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Analyses |
No investment offers came in to the open tender to sell majority stakeholdings of three Belarusian enterprises, designated for 18 August. This indicates that the Belarusian government still cannot enlist foreign investors on a wider scale.
Analyses |
On 19-22 August, the President of the Russian Federation Dmitri Medvedev visited Yerevan with a delegation including the foreign and defence ministers. During the visit, a range of documents was signed strengthening Armenia’s military, political and economic dependence on Russia, and in more general terms – reinforcing Russia’s position in the Southern Caucasus. This is part of the re-activation of Russian policy to regain control over the region.
Analyses |
On 21 August Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency Rosatom, participated in the formal procedure of the activating first Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr (which was built by Atomstroyeksport, a company belonging to Rosatom). The decision to finalise the power plant’s construction at this moment is political in nature (the deadline for activating the plant had repeatedly been postponed), and will serve first and foremost to improve relations between Russia and Iran, which had been damaged in recent months. It is also a demonstration of Moscow’s independence on the international stage, in a situation where relations between Russia and the West have been improving.
Analyses |
On 24 August, Moldova’s Ministry of Agriculture stated that Russia had almost completely blocked its imports of Moldovan fruits and vegetables. The official reason for this was that pesticides had allegedly been discovered in them. The Russian government’s decision is the latest trade restriction imposed on Moldova, after the informal introduction at the beginning of August of a partial embargo on the import of wine. In this way Russia demonstrated its dissatisfaction with the ruling pro-Western coalition’s policy, and is also attempting to influence the result of the parliamentary elections scheduled for autumn.
Analyses |
On 19-20 August, a rally took place in the city of Osh attended by between 1500 and 5000 people in support of the mayor, Melis Myrzakmatov, who has refused obedience to the central government. He turned down an offer from Bishkek to resign his position for a ministerial post, which means that the rule of Roza Otunbayeva’s government over the south of the country (for which control over Osh is an essential element) is still not complete. In most important matters the government is dependent on negotiations with local leaders and is too weak to take control over the south by force.
Analyses |
On 30 August President Viktor Yanukovych paid an official visit to Germany, during which he met the most senior government and business representatives. The visit was principally a ‘getting to know you’ affair. Yanukovych tried to present Ukraine as a stable and predictable state; this is of essential importance for German investors, who over the last few years have been grappling with problems in doing business in Ukraine.
Analyses |
On the night of 22-23 August, 25 members of an armed Islamic underground group escaped from police custody of the National Security Service in Dushanbe. Signals of a rise in the terrorist threat have been emanating from Tajikistan since at least the last year. In this context, the escape of a large group of important members of the armed underground arouses serious fears for the efficiency of Tajikistan’s state structures, and in the longer term, it may be an omen of the destabilisation of the country.
Analyses |
On 30 August, Russia’s minister of agriculture Yelena Skrynnik revealed the size of the direct losses farmers have suffered as a result of this year’s drought; these have reached 37 billion roubles (over US$1.2bn). Over 20% of crops have been lost; however, thanks to high reserve supplies held over from last year, Russia will not run out of crops. However, an important problem for the Russian government is the rising prices of agricultural food products, which has raised public concern.
Analyses | | Łukasz Antas
 
German politicians are arguing about the shape of the new energy policy. The outcome of this discussion will affect Germany’s stance on the European Union’s energy policy, German economic potential and its possibilities for exporting electric energy.
Analyses |
On 25 August the federal government accepted a bill on the restructuring of banks as a way to prevent future bank crises in Germany. The key objectives of this law are to strengthen state control over banks and to introduce a bank tax. The revenue generated from this would be used to rescue financial institutions facing insolvency. The federal government wants to persuade other EU member states to adopt similar laws.