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lodkite

  The offshore business, investment and banking world, at times, carries a pretty bad rap in Eastern Europe. Often when people think of going offshore, what comes to mind is corrupt officials siphoning off public funds, then moving their assets to international tax havens and secret bank accounts.   But Eastern European states themselves are havens for business and capital, as well as immigrant investors. With relatively low taxes across the region and low costs of living and labor, Eastern Europe already attracts entrepreneurs, investors and expatriates looking to relocate their businesses, capital and/or themselves to greener pastures.   The lure of Eastern Europe for the nomad capitalist   “I think Eastern Europe is a great place,” global citizenship expert Andrew Henderson said in an interview with Bulgaria Analytica on

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europa

  A recent Eurobarometer survey ranked Bulgarians last among EU citizens with the most depressed European self-awareness. Only 52 per cent of the polled Bulgarians, the lowest figure among all EU countries, felt positive as EU citizens. Further to that – a record 46% answered “no”.   This gives a frightening picture of the failure in the transition period which was meant to help totalitarian Bulgarians convert into European citizens with self-esteem and self-determination.   What are the reasons?   Let’s divide them into two groups – objective and subjective. The first are locked in the objective metering of the degree of convergence between the Central European averages and the Bulgarian indicators for prosperity and security. The Bulgarian citizen does not feel sufficiently converged into the European space; he is

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Alex A

  Alexander Rayko Alexiev was named for his father, the famous painter, caricaturist, and satirist Rayko Alexiev, who was tortured and killed by Bulgaria’s Soviet-backed communist regime in 1944.  His mother was dispatched for many years to Bulgaria’s gulag from which she was fortunate to emerge alive.  These events created the context for their son’s life and work, which was intense, focused, intellectually profound, spirited, and inspirational. Unsurprisingly, Alex harbored a deep-seated hatred of communism and those who claimed to follow it, or who advanced preposterous claims on its behalf.   He was raised largely by his grandparents and other relatives, for whom he had the deepest love and respect. His grandfather, in particular, figured in many of Alex’s recollections of his childhood, which were invariably full of dark humor. 

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RIP_ALEX_EN

  With the deepest sorrow and a heavy heart, the team of the Bulgaria Analytica lets you know the founder and Chairman of the Board of the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies, a friend and a partner passed away in the early hours of the 28th of July, 2019. His legacy will live in time as his work, analyses, commentaries, presentations, interviews, lectures will continue to serve as a guide for the current and future generations of readers. He was a true son of his father, Rayko Alexiev, who was tortured to death by the totalitarian regime in Bulgaria. After years of repression, he fled Bulgaria in 1968 and settled in the US, where he had a remarkable life, starting with his graduation from the University of California,

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bvp

  The US and EU sanctions   Both the EU and the US are contemplating new sanctions following the Cyprus-drilling conflict and the purchase of the S-400. Erdogan seems defiant on both counts and further sanctions seem equally unavoidable.   Turkey’s armed forces have been planning a major offensive in Northern Syria against the US-backed Kurdish Protection Units (YPG), in defiance of US and EU warnings for possible conflict escalation. A sense of urgency has been added to Erdogan’s preparatory works to invade Syria as Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E have responded positively to US calls to send troops to areas held by the YPG.   Russia is tacitly encouraging further cracks in relations with the West by allowing Erdogan a certain range of freedom in Syria, against the

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Снимка: tccb.gov.tr

The backstage role of Schroeder.   President Erdogan seems intent to further expand the impact zone of the S-400 deal – testing the tolerance of his partners in NATO and the EU. Both are contemplating sanctions which seem too lenient to bite yet indicate a path that has no worst-case scenario beyond the realm of the possibility. Volkswagen’s investments in Turkey, with the heavy lobbying of the key Kremlin asset ex-Chancellor Schroeder, inevitably will face huge and potentially escalating tough-to-mitigate political risks.   No immediate collapse foreseen – slowly evolving strategic shift   To start with – the nature and the timeline of the risk evolve in time. Although no immediate collapse in Turkey is foreseen as part of Erdogan’s departure from Kemal Ataturk’s European and part of the West identity, the

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xenophobia

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 07/21/2019.   Two events happened last week – one profusely covered in the European and world media, the other hardly at all – that would have long-lasting and, in the second case, profound implications for generations to come. The first case, of course, had to do with the elections off Ursula von der Leyen as the new president of the European Commission, the second, with the publication of a study showing that the Germans increasingly are losing their majorities to those with a migrant background.   The second study was, of course, vastly more important historically for the future of Europe, but, that, predictably was not the coverage it received. Instead, it was barely noticed, driven as it was to obscurity by the hubbub of

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Ukraine-Russia-Pipelines1

  Loss of Ukrainian gas transit does increase the risk of military conflict.     In October 2013, I came across an anonymous blogger’s note about Russia forming a separate air assault brigade to stop shale gas development in Eastern Ukraine [1]. It was several months before the Ukrainian revolution of 2014 [2], and I dismissed the news as fake. However, after the start of combat activities in the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, the note made a lot of sense.   Coincidentally or not, the gas supply system of Gazprom was ready for the war in Ukraine.  For many years Rostov-on-Don and two more provinces of Southern Russia were receiving gas through Eastern Ukraine. In 2007, Gazprom commissioned a bypassing pipeline enabling “to directly supply gas to Russian

This entry was posted in Bulgaria, Europe, The Region and tagged , , , , , , by Mikhail Korchemkin.

About Mikhail Korchemkin

Dr. Mikhail Korchemkin is the founder and managing director of East European Gas Analysis, a consulting company that specializes in cost-benefit and financial analysis of natural gas projects in the former Soviet Union. His previous experience includes performing numerous feasibility studies for the USSR Gas Ministry, predecessor of Gazprom. Prior to going into full-time consulting Mikhail taught at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also had visiting scholarships at Harvard University and Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Mikhail has consulted numerous corporate and governmental clients including ABN-AMRO Bank, Amoco, BP, British Gas, Chevron, Conoco, Ernst & Young, ExxonMobil, Gas Strategies, Gasunie, Neste Oy, Osaka Gas, OTA of the U.S. Congress, Ruhrgas, Shell, Statoil , Swedegas, Total, Vattenfall and The World Bank. He has acted as expert witness in arbitration cases concerning natural gas business in Russia and Eastern Europe.
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map-nord-stream_1

  The German government is continuing to insist that the Nord Stream-2 is pure business, no politics. Having read the feasibility study commissioned by the Nord Stream-2 consortium and executed by Arthur D. Little in 2017, one should not second guess the real motives of both the Russian and the German governments – there is a list of jointly agreed countries that stand to gain and by extension that stand to lose. What is missing in the study is the list of countries that are bound to lose.   The consultant has been asked to assess the economic impact of the project – “the activities and investments, related to the Nord Stream-2 project on those countries that are either directly involved in the project, or have contributed with materials or