In 10 years Ukraine will stop importing natural gas from Russia

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (Atlantic Council, CC BY-NC-ND)

EU should learn from Moldovan crisis.

Hungarian pensioner will get more.

Ukraine

After Ukraine resumed imports of electricity from Russia 10 days ago, Ukrainian Prime Minister announced the country will also stop using gas from Russia. It will be 100 per cent independent of Russian supplies within 10 years. Two years ago Ukraine started reversing gas supplies from the European Union and so until now the share of gas supplies to Ukraine fell from 100 per cent to 30 per cent. “In 10 years we will stop buying Russian natural gas” – said PM Arneniy Yatseniuk in the TV interview. He also added his government plans to revise its contract with Russia on gas transit fees. In experts opinion Russia “set the unfair price of gas for Ukraine and does not pay enough for gas transit via Ukraine’s territory”. Two claims were filed to the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce against Russian gas monopolist. Ukraine wants to receive USD16bn. Yatseniuk also said he is against the Nord Stream 2 project which will allow Russia to bypass the Ukrainian gas-transit network. According to the PM it would make Ukraine lose USD2bn.

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Ukraine closer to Association Agreement with EU

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko informed on Twitter that all 28 EU member states have approved Ukraine’s pact with the EU. He also added that “The EU just informed that all is ready to launch a free trade zone with Ukraine as of January 1st, 2016”. It is well-known the EU is now Ukraine’s biggest trading partner. The political portion of the Association Agreement was signed by Ukraine in March 2014, in Brussels, and the economic section – three months later. “In September 2014, the establishment of a Ukrainian-EU free-trade one was postponed until December 31st, 2015 after complaints from Russia”, reads Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty.

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Moldova

An interesting article by Charles Recknagel from Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty on the political turmoil in Moldova (the PM Valeriu Strelet was forced to resign on October 29th). He writes about two Moldovan crises – “a billion-dollar bank heist” that emerged a year ago and “charges of corruption that recently toppled the former ruling coalition” that was moving on European integration. In the mid-summer Moldovans chose Prime Minister – Valeriu Strelet from the Liberal- Democratic Party (instead of Harvard graduate Maia Sandu). Short after they wanted him to step down. “The turmoil in Chisinau raises fears that ordinary Moldovans are losing confidence in the reform process that backers argue can bring Moldovan institutions in line with European standards and deliver a better future”, Recknagel wirtes. Under Strelet Moldova was getting closer and closer to Russia. Why is it so, knowing that since 2010 the all the ruling parties are looking towards EU integration? Recknagel describes four lessons that EU officials should learn from Moldovan crisis.

The most important are:  Eastern European democracies are dominated by oligarchs. And oligarchs make difficult partners. They are corrupted and their perception of law is very specific. The cure? Brussels have to help such countries to strengthen their civil society. So that the civil society applied pressure upon ruling parties to do better. The second most important lesson is: Eastern Europe is a tough neighbourhood. And it’s mainly because of a strong pro-Russian vectors. The cure? To be more active in addressing pro-Russian propaganda about what the Eurasian Economic Union offers versus what the EU offers.

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Hungary

Hungarian pensioners will get more money in 2016. Zoltán Balog, the Minister of Human Capacities, announced 1.6 per cent rise. The raise applies to all types of pensions, Minister said to origo.hu. There is about 2.6m pensioners in Hungary. The pension amount is calculated as a percentage of the average income as basis for pension contribution, according to a scale determined by the length of service. The minimal pension in Hungary is now about HUF28500 per month (about EUR92) which is approx. 12 per cent of average earnings. After the transformation in 2011-2012, Hungary has now a one-pillar statutory pension system is at work – the state statutory pension. The retirement age for both sexes is: 62 (for those who were born in 1951 or earlier) and 65 (for those who were born in 1952 or later). Minister Balog said “that in real value terms, pensions saw an 8.8 per cent rise in the period of 2011-2015, while they grew by 21.6 per cent in nominal value”.

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What’s up in indexes?

The most spectacular growth was that of UX (Kyiv) – the index increased by 2.49 per cent after it grew by 2.18 per cent Thursday. The biggest fall was that of SAX (Bratislava) – 1.62 per cent.

BUX (of Budapest) lost 0.24 per cent on Friday, November 20th. It decreased to 23125.79 index points (from 23070.83 index points Thursday). From year-end it’s up 39.03 per cent.

BET (of Bucharest) closed at 7230.76 index points being up 0.35 per cent. The previous close was 7205.65 index points. From year-end it’s up 2.09 per cent.

PX (of Prague) grew by 0.17 per cent increasing from 992.18 index points (Thursday) to 993.86 index points (Friday). From year-end it’s up 4.98 per cent.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) gained 0.61 per cent – climbing from 2009.73 index points (Thursday) to 2021.99 index points (Friday). From year-end it lost 12.69 per cent.

OMXT (of Tallinn) grew by 0.32 per cent. On Friday it closed at 881.56 index points. On Thursday – at 878.71 index points. From year-end it’s up 16.76 per cent.

OMXR (of Riga) increased from 599.60 index points (Thursday) to 601.33 index points (Friday), being up 0.29 per cent d/d and 47.37 per cent from year-end.

OMXV (of Vilnius) was up 0.26 per cent, climbing from 484.30 index points Thursday to 485.54 index points Friday. From year-end it’s up 7.32 per cent.

SAX (of Bratislava) is drops again. This time by 1.62 per cent (after Thursday’s 0.06 per cent). It fell from 301.57 index points Thursday to 296.67 index points Friday. But from year-end it’s up 33.44 per cent.

SOFIX (of Sofia) lost 0.57 per cent on Friday – decreasing to 440.04 index points (from 442.55 index points). From year-end it lost 15.72 per cent.

UX (of Kyiv) grew by 2.49 per cent (after gaining 2.18 per cent on Thursday). It increased from 685.31 index points Thursday to 702.35 index points Friday. From year-end it lost 32.03 per cent.

CROBEX (of Zagreb Stock Exchange) lost 0.08 per cent on Friday, November 20th, ending at 1693.68 index points compared with Thursday’s 1695.03 index points. From year-end it dropped by 2.97 per cent.

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