The forced landing of an internal EU flight is just the latest development in the President of Belarus’ efforts to cling to power.
Over the past five years conflict has led to a deterioration of Russo-Ukrainian economic relations while ties with the EU have been deepened. This shift is evident in trade flows: the European Union has become Ukraine’s biggest trading partner, while China is poised to overtake Russia as its second. Natural gas imports from Russia, Ukraine’s prior Achilles heel, have been partially replaced by reverse deliveries from the EU and reduced as result of reform of the gas sector.
To fight the Covid-19 pandemic, best practice responses in Africa need to be implemented around international collaboration. These include the need to activate emergency operations centres, to establish a surge capacity in health systems, and to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the pandemic.
We are not in normal times and we have to surpass, albeit only for the duration of the COVID-19 shock, the hurdles that did not allow the euro-area to endow itself of a common fiscal policy.
In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, the sharp collapse in the oil price has received little attention. Brent fell by 30% on 9 March, the largest fall since the 1991 Gulf War. The Russian ruble followed suit and its tumble highlights Russia’s continued dependence on resource extraction. The episode should be taken as a sign of things to come in a world where Russia’s main customers are going green.
COVID-19 raises a number of serious issues of a sanitary, social and economic nature. While recognizing the difficulty of giving definitive answers at this early stage, we attempt to shed light on three critical macroeconomic topics.
Despite the political antagonism, the EU and Russia are not only geographically, but also economically, reliant on each other: European houses are heated using Russian natural gas and Russia is highly dependent on European investment. Therefore, should the EU develop closer political ties with Russia? How much leverage does the EU have when dealing with the Kremlin? This week, Nicholas Barrett is joined by Niclas Poitiers and Marta Domínguez-Jímenez to discuss European foreign direct investment in Russia.
Most foreign direct investment into Russia originates in the European Union: European investors own between 55 percent and 75 percent of Russian FDI stock. This points to a Russian dependence on European investment, making the EU paramount for Russian medium-term growth. Even if we consider ‘phantom’ FDI that transits through Europe, the EU remains the primary investor in Russia. Most phantom FDI into Russia is believed to originate from Russia itself and thus is by construction not foreign.
Concern is growing in the European Union that a rapprochement between Russia and China could have negative implications for the EU.
China’s economic ties with Russia are deepening. Meanwhile, Europe remains Russia’s largest trading partner, lender and investor. An analysis of China’s ties with Russia, indicate that China seems to have become more of a competitor to the European Union on Russia’s market. Competition over investment and lending is more limited, but the situation could change rapidly with China and Russia giving clear signs of a stronger than ever strategic partnership.
Russia’s convergence to advanced economy income levels has stalled. Long-term growth prospects are still obstructed by sluggish productivity growth, low capital accumulation and shrinking labour inputs. The new government has articulated a set of ambitious policy objectives for the next six years. But are additional reforms necessary to further boost productivity and investments in line with government targets?
The European Union’s relationship with Russia is strained, but the two economies are nevertheless highly intertwined. A huge share of Russia’s exports go to the EU, while in the early 2000s, EU countries supplied more than half of Russia’s imports. The EU is also a major investor in, and lender to, Russia.