from The Great Debate:

In the battle between Ukraine and Russian separatists, shady private armies take the field

By Josh Cohen
May 5, 2015

Ukraine's voluntary militia called the Azov Battalion holds artillery training in east Ukraine's village of Urzuf that sits west of the port city of Mariupol

Ukraine's voluntary militia called the Azov Battalion holds artillery training in east Ukraine, west of the port city of Mariupol on the Azov Sea, March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

from MacroScope:

Last TV debate over, election run-in begins

By Mike Peacock
May 1, 2015

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gestures as he delivers an election speech at an engineering factory in Birmingham

With most of Europe taking May Day off, the focus is firmly on pre-election Britain.

from The Great Debate:

The EU may soon have Gazprom and Vladimir Putin running on fumes

By William E. Pomeranz
May 1, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on recent wildfires issues in Abakan

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting in Abakan, the Republic of Khakassia, April 21, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

from MacroScope:

No Greek deal in Riga but glimmers of convergence

By Mike Peacock
April 24, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis attends a parliamentary session in Athens

We’ve been saying it for a week or more and it’s now confirmed – the lack of an economic reform programme forthcoming from Athens means today’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Riga can achieve no breakthrough despite glimmers of the two sides moving closer.

from The Great Debate:

With 580 U.S. boots on the ground in Ukraine, what’s Vladimir Putin’s next move?

By Josh Cohen
April 23, 2015

A serviceman of 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army and Ukrainian National Guard attend an opening ceremony of joint military exercise "Fearless Guardian 2015" at the International Peacekeeping Security Center near the village of Starychy

A serviceman of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army looks on as Ukrainian National Guard line up before an opening ceremony of joint military exercise "Fearless Guardian 2015" at the International Peacekeeping Security Center near the village of Starychy western Ukraine, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

from MacroScope:

Some progress cited in Greek talks, but not enough

By Mike Peacock
April 22, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis walks past  Eurogroup Chairman Dijsselbloem at a euro zone Finance Ministers meeting in Brussels

Euro zone finance deputies are due to hold talks today on how to rescue Greece but appear to have little concrete to work on with Athens yet to produce a new economic reform programme after the first one was declared full of holes.

from Morning Bid with David Gaffen:

Sovereign sensitivity

April 17, 2015

The markets come in to the day's trading with futures down dramatically, with people worrying less about earnings and more about what's happening overseas.

from MacroScope:

Huge gaps to bridge in Greek negotiations

By Mike Peacock
April 17, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis speaks at the Brookings Institution in Washington

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told Reuters on Thursday he was "firmly optimistic" of reaching an agreement with Greece’s creditors. But he acknowledged that the two sides disagreed on four major issues: labour rules, pension reform, a hike in value-added taxes and privatisations.

from MacroScope:

Greek drama shifts to Washington

By Mike Peacock
April 16, 2015

German Finance Minister Schaeuble attends news conference in Berlin

Much of the action switches to Washington where G20 finance ministers and central bankers are gathering for the IMF’s spring conference.

from MacroScope:

Will manifestos move the UK election dial?

By Mike Peacock
April 13, 2015

Labour leader Miliband speaks at a joint news conference in Edinburgh

Britain’s main political parties will publish their election manifestos this week after what seems likes weeks of campaigning already, none of which has significantly shifted the polls putting the ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour party neck-and-neck.
Labour will launch its manifesto today with the Conservatives following on Tuesday.