nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2024‒02‒12
fourteen papers chosen by

  1. Beyond the Battle of Narratives: Global soft power dynamics and the EU’s strategic approach on international cultural relations in the context of the emerging new world order By Tamas Szucs
  2. Welfare implications of trade sanctions against Russia By Evgenii Monastyrenko; Pierre M. Picard
  3. The Effects of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine War on Inward Foreign Direct Investment By MS Hosen; SM Hossain; MN Mia; MR Chowdhury
  4. INTEGRAL ASSESSMENT OF THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE UN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS BY THE REGIONS OF RUSSIA By Grishina, Irina (Гришина, Ирина); Shkuropat, Anna (Шкуропат, Анна); Kotov, Alexandr (Котов, Александр); Filatov, Artemiy (Филатов, Артемий)
  5. The effects of sanctions on Russian banks in TARGET2 transactions data By Drott, Constantin; Goldbach, Stefan; Nitsch, Volker
  7. Perspectives et défis pour les importations européennes de terres rares en provenance de Russie : études de cas d'Allemagne, de France et d'Italie By Kohnert, Dirk
  8. Execution of budgets in the regions of the Russian Far Eastern in 2022 and the first half of 2023 By Aleksei Novitskii; Ilya Shevchenko
  9. The energy transition at a critical juncture By Hailes, Oliver
  10. Global Trade Fragmentation. An EU Perspective By Norbert Gaal; Lars Nilsson; Jose Ramon Perea; Alessandra Tucci; Beatriz Velazquez
  11. Digital Skills: Classification, Empirical Estimates of the Demand By Kapelyuk, Sergey; Karelin, Iliya
  12. A news-based economic policy uncertainty index for Nigeria By Salisu, Afees; Salisu, Sulaiman; Salisu, Subair
  13. Perspektiven und Herausforderungen für den Export seltener Erden aus Afrika in die EU By Kohnert, Dirk
  14. 21st Century Accelerated Dedollarization, Multipolarity and The Global South Beyond Modern Money Theory: Governance of a Complex Global Financial System in the Age of Global Instabilities By Khan, Haider

  1. By: Tamas Szucs
    Abstract: This paper argues that global soft power dynamics and the key actors’ behaviour in the battle ofnarratives positions the EU’s strategic approach on international cultural relations beyond this battle.Even though this approach originally counted on a well-functioning liberal democracy guided bythe rule of law, its open and inclusive nature complemented by its readiness to engage in dialogueand focus on the relational process aiming to build trust renders it a useful asset in the emergingmultipolar world.For the success of the EU approach collaborative partners are essential and their level of genuineengagement matters. At the positive end of the global spectrum are the democracies of the GlobalWest and Ukraine, while its war of aggression put Russia firmly on the opposite end. Russia`ssoft power has in fact (almost) always been reliant on the instrumentalisation of culture, clearlyattempting to disrupt the exisiting system of international relations and to reconstruct the Cold Warerabalance of power politics, dividing the world into spheres of influence. Russia’s soft coercionefforts are pivotal in its colonial war aimed at the destruction of not just the Ukrainian state, but alsoof Ukraine’s national and cultural identity, language and history.Ukraine’s response to this “weaponisation of cultural identity” was the direct opposite of Russia`sapproach. With active EU support, a full scale cultural renewal embraced democratic values, butressing Ukraine’s Western orientation and contributing to a wider societal transformation thatreinforces its anti-colonial resistance. China presents a conundrum. Its huge cultural potential andexceptional global significance make a strong case for the EU to develop a specific cultural relationsstrategy with the Asian superpower. On the other hand, China’s regular interference with culturalfreedom within Europe, its internal restrictions on artistic freedom, cultural and religious rights aswell as its increasing alliance with Russia on Ukraine and on disrupting the current rules based worldorder renders this difficult to envisage.Given such a scenario, combined with the importance of trust building, dialogue, co-creation, andseeking equity and fairness to address collective challenges in cultural relations, the Global Southholds the biggest potential for a reinforced implementation of the EU strategic approach. In the GlobalSouth, the EU is generally seen as an attractive and “capable actor, ” performing well in culture andsport in particular. It is already actively engaged in cultural co-creation and intercultural dialoguewith many countries, and supports initiatives to protect and promote cultural heritage, successfulEuropean