Putin unmoved by carrots or sticks

By Mike Peacock
March 7, 2014

Vladimir Putin said this morning Russia and the United States are still far apart over Ukraine. Moscow, he said, could not ignore “illegitimate decisions” imposed on the east and south of the country and calls for help by ethnic Russians there but the two powers should not sacrifice relations over it.

Unsterilised ECB?

By Mike Peacock
March 6, 2014

Foreign ministerial talks in Paris yesterday made little progress on Ukraine. Russia rejected Western demands that its forces in Crimea should return to their bases and its foreign minister refused to recognise his Ukrainian counterpart. Moscow continues to assert that the troops that have seized control of the Black Sea peninsula are not under its command. The West is pushing for international monitors to go in.

Jaw jaw not war war, hopefully

By Mike Peacock
March 5, 2014

The end of Russian military exercises near the Ukrainian border and Vladimir Putin’s statement that force would only be used as a very last resort seemed to have taken some of the tension out of this crisis but the situation remains on a knife edge.

A small step back?

By Mike Peacock
March 4, 2014

A reported 0300 GMT deadline, which Russian forces denied had been issued, for Ukraine’s troops to disarm in Crimea or face the consequences has passed without incident and in the last hour President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops that took part in military exercises in western Russia to return to base.

When is a war not a war?

By Mike Peacock
March 3, 2014

Is it war if no shots have been fired? The Ukrainians say so but Moscow, its grip on Crimea now pretty much complete, says it is merely protecting its people. The rest of the world and its financial markets watch on very uneasily.

Escalation in Crimea

By Mike Peacock
February 28, 2014

Worrying escalation in Crimea. Interfax reports Russian servicemen have take over a military airport in the Russian-speaking region of Ukraine and armed men are also patrolling the airport at Crimea’s regional centre of Simferopol.
Kiev has condemned the moves as an “armed invasion”.

UK recovery? What UK recovery?

February 26, 2014

A second look at fourth-quarter economic growth figures for Britain confirmed that recovery is under way. The quarter-on-quarter rate was  0.7 percent, unchanged from a preliminary estimate. Year-on-year was knocked down slightly.

ECB to take the QE plunge this year…finally

February 26, 2014

Better late than never, right?

Despite the myriad political, legal and financial obstacles, the European Central Bank will this year take the plunge and start printing money, several years after its counterparts in the United States, Britain and Japan.

Money for Ukraine?

By Mike Peacock
February 26, 2014

Russia’s next move remains the great unanswered question for Ukraine but there are glimmers that things might be starting to move elsewhere.