Zelenskiy meets Macron as Russia engages in a diplomatic dance over a possible Biden-Putin summit

Ben Aris in Berlin April 17, 2021

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and to restart the four way talks under the Normandy Format during a trip to Paris to meet with his French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron

Russian industrial output back to 1.1% growth in March

bne IntelliNews April 16, 2021

Russian industrial output posted 1.1% year-on-year growth in March 2021, according to RosStat statistics agency data, making the first y/y growth in a year.

wiiw raises 2021 CEE growth forecast to 3.8%

Robert Anderson in Prague April 16, 2021

But pandemic has delayed restart of convergence with Western Europe until 2023.

COMMENT: Fresh US sanctions and OFZ primary market ban a global non-event, but sanctions possibly now entrenched quasi indefinitely

Gunter Deuber of Raiffeisen Research in Vienna April 15, 2021

The US took a mild path for the time being with the new sanctions on Russia’s debt. Sanctioning the primary market activity of OFZs for US entities has little impact on Russia and international financial markets.

Geopolitics makes the Russian ruble rate highly volatile

Ben Aris in Berlin April 15, 2021

The Russian ruble has been through some wild swings this year as it has almost completely decoupled from the price of oil and is almost entirely dependent on the ebbs and flows of geopolitical tension.

US slaps new sanctions on Russia, including debt bans

bne IntelliNews April 15, 2021

The administration of US President Joe Biden on April 15 released details of long expected new sanctions against Russia, including a ban on US investors buying newly issued Russian ruble bonds that will infuriate the Kremlin.

Kremlin says Putin's attendance at a summit with Biden will depend on Washington’s behaviour

Ben Aris in Berlin April 15, 2021

Moscow is going out of its way to make it clear it wants to materially change the way the two countries work together.

MITTELEUROPEAN INSIGHTS: Russian 'sanctions bubble' vs Ukrainian and Turkish fundamentals

Gunter Deuber in Vienna April 14, 2021

For financial market investors, Russia is currently in the same basket as Turkey and Ukraine, but only on a temporary basis.

Russia’s leading investor relations consultancy hires former Moscow Exchange managing director to boost business development

bne IntelliNews April 14, 2021

EM, Russia’s leading communications and investor relations consultancy for clients in Russia, China and other emerging markets, announced the appointment of former Moscow Exchange executive Anna Vasilenko as CEO.

Biden and Putin talk for the second time – sanctions threats and summit promises

Ben Aris in Berlin April 14, 2021

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin talked by phone for the first time in a tense conversation on April 13. Biden warned Russia to stand down troops on the Ukrainian border but offered a summit with Putin as well.

TRENIN: Russia-Ukraine war alert – what’s behind it and what lies ahead?

Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center April 13, 2021

Perhaps the most important thing for the Russian leadership in this episode was to prevent the need to actually go to war against Ukraine in the future. Going for overkill in terms of military manoeuvres now prevents actual war later.

ING: Russian ruble downgraded on weak balance of payments in 1Q21

Dmitri Dolgin chief economist Russia ING April 13, 2021

In 1Q21, ruble weakness was caused not just by political tensions, but also by a disappointing trade balance and resumed preference for foreign assets by residents. ING has downgraded its mid-year ruble expectations to USD/RUB75.

EWDN: Sber goes into video with Movika acquisition

East West Digital News in Moscow April 13, 2021

In late March Sber took control of a Russian video creation start-up called Movika.

EWDN: Russian investors put millions into smartphone service startups

East West Digital News in Moscow April 13, 2021

A pool of individual investors has put RUB431mn into Beri Zaryad, a Moscow-based smartphone charging service.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Minsk peace talks may abandon Minsk

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 12, 2021

Ukraine has announced that it will not hold further peace talks in Minsk within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group.

Russia slaps flight restrictions on Turkey after Erdogan backs Ukraine

bne IntelIiNews April 12, 2021

Kremlin says move is response to Ankara’s worsening coronavirus difficulties but analysts see it as punishment for siding with Kyiv.

FPRI BMB Ukraine: Turning up the heat in the Donbas and Crimea

FPRI BMB Ukraine April 11, 2021

For the past couple of weeks, videos have flooded social media showing convoys of Russian military trucks, trains full of tanks, and hordes of helicopters heading toward Ukraine. The question everyone’s asking is: is Russia going to invade Ukraine?

Nakhchivan rail plans promise to rewire Caucasus connections

David O'Byrne for Eurasianet April 9, 2021

Iran stands to be one of the winners of the new regional transportation map.

Minor outflows from Russian equity and bonds, despite talk of war with Ukraine

bne IntelliNews April 9, 2021

Russian equity markets saw a surprisingly modest outflow of $10mn from Russia dedicated funds on the week’s trading ending April 8 despite the arrival of the most Russian troops at the border with Ukraine since 2014.

ASH: Ukraine, ask yourself what Putin wants

Timothy Ash Senior Sovereign Strategist at BlueBay Asset Management in London April 9, 2021

Russia has the most troops on Ukraine's border than at any time since 2014 but what does Russian President Vladimir Putin actually hope to gain? Tim Ash, Senior Sovereign Strategist at BlueBay Asset Management runs through the possibilities