Spaces of Culture projects have been rolling out on all continents (except Australia) since2019.My paper contends that a reinforced cultural relations approach, complemented by conventionalforms of cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy, should be used in a balanced manner. This wouldrequire targeted, concrete flagship projects in each domain with “differentiated implementation”, adjusted to specific needs with full involvement of local actors and stakeholders. This could improvecoordination among institutional actors. Such an approach also implies moving beyond the rigidapplication of conceptual approaches, as instead of competing with other methods, this new multifactorapproach would offer a scale of choices for concrete actions on the ground which would beadapted to local circumstances. Engaging in genuine dialogue, meaningful co-creation and mutuallybeneficial collaboration with local partners resonates well not just with the basic principles of thecultural relations approach. It also meets the clear message coming from the Global South in thewake of Russia`s war and their search for their own place in the new world power constellation. Thecountries of the Global South are diverse, have their own histories and identities, and are rejectinggeopolitical binaries in favour of multi-alignment and interest-based dialogues. The EU and its Member States, acting collectively, have by far the largest cultural network to engage effectively in third countries across the globe in terms of reinforced cultural relations approach, conventional forms of cultural diplomacy, and public diplomacy. The paradigm shift in international relations due to the Russian invasion and due to the way culture is used by other prominent global actors would fully justify continuing the implementation of the Joint Communication with high ambitions. This implementation should be based on a coherent vision in terms of the overall objectives of the EU`s international cultural relations approach, supported with strong political commitment, leadership, and personal involvement from the top level of EU institutions.
    Date: 2023–07
  2. By: Evgenii Monastyrenko (DEM, Université du Luxembourg); Pierre M. Picard (DEM, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: Since the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine in 2022, Western countries have been discussing and then implementing new trade sanctions against Russian fossil fuels. This paper quantifies such policies’ trade and welfare effects using a general equilibrium model with 92 countries and 65 intermediate products and sectoral linkages. The paper breaks down the effects of the bans on gas, crude and refined oil, and coal, and discusses the impact of alternative coalitions of sanctioning countries. In the most stringent case, the model predicts welfare losses of about 16.8% in Russia and 0.42% in the sanctioning countries. These losses are very heterogeneous across sanctioning countries. The OECD countries have an important role as their participation in sanction policies significantly influences expected outcomes in Russia. Meanwhile, should only EU countries implement fossil fuel sanctions, their welfare losses are predicted to be 3.3% on average
    Keywords: trade shocks, sanctions, welfare outcomes.
    JEL: F13 F14 F17
    Date: 2023
  3. By: MS Hosen; SM Hossain; MN Mia; MR Chowdhury
    Abstract: Inward Foreign Direct Investment (IFDI) into Europe and Asian developing countries like Bangladesh is experimentally examined in this study. IFDI in emerging markets has been boosted by global investment and inflow influenced by resource availability and public policy. The economic policy uncertainty on IFDI in 13 countries is explored at a time when the crisis between Russia and Ukraine war is having a global impact. Microeconomic factors affected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, inflation, interest rates, and the currency rate fluctuated with IFDI, which mostly shocked during COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war. With data from the World Bank and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) database, we compile a panel dataset covering 2018-2022. The researchers used a mixture of panel and linear regression analysis using a random effect model. Our findings show that the impact of global rates hurts IFDI in 13 selected countries. There is a correlation between a country's ability to enforce contracts and the amount of Inward FDI it receives. Using the top 13 hosts of incoming FDI flows COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine wartime series analysis gives valuable information for policymakers in the remaining countries chosen to attract IFDI inflows.
