Timothy Ash: UKRAINE ENTERING ‘SERIOUS POLITICAL CRISIS’: SPEAKER HROISMAN

Guest Contributor:

One tip for politicians in places of power – don’t mention the “C” word when u are facing a tricky economic situation.

It reminds me of President Sezer in Turkey in 2001 when he famously (reportedly, but maybe urban legend) threw a copy of the constitution at then PM Ecevit and said “we have a crisis”. Within days the market had taken him at his word, and the crawling peg exchange rate regime had collapsed and the rest is history.

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published 4 February 2016: Economics, EU, Reform

U.S. Adds Companies, People to Russia Sanctions List on Ukraine

ACEU Staff:

By Yuliya Fedorinova

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Treasury Department expanded sanctions related to Russia’s role in the Ukrainian crisis on Tuesday, adding 34 companies and people to its list in a move the Kremlin said would damage relations.

Fourteen of the individuals and entities are “linked to those that have engaged in serious and sustained evasion of existing sanctions or are 50 percent or more owned by a designated entity” already sanctioned, the Treasury Department
said in a statement Tuesday. They include a number of subsidiaries of VTB Bank, Sberbank PJSC, and Rostec Corp., it said. Russia will analyze the additions and may respond with countermeasures, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Tuesday.

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published 24 December 2015: Economics, News Summaries

Moscow’s Battle against Time

Guest Contributor:

By Mykola Kapitonenko

Among many other things Russia is trying to achieve in Ukraine, it is desperately struggling to turn back time. Preferably to the good old days when supplies of natural gas to its neighbors energy inefficient economies were successfully converted into political control, or – even better – when military dominance secured regional hegemony.

Kremlin’s ultimate goal is restoring a part of its former greatness. Two years ago Russia was firmly seated among the regional powers. It ranked in the top ten of world economies, enjoyed rocketing prices for natural gas and oil – country’s main commodities, and had become the economic center of gravity for large part of its immediate neighborhood. Powerful Russian lobbies operated in former Soviet republics and took advantage of systemic corruption there. Extra revenues from exporting energy resources enabled Russian leadership to buy influence in those countries, to carry out large-scale military modernization and pump up its military budget, and even to launch projects of regional integration, such as Eurasian Economic Union, tailored to further cement Kremlin’s control over post-Soviet space.

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published 8 December 2015: Democracy, Economics, Energy, Europe, Reform, Russia

Letter to Congress on ongoing crisis in Ukraine

Guest Contributor:

October 29, 2015

The Honorable Thad Cochran
Chairman
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C., 20510

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published 30 October 2015: Democracy, Economics, EU, Europe, NATO, Reform, Russia, Security

Ukraine’s Unlikely Partnership with China

Guest Contributor:

Natalia Khyzhnyak

In July, the Financial Times reported the latest evidence of an unexpected new economic partnership. Ukraine is poised to become the largest exporter of corn to China – if it has not done so already — surpassing the United States, which traditionally has had a near monopoly those exports. (China, where meat consumption is increasing, uses the corn for as livestock feed for cattle). Ukraine’s growing role providing food for China, moreover, goes much further. According to Ukraine’s statistics, agricultural trade turnover between the two countries stood at 932 million dollars last year. This increase in trade has proceeded rapidly. Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 Ukraine has increased its agriculture trade with China by 56 percent. Ukraine, the breadbasket of Eastern Europe, has about 32 million hectares of arable land, about one-third as much as in the entire European Union.

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published 26 October 2015: Economics, Uncategorized