Insights

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What the Tech: the US-Russia digital controversies

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Frederick Michell
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In a bonus episode, Miranda Lutz, Senior Associate in our US office is joined by Frederick Michell, Associate in the Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia practice, to discuss the implications of US-Russia relations on the tech industry.

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A new Silicon Valley in Eastern Europe?

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Megan Stagman
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Megan Stagman, Associate in the technology, media and telecoms practice and Alexander van der Wusten, Associate in the Russia, CEE and Eurasia practice discuss the emerging tech sector in Eastern Europe.

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General Politics

Navigating Russian and Chinese “vaccine diplomacy” in the CEE and Western Balkans

General Politics

Alexander Smotrov
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The covid-19 vaccine rollout in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Western Balkans, has not been immune to politicisation. Vaccination is seen as a powerful tool to accelerate post-covid economic recovery alongside stimulus packages, but with Russia and China getting involved, some compare it to the debate on national security concerns about critical infrastructure…

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General Politics

Should I stay or should I go? Business’s choices in Belarus

General Politics

Alexander van der Wusten
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With the ending of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly - a major meeting held every five years between the government and “people’s representatives” – the prospect of a swift leadership change in Belarus has dimmed. But Alexander Lukashenko’s presidency is not entirely secure. His survival depends on reducing street protests and maintaining Russian support for the…

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Russia and China tackle internet regulation

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Stephen Adams
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Senior Associate, Jens Presthus, and Associate, Frederick Michell, join Senior Director, Stephen Adams, to look at internet regulation in China and Russia. They explore how digital companies, both foreign and domestic, could be affected by future regulation and how each country plans to tackle misinformation. Their discussion highlights that the two countries, whilst…

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Ukraine’s tech plans - high hopes and ambivalent expectations

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Alexander van der Wusten
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Ukraine, known for its skilled IT workforce, has recently suffered from a brain drain of young IT talent. The government now hopes that the launch of its ambitious IT project in mid-2021 will stem the flow by both promoting Ukrainian tech start-ups and attracting foreign investment. In January, the Ministry of Digital Transformation expects a parliamentary debate on a…

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General Politics

Money, power and respect in the EU’s latest crisis

General Politics

Anikó Zsebik
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After relief at the agreement on EU spending priorities for 2021-27, the Brussels establishment was caught off-guard last week by vetoes from Hungary and Poland over the obscure-sounding “rule of law conditionality”. A requirement of the European Parliament and of a qualified majority of member states, this affects a tiny proportion of the €1.8 trn package, effectively…

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Bye, .BY: how Belarus could lose its lucrative IT industry

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Alexander Smotrov
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The nationwide protests and industrial strikes that followed the controversial presidential elections in Belarus continue. The outcome of this unprecedented expression of public dissatisfaction with President Alexander Lukashenko and his grip on the country is, however, not yet clear. Lukashenko may still cling on to power – at least for the time-being - relying on his…

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General Politics

Will Russia’s return to federalism survive the virus?

General Politics

Frederick Michell
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Since his election in 2000, Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has gradually brought the regions that make up Russia under the centralising authority of the Kremlin. Two decades on and these regions, which were relatively autonomous pre-Putin, have little genuine power beyond what is granted to them, until now. 

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General Politics

Populism in a crisis: how is covid-19 impacting Poland and Hungary’s relationship with the EU?

General Politics

Frederick Michell
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Despite the EU’s best efforts, the controversial political agendas of Poland and Hungary have seemed unstoppable, until now. Recent covid-19 outbreaks are forcing both countries to redirect their time and budget away from their long-term Eurosceptic political plans and towards tackling the health crisis. But is either government actually delaying their populist agendas,…

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General Politics

Will elections in Europe and Ukraine change EU-Russia relations? With Nicu Popescu

General Politics

Alexander Smotrov
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RUSSIA & CIS: Following a lunch event, Practice Lead for Russia, CIS and CEE, Alexander Smotrov and Nicu Popescu, Director of the Wider Europe Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, discuss recent elections in Europe and Ukraine, and their potential impacts on EU-Russia relations.

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General Politics

Crimea: lost but not found

General Politics

Alexander Smotrov
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Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine (referred to as “accession” in Russia itself). President Putin descended on to Crimean soil to mark the date by opening new power stations while Moscow staged a three-day street festival to remember the Crimean “homecoming”. However, the public mood both in Crimea and in Moscow is…

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General Politics

Has the final whistle of the World Cup changed the score for Russia?

General Politics

Benjamin Wegg-Prosser
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The torrential downpour which greeted President Putin as he walked onto the turf at the Luzhniki Stadium as the final whistle brought the 21st World Cup to an end was the only cloud over a tournament graced with many footballing silver linings. His counterpart at FIFA, President Infantino, had declared before the final that the championship was “changing the perception of…

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General Politics

Europe in the Global Economy

General Politics

Tom White
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A distinctive feature of President Juncker’s “political” European Commission was a single set of collective top-down priorities, rather than a stitching together of the agendas of individual commissioners. In 2014, this meant a focus on economic reforms to restore growth lost during the 2008 financial crisis: a digital single market, a…

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General Politics

The analytics of football’s possible return home

General Politics

Benjamin Wegg-Prosser
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The twenty-three men of the England World Cup squad in Russia have done more to restore respect for Britain abroad than any number of ministerial visits, soft power exchanges and cultural tours. The irony of this turnaround taking place in Russia, at a low-point in Anglo-Russia relations, something which the death of a British citizen yesterday linked to the nerve agent…

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Vladimir the fourth goes forth

General Policy

Alexander Smotrov
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Vladimir Putin’s announcement to run for his fourth, and probably final, presidential term is no surprise. Thus far, all the polls indicate he will romp home on 18 March next year. Indeed, polling day has been moved to mark the anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea to reinforce the significance of Putin’s proudest achievement in his third term in office.

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General Politics

Donald Tusk plays Ukrainian trump card

General Politics

Alexander Smotrov
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The EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels on Thursday just ended on an unusual note - and not just because Donald Tusk delivered some of his closing remarks in Ukrainian. He also officially said that the EU now bears the entire responsibility for successful completion of the visa facilitation process and the Association Agreement implementation impeded by the results of the Dutch…

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General Politics

Russian economy minister arrested, but the ship sails on…

General Politics

Alexander Smotrov
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Russia woke up this morning to news unprecedented in its modern history – a serving minister has been arrested for an alleged $2 million cash bribe over the 50% privatisation of Bashneft oil company by the powerful Rosneft. An operation led by the Investigative Committee and the Federal Security Service reminded some of infamous high-profile night-time arrests in the…

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