Publications

At the beginning of July, the Ukrainian government and experts from the International Monetary Fund agreed the terms of a new stand-by loan. The IMF’s Board of Directors will take the final decision at the end of July. The renewal of co-operation on loans will affect the improvement of the country’s balance of payments and the financing of its budget deficit, but it will also strengthen Ukraine’s position on the international capital market. The conditions laid down by the IMF may be a catalyst for reforms to improve the situation of Ukraine’s public finances.
Analyses
2010-07-07
Gazprom’s Annual General Meeting on 25 June saw no changes in the makeup of the company’s management. Despite the worst production and financial results in recent years, Gazprom did not announce any serious revision of its policies. However, unfavourable changes on the European gas market, including increasing competition among gas suppliers, will most likely force Gazprom to make further changes to its investment programme, and to make its formulas for contracts and its pricing policy more flexible.
Analyses
2010-07-07
Ewa Paszyc
On 2 July, the Russian company Gazprom and the Belarusian gas company Bieltransgaz agreed to raise the transit fee for the transmission of Russian gas across Belarusian territory, and to raise the wholesale price of gas for customers in that country. This formally ends the bilateral gas dispute which in June led to Russia limiting gas transmission to Belarus for three days. However, this agreement is only temporary in nature, as the most important points of contention in the two states’ relations, both concerning gas and crude oil, still remain unresolved.
Analyses
2010-07-07
On 23 June, Iveta Radicova, leader of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party (SDKU-DS) was entrusted by President Ivan Gasparovic with the mission of forming the government. SDKU-DS signed a programme declaration with the other three centre-right parties (SaS, KDH and Most-Hid) and is negotiating the composition of the government at the moment. The new coalition intends to focus on improving public finances, reviving the economy and combating corruption.
Analyses
2010-06-30
Nico Lange, head of the Ukrainian branch of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, was detained on 26 April at Kyiv–Boryspol airport and was not allowed to enter Ukrainian territory. According to Mr. Lange, his detention was ordered by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Following an intervention from the German authorities, Lange was released, and the incident was called a misunderstanding. It is possible that Lange’s detention was an effect of his critical reports on policies pursued by the Ukrainian authorities. The incident will have a negative impact on relations between Berlin and Kyiv before President Viktor Yanukovych’s visit to Germany scheduled for this August.
Analyses
2010-06-30
On 25 June, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle paid a brief visit to Chisinau. Presumably his main goal was to consult with the Moldovan authorities over the resumption of talks on the resolution of the Transnistrian conflict, and especially on the issue of the presence and status of Russian troops in the conflict zone.
Analyses
2010-06-30
On 29 June, Hungary’s parliament elected Pal Schmitt - a politician from the government party Fidesz - president by a significant majority (263 of the 322 votes were cast for him). Right-wing politicians, who have 2/3 of the votes in the National Assembly, in an atmosphere of accountability for the socialist governments’ abuses, want to conduct a sweeping staff reshuffle in the state apparatus.
Analyses
2010-06-30
On 25 June, Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a decree allowing the transformation of several key state-owned enterprises into state treasury joint-stock companies. In this way Belarusian authorities are removing the formal impediments to the potential sale of selected strategic assets to foreign investors, which they may be forced to do due to the worsening budget condition.
Analyses
2010-06-30
The Russian Ministry of Regional Development (MRD) on 22 June approved the implementation of the first nine investment projects as part of the co-operation programme between Russian and Chinese Far East regions until 2018 which had been adopted in 2009. This decision has opened up the way towards the fulfilment of this ambitious plan, which envisages China’s engagement in the exploitation of natural resources and the development of the Russian Far East. Russia is interested in Chinese investments in the region, however on condition that it maintains full control over them.
Analyses
2010-06-30
On 29 June, Ukraine’s Parliament added new members to the National Television and Radio Council. All candidates put forward by the opposition and relevant non-governmental organisations were rejected. Three out of the four new members of the Council are linked to Valery Khoroshkovsky, head of the Security Service of Ukraine, who is also the chairman of the supervisory board of Ukraine’s largest TV station Inter. Since two of the eight members of the Council are already linked to Khoroshkovsky, the parliament’s decision can be seen as a significant threat to the freedom of the electronic media in Ukraine.
Analyses
2010-06-30

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