Russia’s Debt Charade

Max Hess on why the Kremlin pretends to want to pay Western bondholders

Why Russia will default

Max Hess on why it is only a question of when Russia will ultimately formally default, rather than if it will

Russia’s South Caucasus Front

Max Hess on how Putin’s Second Invasion of Ukraine Has Radically Altered the Strategic Landscape in the South Caucasus

Goodbye Nord Stream Zwei

Max Hess on what would be the consequences of suspending Nord Stream 2 certification

How I learnt to calm down about the threat of another Ukraine invasion

Maximilian Hess on why gaining concessions from the US is more important to the Kremlin than forcibly returning Ukraine to its sphere of influence

The meaning of Russian troops in Kazakhstan

Max Hess unpicks why the Kremlin has activated the CSTO to help quell civil unrest in Kazakhstan

Russia and Uzbekistan’s 5 year rapprochement

Max Hess looks at how the post-Karimov era in Uzbekistan has been a strikingly fruitful one for Russia-Uzbek relations

Deripaska Déjà vu?

Max Hess on why the raids on Deripaska properties in the US should be seen as part of the Biden Administration’s revised approach to Russia sanctions

Abkhazian Exceptionalism

Max Hess on why Abkhazia breaks away from the tendencies of other Russian-backed breakaway states

Biden’s Russia Policy After 100 Days

Max Hess traces how the White House has been rewiring its Russia policy

Sanctioning debt will hurt

Max Hess discards the notion that there would be scant political impact from US sanctions on Russian sovereign debt

Post-Brexit UK and Russia : Still worlds apart

Max Hess on how Brexit has not brought Britain and Russia any closer

Sanctions à la Biden

Maximillian Hess looks into what “team Biden” thinks about Russia sanctions policy

Russia’s loan to Moldova (and its geopolitical strings)

Maximilian Hess looks into Russia’s loan offer to Moldova and finds several geopolitical strings attached

Another Sechin trick in Venezuela

Max Hess on how Rosneft is not really leaving Venezuela

Russian oil & gas sanctions shield

Max Hess on the mixed track record of sanctioning Russian hydrocarbons

How Russia is fending off US-led defence sanctions

Max Hess on how a series of S-400 sales demonstrates how the Trump Administration dropped the ball on Russian defense sanctions

The Sanctions Side-Step

The debate about sanctions’ efficacy must first consider how easy it is for Russian firms to violate the spirit, if not the word, of sanctions, argues Maximilian Hess.

Rosneft’s Venezuela gamble now relies on an Indian partnership to avoid sanctions

Maximilian Hess on how Rosneft’s partnerships help it avoid sanctions, and the Russian energy giant may turn to Delhi to do so in Venezuela

Explaining Trump’s belated Russia sanctions

Max Hess on how CBW sanctions action likely to have little concrete impact, but may shape Congress’ sanctions proposals

The Politics of Chinese Loans in Russia

Max Hess on the growing financial dependence of Russia on China

Great Power Intrigue In Venezuela

How a group of Monroe Doctrine enthusiasts found themselves negotiating with the Kremlin in America’s own perceived ‘backyard’

How Russia Gets To Build Its Most Controversial Pipeline

EU disunity, support from key energy companies, and Trump’s acquiescence will see Nord Stream 2 completed

Sechin’s Folly

Russia’s strategy in Venezuela offered high rewards, but even higher risks remain

America’s Post-Midterms Russia Policy

A shifting balance of power in Congress toward the Democrats will bring a more hawkish approach to US-Russia relations, with a doubling down on tough sanctions.

Kazakhstan is Catching Up

Kazakhstan’s growth forecasts are rosier than Moscow’s. Here’s why that matters. 

Rosneft’s Role As Venezuela’s Lender of Last Resort

The Venezuelan government, according to Rosneft, is repaying its multi-billion-dollar loans on time. That is a misleading claim at best. But those loans are more about their geopolitical impact than their financial viability

The Politics Beneath Rosneft’s Bottom Line

The firm’s proximity to the Russian state is a mixed blessing internationally, particularly in a context of sanctions, but has allowed for a dominant market position in Russia itself