Under the tenure of President Poroshenko in Ukraine's Post Euro-Maidan environment, there are strong indications that the country's 'old' oligarch class are faltering. Once noted for the commercial and political influence they held, the likes of Akhmetov, Firtash, Pinchuk and Kolomoysky have been faced with a succession of closing doors in Kyiv.
Despite the progress made by Ukraine towards the liberalisation of the gas market, its reform efforts have been marred by the political headwinds and interference of powerful elite networks. Overcoming this inertia will determine Ukraine’s future financial prosperity; however, the window of opportunity is closing. The break-up of Naftogaz is a very undesirable thing from the perspective of key stakeholders, in the sense that it would create significant competition in the marketplace – a market they have controlled both in terms of production and marketing.
The marriage between Tajikistan President Rahmon's second oldest daughter, Ozoda, and Jamoliddin Nuraliev, has created an emerging 'power couple' that is slowly consolidating significant political and commercial capital. Their initial rise may not appear spectacular, but their swift rise through the ranks of government has given them considerable leverage, with Nuraliev now considered a 'grey cardinal' of the economy.
China's recently published Arctic policy places great emphasis on the development of the Polar Silk Road, which will require further expansion of its cooperation with Russia. Shadow Governance looks beyond the geopolitical layer of the China-Russia partnership in the Arctic, and analyses its commercial implications and its impact on Russian elite dynamics.
Uzbekistan's expatriate oligarchs have been welcomed back by President Mirziyoyev as part of his bid to open the country to foreign investment. Personalities including Usmanov, Makhmudov and Shodiyev have been offered many lucrative projects, circumventing open competition. Viewed as agents of influence, they are aligning their personal interests with those of Moscow, with concerns that they will soon be in a position to influence decision-making in Tashkent.
This is Part II of a two-part series reviewing Russia's recent green energy boost as an emerging investment opportunity. In today's analysis, we look at the key corporate players involved in the nascent renewable energy market, assess its investment potential, and forecast if the trend of green energy is likely to last in Russia.
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This is Part I of a two-part series looking at Russia's recent green energy boost as an emerging investment opportunity. An evolving economic and international context has pushed the Russian authorities into paying attention to the country's green energy potential. In part I, we examine the country's renewable energy capacity and existing support programmes for prospective investors.
An obscure provision tucked inside the CAATSA sanctions law, signed in August 2017, is sending many Russian oligarchs into a tail spin as they wait – with bated breath – to see if their names will appear on an official US Treasury blacklist due to be published next week. Although largely a subjective exercise, certain metrics have been stipulated to identify oligarchs favored by Putin. Whatever the result, the impact is already becoming evident.
To further consolidate his position, President Mirziyoyev has replaced much of Karimov’s old guard with his own loyalists. Cutting powerful Security Chief Inoyatov from the picture, however, has taken more effort. The more the new President cements his own (absolute) power base, the less of an obstacle the once powerful Inoyatov becomes.
In 2018, Putin is expected to be re-elected for his 4th presidential term. He will do so against the background of eroding institutions and underhand elite infighting. The transition of power in 2018 and the changes in the ruling elite will happen in the context of slowing economic growth and depleting financial reserves, weak institutions, negative foreign policy inertia, and a risk of social tensions.
As Ukraine enters the penultimate year of Poroshenko’s presidency, it teeters on the brink of revolutionary failure. Despite Western assistance and policy advice, the influence of the country’s oligarchs and associated systemic corruption has yet to be dislodged. A lack of political will is placing pressure on Ukraine, with indications that civil society and a coalition of populists may potentially shift the balance.
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While there is little intrigue about the outcome of 2018 presidential elections in Russia, there is less certainty about what will come after the 2024 transition of power. What is the importance of Putin’s 4th presidential term? Which elite structures stand to gain or to lose over the next 6 years? What are the likely successor scenarios? The answers to these questions – answered during Shadow Governance Intel’s first webinar on 14 December - will define Russia’s stability for the years to come.