the world and, in his own words, that person is Vladimir Putin, he told famous Russian reporter Nailya Asker-Zade.

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.

Armenia’s PM cautions conflict with Azerbaijan “still not settled” after trilateral meeting with Putin

bne IntelIiNews January 12, 2021

Nikol Pashinian nevertheless agrees to Armenian, Azerbaijani, Russian working group to unblock regional economic and transport links.

MOSCOW BLOG: The storming of the US Capitol was not a coup, but the shelling of the Russian White House was

Ben Aris in Berlin January 10, 2021

The world was mesmerised by scenes of bizarrely clad Trump supporters breaking into and occupying the Capitol in Washington DC last week, which was widely described as an attempted coup d'état. But it was nothing like the coup in Russia in 1993.

German state creates foundation to circumvent US sanctions on Nord Stream 2

bne IntelliNews January 10, 2021

German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern seeks to create foundation to execute purchases of necessary materials for completion of Nord Stream 2, thus avoiding imminent further US sanctions.

Russia, Kazakhstan pushing for oil production increases on the back of coronavirus vaccine-fuelled oil price optimism

Ben Aris in Berlin January 8, 2021

Russia and Kazakhstan won a concession from OPEC to increase production in the coming months at the expense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which remains concerned that the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic will depress demand in 2021.

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.

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.

World Bank expects modest recovery for Europe and Central Asia in 2021

bne IntelliNews January 6, 2021

Recovery hinges on an effective rollout of coronavirus vaccines, averting further surges in cases that would threaten a rise in social and geopolitical tensions.

FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected

bne IntelliNews January 5, 2021

Czechia, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia bucked the global trend of falling greenfield investment, while negative FDI flows to Russia dragged down the region’s performance, wiiw report shows.

Russia reserves gain $28bn in 2020 to reach $583bn as of November, but make-up has changed radically

bne IntelliNews January 3, 2021

Russia’s gross international reserves (GIR) fell by about $10bn in the third quarter of 2020 as the government spent some money on alleviating the pain of the coronacrisis to reach $582.7bn as of the last day of November.