Analysis and Publications

Despite past difficulties, Ukraine’s track record of economic reforms appears to have set the country in the right direction, according to Oleksandr Danylyuk, finance minister of Ukraine.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council on April 17, Danylyuk struck an optimistic tone about the coming years in Ukraine as he addressed the economic reforms that the government in Kyiv has undertaken so far. “Despite the difficulties, the previous implementation [of economic reform] shows we can achieve,” he said. According to Danylyuk, that the slew of reforms carried out in the past three years had and will continue to change Ukraine by nourishing the hopes of the Ukrainian people.

The Ukrainian economy is expected to grow at 3.2 percent this year, and into 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund’s just-released World Economic Outlook. However, Ukraine will face a presidential election in 2019, creating both volatility and uncertainty which could cloud prospects for further economic growth.
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The short answer is no.

Brexit may not be avoidable after all.

The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) announced on March 19 that they have agreed on a “large part” of an agreement that would result in Britain leaving the EU.
On February 28, the European Union (EU) published the draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement which provides concrete terms for the United Kingdom (UK)’s separation. The draft marks the beginning of the second phase of Brexit negotiation, focused on the nature of the future relationship between the EU and UK.

With the publication of the draft at this time, the EU takes the initiative and sets the agenda, outmaneuvering the UK, in a pattern similar to what we saw in the first phase of the negotiations. While the priority until this point had been the negotiations for the “exit” part of Brexit, the newly released draft implements key elements of the “divorce deal” agreed in December 2017 and lays the base for negotiating future relations.

Though based on the provisions decided by both UK Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU alone composed the draft withdrawal agreement. May has responded to its release, saying she rejects the document.
Italians go to the polls on March 4th to elect a new government. Under a new electoral system, the outcome is uncertain. The Global Business and Economics program looks at some key economic indicators that could influence the election.
Two developments have rocked the Latvian banking system in recent days. Last week, the country’s third-largest bank, ABLV Bank, was accused by the United States Treasury Department of systematic money laundering and aiding in the circumvention of the sanctions imposed on North Korea. Separately, Latvian Central Bank Governor Ilmars Rimsevics, one of the longest-serving central bank heads in Europe, was held over the weekend by Latvia’s anti-corruption authority after he was accused by officials at Norvik Banka of having demanded a bribe. As of now, the two developments appear unrelated.

Atlantic Council analysts discuss agreement that could end political uncertainty in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on February 7 moved a step closer to forming a coalition government that would include her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).

But first, more than 460,000 members of the SPD will need to approve the coalition agreement in a postal ballot. The results will be announced on March 4.

Approval of the deal would end more than four months of political wrangling that have followed an inconclusive election in September and keep Merkel at the helm for a fourth term as chancellor.
The future of the Irish border is one of the key sticking points in the ongoing Brexit negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK).


    

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