Crisis Management Training (May 15, 2014) Crisis management training is an integral part of risk management. Realising the vital role of exercises in crisis preparedness and mitigation, EEG and Corporate Communications, a leading Norwegian communication agency, offer tailor-made table-top exercises to companies operating in the FSU area. How you act during the first hours of a crisis determines the extent of the damage. A crisis may easily develop into a two-front challenge; the “real” crisis developing e.g. in Russia and a media crisis in the home country in parallel.
The sage speaks (Dec 16, 2013) At the ripe old age of 85 Zbigniew Brzezinski is as active as ever. Always thinking in geopolitical terms, he recently rose above the fray of analysts trying to explain where Ukraine is headed, throwing in his thoughts about Russia’s future as well for good measure. "Russia, like Ukraine, will become a real democracy,” read the headline of his op-ed in the Financial Times. It is only a matter of time: “Come what may, the events in Ukraine are historically irreversible and geopolitically transformatory. Sooner rather than later, Ukraine will be truly a part of democratic Europe. Later rather than sooner, Russia will follow unless it isolates itself and becomes a semi-stagnant imperialistic relic.” Share the rest of Brzezinski’s prediction here (requires free FT registration).
On top of the world (Nov 1, 2013) Forbes startled many readers on 30 October by naming Vladimir Putin the world’s most powerful person. “Putin has solidified his control over Russia and anyone watching the chess match over Syria has a clear idea of the shift in the power towards Putin on the global stage,” said the influential publication in its explanation as to why the Russian president leaped to the very top from 3rd place in 2012. Coming only 24 hours after the news that Russia jumped 19 places (to 92) on the World Bank’s Doing business 2014 ranking, victory must have felt even sweeter. Not everyone was in agreement, though. Stratfor Global Intelligence (registration required) encouraged Putin to enjoy while he can, while The Guardian labelled Putin’s power “merely illusory”. Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin was the only other Russian to make the 72-person list, coming in at 60.
Ukraine – the energy market of the future (Jul 26, 2013) That’s the headline of an article by Arne Mjøs, chairman of the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, and EEG founder Henrik Seip, which featured on 23 July in Finansavisen, the Norwegian business daily. A brief summary: Ukraine has large reserves, and its strategic ambition of “energy independence” is clearly within reach. There is an attractive market in the making in Ukraine, and the authors see no reason why Norwegian businesses shouldn’t take part in it.
What is happening to the Russian economy? (May 27th, 2013) The pundits seem to agree that the Russian economy is in for a bumpy ride over the next couple of years. The hard part is figuring exactly why, how long it will last, and what the remedies are. The World Bank says the Russian economy looks strong, while a closer look reveals weaknesses. Forbes contributor Mark Adomanis points out that the Kremlin’s options in the current situation are rather limited, while EEG’s Advisory board member Anders Åslund warns against statist economic policies in his recent article in Moscow Times. “The end of cheap oil is the beginning of reform for Russia,” says Åslund, borrowing a phrase from the late Yegor Gaidar.
Exploring the northern searoute (Apr 19th, 2013) The polar ice is melting, but there is still a host of challenges linked to shipping and logistics in the Arctic, not the least the current insufficient infrastructure, vast geographical distances, and harsh climatic conditions. Any future developments of the shipping infrastructure and safety of navigation along the Arctic sea routes will benefit greatly from close collaboration and sharing of available know-how and information between all the eight Arctic states (Russia and Norway among them) and various stakeholders. Against this backdrop, the Arctic Logistics Information Office (ARCLIO) was established as a joint initiative of the Norwegian Centre for High North Logistics and Russian FSUE Rosatomflot in June 2011. The project is carried out with the support of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat. The main objective is to make practical information required for planning and arrangement of shipping along the Northern Searoute (NSR) available and precise. Learn more here.
Russia is a good neighbour (Mar 31st, 2013) Doing business with Russia pays in the long run. That is Finland’s experience according to Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb in a recent article in the Swedish business daily Dagens Industri. Finland is the world leader in per capita foreign investment in Russia, and the achievements of Finnish companies in Russia speak for themselves, says Stubb, who sees a bright future for bilateral cooperation and business. Please find an English translation of the Swedish-language article in the weekly newsletter Barentsnova.
The new PM is… (Jan 17th, 2013) Don’t expect political events in Ukraine to create too many headlines abroad, especially not when they happen during the Western Christmas. And even more so when the new PM is the same as the one who tendered his resignation three weeks previously. Yes, Mykola Azaraov is back, but how much will it matter? There is a number of changes to his team, some of them quite significant. But the bottom line is, of course, that President Yanukovych runs the country. Period. Tadeusz A. Olszański of the centre for eastern studies in Warsaw has provided this excellent analysis of the composition of Ukraine’s new government.