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AssessmentsJul 9, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
A crane moves Nord Stream 2 pipes at a port near Sassnitz, Germany, on June 5, 2019.
Nord Stream 2 Overcomes One Hurdle Only to Be Met With Another
Denmark’s decision to drop certain technical requirements for operating in its waters will allow Russia to use both of its available pipe-laying vessels to finish constructing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Another Russian vessel, the MV Fortuna, will now also be allowed to operate on the natural gas pipeline between Germany and Russia in Danish waters beginning Aug. 3. The United States, however, is now seeking to expand its sanctions to target all services related to constructing Nord Stream 2, including supply vessels and backfilling vessels. But even if construction is completed before additional sanctions disrupt progress, Washington could still take action to prevent Russia and Germany from putting their pipeline into operation.
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Quarterly ForecastsJun 29, 2020 | 00:02 GMT
2020 Third-Quarter Forecast
While many of the trends identified in our annual forecast remain slowed down by COVID-19, their pace is picking up as countries carefully emerge from lockdown.
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On GeopoliticsJun 24, 2020 | 19:11 GMT
An Indian fighter jet flies over a mountain range near the disputed territory of Ladakh on June 23, 2020.
A Border Clash Portends a New Indian Strategy of Less Talk, More Action Against China
Following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's strong condemnation of Chinese actions at the Line of Actual (LAC) control, India is poised for a significant strategy shift in how it manages its contested border with China. The June 15 clash in the long-disputed territory of Ladakh, which marked the first time Indian troops have died at the hands of Chinese forces since 1975, has highlighted India's failure to dissuade China from attempting to permanently alter the balance of power along the border via diplomatic and confidence-building measures. This has left New Delhi more likely to pursue more confrontational options, which will undoubtedly have its risks, though India's battle-tested military may find such an escalation to its short-term advantage. 
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AssessmentsFeb 28, 2020 | 18:24 GMT
Two women wearing blue, protective respiratory masks take a tour outside the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, on Jan. 31, 2020, after two cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed in the city.
What a Coronavirus Crisis Means for Europe
Europe's stock markets have plunged in recent days, with its largest economies (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain) now all reporting upticks in cases of COVID-19, the coronavirus that emerged from China in recent weeks. Stocks in European industries reliant on Chinese supplies, such as in the technology sector, have suffered some of the sharpest losses, along with airline and credit card companies, due to the expected reduction of economic activity in Europe. But with the size and scope of the contagion expected to grow for at least several more weeks, these stock market dips may just be the tip of the iceberg as disruptions to Europe's supply chains, domestic consumption and tourism sector -- and potentially even border crossings -- begin to more acutely affect the bloc's already slowing economy.
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GuidanceJan 30, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
Cleaners wearing protective masks clean the gate in the arrival hall at a Hong Kong rail station on Jan. 29, 2020.
The Coronavirus Outbreak Could Leave Global Tourism and Trade Ailing
The effects of the new coronavirus are not just limited to public health. Any dip in Chinese economic growth and outbound tourism will have ripple effects in countries that rely on trade with China. The existing global economic slowdown prior to the outbreak has already done a number on the likes of export-oriented economies worldwide, but the possibility of a drop in Chinese tourist numbers or a blow to Chinese economic growth could sap tourist revenue around the world, particularly in East and Southeast Asia. The next phase of the outbreak will be critical to determining the success of interventions to stop the spread of the virus and limit its impacts outside China. But even in an optimistic scenario, the effects of the virus will last for weeks, raising the possibility of sustained, monthslong disruptions to growth in countries linked to the Chinese economy.
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AssessmentsDec 30, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
A natural gas line runs outside Donetsk, Ukraine, on March 11, 2015.
A New Gas Transit Deal Won't Keep Ukraine and Russia Together for Long
For the short term at least, Ukrainians and Europeans won't have to worry about shelling out more to heat their homes this winter. An eleventh-hour extension to an energy transit agreement will guarantee the continued flow of natural gas from Russia to Europe through Ukraine over the next five years, but there is little indication that the current deal will presage longer-term cooperation between Moscow and Kyiv. Indeed, lingering distrust between the two capitals will lead Ukraine down the path of producing its own natural gas to achieve self-sufficiency in the longer term, while Russia will strive to shift shipments to pipelines in the Baltic and Black seas that don't present as much of a political nuisance. Ultimately, the emergence of other transit routes will reduce the calming effect that natural gas transit deals have had on the two countries' larger political disputes over hot-button issues like Crimea, eastern Ukraine
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AssessmentsDec 23, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual press conference on Dec. 19, 2019, in Moscow.
Western Sanctions on Russia Will Remain Stable in 2020
While Russia has so far weathered the increasing number of sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union since its 2014 seizure of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine, the West has the power to severely dim Moscow's long-term outlook. It will almost certainly refrain from doing so in 2020, however, though it might slow down one of Russia's natural gas pipeline projects and lessen its ability to sell military hardware abroad.
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