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Sarah Hurst

Ukrainian bank clean-up comes at a cost

Dec 19 2016

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ukraine’s bank clean-up comes at a cost. The war-torn country will rescue the largest private lender PrivatBank. It suggests Ukraine’s banks are emerging from the grip of oligarchs and bad lending. Yet the deal hurts Ukraine’s already shaky finances, and may inflame political tensions.

Russia cracks down on economy minister at a cost

Nov 15 2016

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Russia’s crackdown on its economy minister carries a cost. Alexei Ulyukayev may or may not be guilty of accepting a $2 million bribe - as alleged after he was detained in an early-morning operation on Nov. 15. But it’s less good for the Russian economy if he no longer plays a senior role in government.

Putin gains Trump card in geopolitical poker game

Nov 09 2016

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Vladimir Putin has been handed what can only be described as a trump card. The election of Donald Trump as the United States' 45th president leaves a host of key eastern European policy issues more favourable to his Russian counterpart. The question is what scope Putin has to capitalise on them.

Alibaba highlights hurdles in Russia’s pivot east

Jul 12 2016

Moscow wants closer economic ties with China, rather than dealing with an unfriendly West. But Russia's poor business climate makes life hard for Chinese companies, although they are used to draconian rules at home. Even e-commerce giant Alibaba has only made modest inroads.

Eurovision puts Ukraine in helpful spotlight

May 16 2016

Kiev’s pride in winning Saturday’s annual croon-fest has a downside: it has to pay to host next year’s. Russia has pointed out Ukraine has a ropey economy and a war in the east. The experience of former hosts, though, suggests there could be a return on the investment.

Blockchain teamwork could help banks fight hackers

May 13 2016

An $81 mln central bank heist and a new attack on a commercial lender underscore the rise of cyber-related risks. The European Central Bank wants banks to log serious incidents. But industry collaboration - as seen with distributed ledgers - would do more to shore up defences.

Chernobyl is symbol of shaky EU-Ukraine ties

Apr 26 2016

Thirty years after the disaster at the nuclear power station, EU money has helped build a structure to contain further reactor fallout. But Ukraine will have to sort any future issues by itself. Efforts to bring Kiev and Brussels closer suffer from a similar risky dynamic.

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