    Date: 2024–01
  4. By: Grishina, Irina (Гришина, Ирина) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Shkuropat, Anna (Шкуропат, Анна) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Kotov, Alexandr (Котов, Александр) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Filatov, Artemiy (Филатов, Артемий) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: The relevance of the work undertaken in RANEPA in 2022 is due to the fact that the national goals of socio-economic development of Russia for the period up to 2030, defined by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated 21.07.2020 N 474, are formulated taking into account the tasks of achieving the global sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the UN. A prerequisite for their implementation is participation of the regions in the process. Localization of the SDGs in line with the new international approaches will strengthen the sustainability of regional policies and cooperation. The subject of the study is new methodology for assessing the achievement of the SDGsfor the regions of the Russian Federation. The purpose of the work is to develop a methodology for assessing the achievement of the UN SDGs by the regions of Russia to clarify the priority areas of regional policy and is based on the following tasks undertaken: analysis of the experience of developed countries in developing an approach and assessing the achievement of SDGs at the level of regions of the second territorial level (according to the OECD classification); analysis of domestic experience in assessing the achievement of SDGs at different levels (national and regional); substantiation of the composition of indicators and methodological approach to assessing the achievement of SDGs at the regional level; formation of an information base for assessing the achievement of SDGs in the regions of the Russian Federation; approbation of the methodology; development of recommendations on priorities for the implementation of Russia's regional policy, based on estimates of indicators for achieving the SDGs. The scientific novelty of the work is determined by the fact that for the first time a new composite index has been developed to assess the achievement of the SDGs in the regions of Russia, based on a system of indicators, consistent with the national goals of Russia until 2030. On its basis, experimental assessments have been obtained that allow for interregional comparisons. Research methods applied: system, factor and statistical analysis of the distribution of indicators; index method, etc. Research results can be used to: clarify priorities and develop regional policy mechanisms that ensure the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the regions of Russia, as well as the achievement of the country's national development goals until 2030 in territorial dimension. The application of the authors’ approach is recommended for information and methodological support of the state regional policy development to increase its effectiveness.
    Keywords: UN Sustainable Development Goals, national development goals, regions of Russia, methods of assessing the achievement of goals, composite indices, methodology, comprehensive assessment, methodology of analysis
    JEL: R11 R12 R13 R58
    Date: 2022–11
  5. By: Drott, Constantin; Goldbach, Stefan; Nitsch, Volker
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of financial sanctions at the most disaggregated level possible, individual bank accounts. Using data from the Eurosystem's real-time gross settlement system TARGET2, we provide empirical evidence that sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russian banks following Russia's aggression against Ukraine in 2014 and 2022 have sizably reduced financial transactions with sanctioned Russian bank accounts, both along the extensive and intensive margins. Among the various sanction measures taken, exclusion from SWIFT, a global provider of secure financial messaging services, turns out to have the largest effects.
    Keywords: financial flows, transactions, restrictions
    JEL: F38 F51 G28
    Date: 2024
  6. By: Vidal Pérez, Esteban
    Abstract: Nicholas Spykman contributed to defining the national security strategy of the United States during WWII, which has served as the framework for its foreign policy ever since. This strategy has been adapted to the current international scenario, in which the rise of China represents the main challenge to the US. As a result, the Indo-Pacific region has become the focal point of US security concerns. This paper examines the consistency of US policy towards the Russian invasion of Ukraine with its national strategy, employing a geopolitical approach based on neoclassical realism. To accomplish this, the paper utilizes the analytical concept of geographic mental map to shed light on how US foreign policy-makers comprehend international politics and make decisions. The objective of this article is to test the hypothesis that US policy towards Ukraine is not coherent with its national security strategy, as it has allocated significant resources to a region of lesser geopolitical importance compared to the Indo-Pacific, where the rivalry with China is taking place. Additionally, the article aims to explain this policy by reviewing the contributions of foreign policy advisors and analyzing official statements from US institutions and decision-makers.
