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German state trying to circumvent Nord Stream 2 sanctions
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 10 Jan 2021
On January 6 a German state vowed to expedite Nord Stream 2 by using a climate foundation. Mecklenburg West Pomerania will shield companies building the pipeline. The pipeline will come ashore in that state.A foundation to fund ecological projects will be used. The pipeline will be defined as tec...

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Russian e-visa scheme temporarily ended
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 09 Jan 2021
On January 8 Moscow announced that its electronic visas will no longer operate until the pandemic is over. 52 countries can take advantage of these e visas. These nations include the EU, China and India. There are fears that North Korea could use them to send laborers to Russia.Most international...

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​OMAN: Budget discloses detailed projections until 2025 but takes oil spending off-budget
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 08 Jan 2021 3 responses
* The new fiscal projections until 2025 seem to be derived from the existing Tawazun plan. * However, oil expenditure has been taken off-budget and some other minor changes were made. * More detailed disclosures show the budgeted path for subsidy reform and non-oil revenue growth. * The oil as...

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Azerbaijan building airport in recovered territory
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 08 Jan 2021
On January 5 it was announced that a new airport will be built in Fuzuli. This district was only retaken from Armenia 2 months ago. There remains much demining to be done. The government is keen to keep reminding people of the victory of 2020.The liberated City of Susa is to be the cultural capit...

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Serbia starts using Russian vaccine
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 08 Jan 2021
On January 6 Serbia commenced vaccinating people with Sputnik V. Politicians are the first to receive it even if they are not high risk. The purpose of this is to reassure the public that the vaccine is safe. Belarus is the only other country in Europe using Sputnik. The WHO and the European Medi...

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US accuses Russia of data breach
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 08 Jan 2021
On January 6 Washington said that Moscow perpetrated the SolarWinds attack. The breach affected government and private sector security. Trump said it was China. However, other cabinet members blame Russia.The FBI, DNI, NSA and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency all blamed Russia. It...

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​GULF WEEKLY: Qatar reconciliation, Saudi oil cut, Kuwaiti cabinet may resign, Omani budget
GULF COUNTRIES - Report 08 Jan 2021 1 response
A skimmable summary of key developments overlaid with our analysis and links to further information. Headlines include: * OPEC agreed to hold production largely flat for two months, then Saudi voluntarily cut by 1m b/d. * The cut pushed oil to a post-Covid high. Unrelatedly, the Asian LNG spo...

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Should we worry about inflation?
PHILIPPINES - In Brief 08 Jan 2021
For the last two months of 2020, inflation had surprised on the upside. Although the headline rate still looked rather benign at 3.5% in December, the overall price level in fact increased by 1.9% between October and December, reflecting month-on-month inflation rates of 1.1% in November and 0.9%...

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Oil & gas in 2021: gradual recovery after the shock
RUSSIA ENERGY / FINANCE - Forecast 08 Jan 2021
Russian oil production fell 8.6% in 2020, due to plunging demand and the OPEC+ deal. We expect oil production to increase 2% next year, despite a gradual easing of OPEC+ cuts. The major reason for that is a relatively high base of 2020, and continued pressure on global demand. The most recent OPE...

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November industry and retail sales data reflects only moderate 2nd wave lockdown impact
HUNGARY - In Brief 08 Jan 2021
StatOffice (KSH) statements on industrial output this morning and on retail sales yesterday, both on November data, have justified analyst beliefs, including ours of course, that the initial negative impact of the 2nd wave Covid lockdown would be significantly smaller than the impact of the 1st w...

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Russia’s pandemic/political update: hoping for a slightly better life in 2021
RUSSIA ECONOMICS - Report 06 Jan 2021
Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus, the respective restrictions and the measures undertaken by the authorities were perceived as the most important developments in 2020. After reaching a peak on December 24 (nearly 30K infected) Russia’s number of daily Covid-19 cases has started to subside graduall...

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US sanctions force Norwegian company out of Nord Stream 2
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 06 Jan 2021
On January 4 DNV GL announced that it will no longer provide verification services for the pipeline. The company provided technical and safety certificates. The company had been working on the pipeline for 5 years. It will be hard to find a company to replace this one.The US passed a law called P...

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General government deficit at 4.6% of GDP in January-September 2020
HUNGARY - In Brief 06 Jan 2021
This was reported yesterday, as the main fiscal indicator, an annualized number compiled on accrual basis, following the EU's ESA-2010 government finance statistics methodology. In a quarterly breakdown, there was a 1.2% of GDP deficit in Q1, followed by 8.4% in Q2 and 4.1% in Q3. The quarterly p...

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OPEC + agreement leads to Russia increasing oil output.
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 06 Jan 2021
On January 5 it was announced that oil production will be ramped up a little in March in Russia and Kazakhstan. These two countries are not OPEC members but they cooperate with it through a forum called OPEC+. The amount of crude oil withdrawn from the market will be reduced from 7.2 million BPD ...

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Second COVID-19 wave smacks economic recovery
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Forecast 06 Jan 2021
The second wave of COVID-19 has overshadowed expectations for 2021 consolidation of the economic recovery formed after the announcement of the availability of vaccines, and the prospects for extensive worldwide vaccination campaigns. In December it grew evident that the country was entering a sec...