Russian Sanctions: The United States Takes the Lead

The United States has taken what, on first read, looks to be a significant step today, extending sanctions ( see also here) to block new debt and equity issuance by a number of energy, financial and military companies.  It is not quite full “sectoral” sanctions–both because it is limited in what it blocks (new debt and equity of […]

5 Things Ukraine Must Do to Become Energy Independent

There are exactly five things Kiev must do to become energy independent and disentangle itself from the Russian-driven geopolitical gas war: 1. Sell its pipeline system (most importantly); 2. Sell the remaining state interest in oil and gas company Ukrnafta; 3. Aggressively farm out as brown-field developments areas licensed by state-owned Ukrgazproduction; 4. Develop additional […]

Ukraine, Greece, and the IMF: Déjà Vu All Over Again?

The IMF approved a $17 billion 24-month stand-by lending arrangement with Ukraine at the end of April.  The Fund sees the Ukrainian economy contracting 5% this year, but is enormously confident that its program will quickly set things right, projecting 2% growth next year and 4%+ growth in subsequent years. We’ve seen this storyline before […]

Ukraine: Now Comes the Hard Part

Petro Poroshenko’s convincing first-round victory in yesterday’s Ukrainian presidential elections, with 54 percent of the vote, is an important step toward political stability. But hard work lies ahead, as attention now returns to the even-more-daunting task of restoring economic stability. Remember that the political crisis of the last six months began as an economic crisis […]

Exxon, BP Defy White House; Extend Partnership with Russia

By Nick Cunningham: Several of the largest oil companies in the world are doubling down in Russia despite moves by the West to isolate Russia and its economy. ExxonMobil and BP separately signed agreements with Rosneft – Russia’s state-owned oil company – to extend and deepen their relationships for energy exploration. The U.S. slapped sanctions […]

How Separatists in Donetsk Threaten Japan’s Energy Security

Europe is not the only country in the world to feel torn between enforcing sanctions against Russia’s aggressive actions in Eastern Ukraine and preserving its own energy security. Japan, too, has had a difficult time reconciling its strategic interests in the West and maintaining a lucrative relationship with Moscow. Unfortunately, repeated calls for sanctions from […]

If Ukraine Crisis Drags On, Russian Economy May Falter

By Andy Tully: The United States is considering sanctions against Russia’s energy industry in its effort to rein in Moscow’s evident designs on Ukraine. But analysts say simply persuading Western countries to boycott Russian oil and gas altogether wouldn’t necessarily work because of Europe’s reliance on Russian gas. According to Robin West of the Center […]