    Date: 2024–01–05
  7. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: The European Union (EU) finds itself in a critical need for rare earths, particularly the refined products essential for the production of electric cars, turbines, and other technological applications. However, the refining process is not only energy-intensive but also poses significant environmental risks. Consequently, local communities, as evidenced by instances in Spain and Portugal, vehemently oppose having such operations in their vicinity, advocating a "beggar thy neighbour" policy. The EU currently relies heavily on China, which controls the majority of global processing, commanding 90% of all rare earths and 60% of lithium. In response to these challenges, the EU took a crucial step in November 2023 by reaching a preliminary agreement on the European Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA). This legislative initiative aims to enhance and diversify the EU's supply of critical raw materials (CRM), foster the circular economy, fortify Europe's strategic autonomy, and explore alternatives to mitigate dependence. Recent transnational crises, including disruptions to supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, underscore the imperative of secure supply chains across all economic sectors. These crises also underscore the significant influence wielded by major emerging economies, notably the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), which dominate key global supply chains, including those for critical raw materials (CRMs). Russia plays a pivotal role as one of the world's largest suppliers of palladium (40% of global supply), the second-largest supplier of platinum (13%) and nickel (12%), and a substantial contributor of aluminium and copper. Furthermore, Russia possesses the potential to emerge as a major player in the rare earths market due to its extensive reserves. The country also accounts for a considerable share of the EU's acquisitions, including palladium (41%), platinum (16%), cobalt (5%), and lithium (4%). Notably, Russia serves as the primary EU source for platinum group metals processing (iridium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium; 40%), phosphate rock extraction (20%), lithium processing (4%), and scandium processing (1%). To attain greater independence in external CRM provision, the EU must make significant investments in its mining and processing facilities. However, mining represents merely the initial phase; subsequent steps involve the separation of rare earth elements (REE) from oxides, refining, and alloy forging a complex, highly specialized, multi-stage process. In this regard, relative newcomers like Europe lag behind, as China has solidified its dominant position in each phase through a concerted, long-term industrial strategy supported by state subsidies.
    Keywords: terres rare; transition énergétique; changement climatique; pollution; marchés émergents; autonomie stratégique; Russie; UE; BRICS; Allemagne; France; Italie; USA; Chine; Minerals Security Partnership; Critical Raw Materials Act; politique industrielle;
    JEL: D24 D43 D52 E23 F13 F18 F23 F51 F63 F64 L13 L61 L63 L72 N14 N54 Q33 Q53 Z13
    Date: 2024–01–27
  8. By: Aleksei Novitskii; Ilya Shevchenko (Federal Autonomous Scientific Institution «Eastern State Planning Centre»)
    Abstract: The article examines the dynamics of the main parameters of the execution of consolidated budgets in the regions of the Russian Far East in 2022 and for 7 months of 2023. In 2022, the main result in the regions of the Far East was the reduction of budget revenues in real terms. In terms of the total volume of budget revenues, as well as the volume of tax and non-tax revenues, the dynamics of revenues in most Far Eastern regions was worse than the average for Russia. With regard to interbudgetary transfers from the federal budget, the rates of revenue decline, on the contrary, were less abrupt. In the first half of 2023, there was an improvement in the dynamics of budget revenues compared to the corresponding period of 2022, however, according to the approved budget estimates, the situation with budget balance remains tense. As of August 1, 2023, in most Far Eastern constituent entities of the Russian Federation, budgets are approved with a significant level of deficit. At the same time, the adjustments made at the federal level to the methodology for distributing equalization grants to constituent entities indicate a tendency to reduce subsidies to the Far Eastern regions in the coming years.
    Keywords: regional budget, Far Eastern Federal District, budget revenues, government debt, federal grants
    JEL: H70
    Date: 2023–12
  9. By: Hailes, Oliver
    Abstract: Amid the Ukraine war, the energy transition has reached a critical juncture: decisions taken by key governmental or commercial actors may irreversibly threaten efforts to limit the rise in global average temperature to 1.5°C. After defining the notions of ‘energy transition’ and ‘critical juncture’, this article describes how the ‘international law of energy’ may both entrench a socio-technical regime based on fossil fuels and promote the transition towards renewable energy. These categories serve to frame several contributions to a symposium, which assist in mapping the rules, processes, and institutions that organize the decisional options of key actors as they try to drive the energy transition through this critical juncture. We conclude by recalling the practical utility of this dynamic map and the pressing need for an authoritative compass to give interpretive direction to the legal organization of the entitlements, obligations, and decisional options of key actors in reorienting energy activities to avoid the catastrophic tipping points of climate change.
