Илиян Василев

Member of the Board of the Center for Balkan and Black sea studies, Managing Partner, Innovative Energy Solutions EOOD, Blogger, Honorary Chair, Bulgarian Economic Forum Coordinator, Sofia Business School
ilian vassilev

  Here is a short press release on PPF Group’s acquisitions in the Telcos on Monte Negro, Serbia, Hungary and Bulgaria – to be followed by subsequent acquisitions in media. All of these 4 countries are https://www.ppf.eu/en/press-releases/ppf-group-buys-telenors-telecommunications-assets-in-cee-countries   It takes only few clicks on the net to ascertain the close relationship between Petr Kellner and the pro-Russian president Zeman, as well as the Czech businessman’s exposure in and with Russian firms, including to vet ties to VTB (Home Credit). There is a 100 per cent proven lithmus test – anyone doing business in Russia at the moment in strategic sectors has a rubber stamp of loyalty to Kremlin.   Vladimir Putin raises the stakes and elevates his game against the West to new heights. US and EU sanctions have severly


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theresa may

  A quick snap analysis on the likely outcome of the UK’s National Security Council meeting, presided by British PM Theresa May, today regarding sanctions on Russia, leads to grim conclusion and more than a wartime rhetoric. This is probably the most evident proof of the weakened geopolitical posture of Britain following the Brexit. While NATO’s coordinated response – Britain can still invoke article 5 – is still the first and preferred option – EU’s coordination is essential as effective responses lie beyond the military spectrum – in what hurts Putin most – money and image.   A boycott of the Moscow World Cup seems almost inevitable. I can’t simply see England’s team playing soccer at the Luzhniki pretending business is as usual. If they leave – other’s will follow


  The emerging ruling coalition in Germany might be experiencing hiccups when it comes to agreeing on complex issues, but the Nord Stream-2 project has proven a consensual ground. The German government has formally objected to the EC-proposed amendments to the EU Gas Directive citing trivial protectionist arguments atypical for a nation that pretends to lead the EU. The German government’s interpretation of its support for the Nord Stream-2 is that it is not defending Gazprom’s, but Germany’s own national interests, implying that German and Gazprom interests — Russia’s — are identical and run counter to the European Commission embodied shared interests. This is essentially Berlin’s bottom line – EU is dear to us, but when it comes to cash – our interests rate higher.   There is nothing fundamentally


  Saakashvili’s arrest marks a turning point in Ukraine’s history and its relationship with the West. The trigger – the legislation in the Verkhovna Rada seeking to remove the head of the anticorruption body – NABU – Artem Sytnyk is an undeniable watershed. Despite President Poroshenko’s desperate attempts to portray himself as a champion of anti-corruption and pro-Western Ukrainian drive, the public trust in him and his regime has been irreversibly eroded. The Kiyv Post headline says it all – “Corrupt Empire strikes back”.   Attempts to label Saakashvili as a Kremlin agent ring hollow. His record as Odessa Governor and his open disagreements with President Poroshenko over oligarchs’ privileges and corruption in Ukraine are too strong for the Ukrainian president’s snap kompromat to hold water.   The country has

ilian vassilev

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belene ploshtadka

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  The geopolitical and geo-economic context of the Belene project has changed in many respects, but at the same time, it has retained some permanent and stable features. Some of them stem from the link between the civilian and military nuclear programs of leading countries and from the aspirations of global military-political alliances to “keep an eye on” the development of nuclear energy, not only in respective member states, but also around the world under the nuclear non-proliferation regime. As in the past, the nuclear programs in the military and civilian fields operate in tandem, intertwined at R & D, manufacturing and operational levels.   In fact, civil nuclear power is a by-product of military nuclear programs – which are both natural spin-offs of the nuclear arms race, but also

Picture: nakanune.ru

  The US and EU sanctions talk has been trivialized and few politicians have ever bothered to study in greater depth their impact not only Russia, but on the EU and the rest of world affairs relating to Russia.   These days Alexei Kudrin, the former finance minister, who has the ear of President Putin and runs the Russian Center for Strategic Research, has come out with an unusually stark warning to the Russian elite and public in general – the sanctions will hit much harder and the impact on the country and the regime might be far more dramatic. Needless to say the latest US sanctions – under the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA) – differ significantly from their previous versions. They are a response to Russia’s

turkish stream

  The daily Vedomosti published an article on Turkish Stream, quoting Foreign Minister Lavrov on the need for direct EC guarantees and second rating bilateral agreements, signaling  rising nervousness at the Kremlin with the project advance. It is a most revealing moment for what Russia and its main energy pivot – Gazprom – can afford these days in defying market gravity, while leveraging the Kremlin’s geostrategic moves. Russia’s gas monopoly admitted in June that it is unable to raise project financing – neither in Russia, nor abroad. The new sanctions left Gazprom without a choice but to tap into its own pocket – the 2017 capex program. Banks and investment funds ignored Gazprom’s request, fearing project uncertainty and US sanctions.   The investments associated with Turkish Stream this year, according