Ukraine: Clashes outside Parliament in Kiev

A controversial vote was passed in Kiev’s Parliament over the weekend, granting more autonomy to separatist regions in the east of the country, as per the agreement outlined in the Minsk II accords this past February. This did not stop pro-Ukrainian protesters from rioting after the vote was announced, killing one police officer and injuring…

Iran Relaxes Civil Society Policies

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that his government will “soften” its stance vis-à-vis civil society organizations and nonprofits. The government’s stance towards NGOs had over the past 12 years hardened due to how increasingly politicized the organizations had become during the former Iranian Khatami administration. The government is expected to pass a new bill in…

Ukraine Reaches Agreement to Restructure Debt

Ukraine reached an agreement with a group of its creditors to restructure its debt and avoid a looming default. The investors will accept a 20% write-off on the estimated $18 billion in debt on the country’s bonds and accept a freeze on repayment for the next four years. The Ukrainian finance ministry has lauded the…

Central Asia faces competitive devaluations of local currencies

The yuan’s devaluation and the subsequent fall of the tenge have been rippling through the global economy. Central Asian governments are now considering devaluing their own currencies to keep pace with the Kazakh tenge and Chinese RMB, primarily due to how exchange rates affect balance of trade. Export dependent countries like Kazakhstan with its oil…

Iran, UK Resume Diplomatic Relations

Iran will resume diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom following a two year hiatus. The two countries have agreed to reopen embassies in London and Tehran and to begin to work toward a stronger commercial relationship. Seemingly in accordance with this policy, Iran announced that it would open two new banks in London: the Melli…

Kazakhstan devalues tenge by record 23%

In a long-expected but still stunning move, Kazakhstan’s Central Bank has relinquished control of its exchange rate, allowing a free float. The currency immediately plunged against a basket of other world reserve currencies by some 23%, by far the largest drop in the history of the tenge currency, even surpassing last year’s unilateral 19% devaluation…