    Keywords: OUP deal
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2023–12–21
  10. By: Norbert Gaal; Lars Nilsson; Jose Ramon Perea; Alessandra Tucci; Beatriz Velazquez
    Abstract: The risk of global trade fragmentation has increased significantly. Rising geopolitical tensions, a growing number of trade restrictions and a weakening of multilateral institutions have been important geopolitical drivers. These trends have been accompanied by a drastic rise in trade-inhibiting policy measures, particularly after the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In this context, the EU’s integration in the global economy via trade and value chains remains resilient thus far. Yet, a more fragmented world trade in the future would result of selected decoupling between countries, a general re-balancing towards resilience of value chains and efforts to secure access to key raw materials in lieu of efficiency. This would come at a significant cost. Global trade fragmentation in the form of an increase in trade barriers and higher trade policy uncertainty could lead to significant reduction in global output in the long-term, with low-income countries likely to be more negatively affected.
    Keywords: global trade, fragmentation, geopolitical, tensions, EU, trade and value chains, Gaal, Nilsson, Tucci, Perea, Velazquez
    JEL: F1 F4 F13
    Date: 2023–09
  11. By: Kapelyuk, Sergey; Karelin, Iliya
    Abstract: We provide a review of the various approaches used in the literature to classify digital skills. Utilizing this classification, we conduct an empirical analysis to estimate the demand for digital skills and the wage premium for digital skills in the Russian labor market. Our study uses an extensive dataset of 8 million vacancies posted on the Unified Digital Platform "Work in Russia" from 2018 to 2022. The uniqueness of this dataset lies in the specification of wage data in over 99 percent of the vacancies. The demand for digital skills is determined through the automated processing of employer requirements outlined in job postings. We explore the advantages and limitations of different indicators of digital skills demand and suggest the ratio of vacancies requiring digital skills to the labor force as the most appropriate measure. The findings reveal substantial regional differentiation in the employer’s demand for all groups of digital skills in Russia. Regions with a higher level of economic development tend to have increased requirements for digital skills. Digital skills are more frequently required in regions characterized by higher economic development and those with a focus on natural resources. Of the federal districts, the North Caucasian Federal District stands out with a substantially lower demand for digital skills. A positive wage premium is associated only with advanced and professional digital skills.
    Keywords: human capital; digital skills; digital skills classification; vacancies; labor demand; wage premium; labor force; regional differentiation
    JEL: J23 J24 R10
    Date: 2023–12–24
  12. By: Salisu, Afees; Salisu, Sulaiman; Salisu, Subair
    Abstract: In this study, we develop the first daily news-based economic policy uncertainty [EPU] index for the largest economy in Africa which was hitherto suppressed in the various EPU indices published in recent times. With the renewed interest in Africa as an important destination for investments from developed economies/regions such as Europe, the US, and the UK as well as emerging economies such as China, India, and Russia, among others, in which Nigeria is strategically positioned to benefit from, the need to track the extent of economic uncertainties for the country becomes crucial for investment and policy. Thus, we construct an EPU index from -articles from prominent newspapers in the country using relevant keywords and covers the aftermath of the global financial crisis and also includes the COVID pandemic since the current data scope for the index spans January 01, 2010, to November 30, 2022. We evaluate the in-sample and out-of-sample predictability of the constructed EPU index by examining how it connects with economic/financial variables like exchange rates and stock prices in Nigeria. We provide evidence that lends credence to the inclusion of the index, among other predictors, in the predictive models for the relevant variables to produce more accurate out-of-sample forecasts for them. More importantly, the results are robust to alternative model specifications, different data frequencies, and multiple forecast horizons. We hope to extend this exercise to other useful indices such as geopolitical risk, Financial Stress indicators, and monetary policy uncertainty, among others, which are not readily available for Africa including Nigeria.
    Keywords: News, Economic Policy Uncertainty, Nigeria, Machine Learning, Predictability, Forecast Evaluation
    JEL: C53 C54 D80
    Date: 2023–04–15
  13. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: The African continent is increasingly becoming a battleground in the race between superpowers for access to critical minerals needed for the 'Green Revolution', such as rare earth minerals (REE). Companies from China, the USA and Russia play a major role. In most cases, critical minerals are mined by international mining companies supported by their governments and organizing complex global value chains. So far, China has dominated supply chains and has secured mining contracts across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Currently, China produces 58% of all REEs worldwide. It is the main importer of minerals from Africa, with mineral exports from sub-Saharan Africa to China totalling USD 10 bn in 2019. Its dominance of the global rare earths market is rooted in politics, not geography. Rare earths are neither that rare nor that concentrated in China. Beijing has adopted a strategy of imports, dumping and control of rare earths that is hardly consistent with WTO rules. Therefore, in June 2022, a newly founded 'Minerals Security Partnership', consisting of the USA, the EU, Great Britain and other Western industrialized countries, invited mineral-rich African countries to counter Chinese dominance. These included resource-rich countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The West's push became even more urgent after Beijing imposed export controls on the strategic metals gallium and germanium in July 2023, sparking global fears that China could be next to block exports of rare earth or processing technology. Because African markets are small, they are forced to rely on foreign financing. However, so far, foreign direct investment in rare earth production has confirmed the 'pollution haven' hypothesis about the environmentally harmful effects of FDI flowing into the affected countries. Although the full potential of rare earths in SSA has remained largely untapped due to low exploration, the dark side of the energy transition is becoming increasingly visible. These include pollution of soil, air and water as well as inadequate disposal of toxic residues and intensive water and energy use, occupational and environmental risks, child labour and sexual abuse as well as corruption and armed conflicts. In August 2023, Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, suspended certain illegal Chinese mining activities within its borders, including the activities of Ruitai Mining Company due to its involvement in illegal titanium ore mining. Namibia and the DR Congo followed suit.
    Keywords: Seltene Erden; Energiewende; Klimawandel; Umweltverschmutzung; Schwellenländer; Subsahara-Afrika; EU; Minerals Security Partnership; Südafrika; Nigeria; DR Kongo; Afrikastudien;
    JEL: D24 D43 D52 E23 F13 F18 F23 F51 F63 F64 L13 L61 L63 L72 N17 N57 Q33 Q53 Z13
    Date: 2024–01–15
  14. By: Khan, Haider
    Abstract: I argue that there is a need to create monetary sovereignty for the global south and generate adequate ex ante public investment for full employment. The governments should also be employers of the last resort. Since all existing accumulated evidence since the 2008-9 crisis indicates that we are not near the inflationary barrier, appropriate full employment generating government spending for public investment is a sensible functional finance option. For this to apply to the global south with any plausibility, first an appropriate global financial architecture must be created.This paper analyzes the problems of creating and expanding national macroeconomic policy space and economic governance for the global system which takes historical unevenness seriously and places both the developed and developing countries in the global system within a complex adaptive systems framework . With the recent developments towards the further expansion of BRICS-plus already achieved, accelerated dedollarization and assertion of sovereignty by many countries of the Global South, the creation of an alternative less asymmetric non-IMF based architecture for global financial governance has become a more realistic institutional possibility.
    Keywords: Multipolarity, The Global South, BRICS-plus, Accelerated Dedollarization, Modern Money Theory(MMT), Functional Finance in the Global South, dynamic complex adaptive economic systems, financial crises, global financial architecture, regional financial architectures, a hybrid GFA, regional cooperation, BASEL III reforms, the BIS proposals, Asia, BRICS Development Bank, BRICS financial facility, the IMF.
    JEL: E5 F5 F54
    Date: 2024–01–02

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