Publish Date:

After some delay, Russia has decided to extend its grain deal with Ukraine for another 4 months, easing fears that Russia might abandon the deal. This deal will continue allowing Ukraine to ship grain through the Black Sea. Ukraine is already shipping millions of tons of grain through this deal. Ukraine is also a top supplier of wheat, barley, and supplies 46% of the world’s sunflower oil.

Publish Date:

On October 3rd, 2022, the Ukrainian forces made their biggest breakthrough yet. Their forces have accelerated their advance into Russian-held areas of the southern Kherson region, while Western officials downplay the likelihood of Russia using nuclear weapons in retaliation. Ukrainian troops announced the liberation of several towns, while Moscow sought to prevent an encirclement of its forces in the east and south of the country. The Ukrainian soldiers waved their flag over Davydiv Brid and claimed the liberation of Starosillya, Arkhangelskoye, and Velyka Oleksandrivka.

Publish Date:

An energy crisis brewing in Europe could end many businesses and lead to a global supply chain disaster for an already struggling system. Two large industries affected by this will be the metals sector and the agricultural sector. With these significant sectors at risk, European governments are attempting to face this problem every day to see how they may be able to stop this issue as fast as possible.

Publish Date:

Facial recognition is becoming more and more common throughout several different industries. Whether it is companies using it for marketing, law enforcement using it to identify suspects, or tech companies to unlock devices easily, facial recognition is seen almost everywhere in our lives. Companies like Apple, Lowe’s, Albertsons, Macy’s, and Ace Hardware already use the technology, while places like Walgreens, McDonald’s, 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Starbucks, and Ross are just a few among the ones that might use it in the future. It is not only seen in a variety of companies, but The Interpol Face Recognition System (IFRS) also has a database that spans more than 179 countries. The big question remains: should facial recognition be implemented in a war zone?

Publish Date:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022, has had a rippling effect across the world. On a global level, one of the most talked-about and impacted resources is oil. Even though Russia only makes up 2% of the global economy, its stake in global energy is far more significant. Russian wells are responsible for 11% of global oil consumption, and an even higher 17% of natural gas consumption.

Publish Date:

 Since Thursday, February 24th, when Russia invaded Ukraine, tons of companies, from clothing companies such as Nike to media services such as Netflix, have decided to cut ties with Russia and suspend their services. The reason behind the decision to close their stores in Russia is to express their disapproval of Russia invading UkraineApple, who just expanded into Russia with a brand-new office building in Moscow, Russia, was hiring people to work in the building right before the invasion, so they didn’t just cut off their products in the country, but also the use of the brand new building.

Publish Date:

Following its invasion of UkraineRussia enacted a law that threatens prison time for anybody who publishes what officials believe to be misleading or false information regarding the invasion. This law states that people found guilty of knowingly disseminating what Moscow deems false information about using Russia’s armed forces would face up to 15 years in prison or a fine of up to 1.5 million rubles, roughly equivalent to $14,000. After this, TikTok blocked new material from Russia on Sunday, and Netflix Inc. paused its service there.

Publish Date:

“Did you see this on TikTok?” seems to be one of the most popular conversation starters nowadays, as most of our favorite social media platforms feature these short video clips that capture users’ attention. TikTok has a widespread influence as it publishes funny moments, advertising campaigns, and global news to 1 billion users. Such substantial power over media content comes with great responsibility, which TikTok is noticing as conflict between Russia and Ukraine intensifies both in the field and in their app.

Publish Date:

The past two years have been crazy for many industries, including the oil market. Crude oil was sliding into the negatives early on in the pandemic; however, the price has surpassed $100 per barrel recently. The global benchmark, Brent crude oil, was trading above $130 per barrel this past week. Since gas prices primarily depend on oil prices, there has been a significant increase in gas prices worldwide. Many reasons led to this increase, some weighing more than others.

Publish Date:

It’s safe to say that the global economy has been relatively trouble-ridden since the beginning of the pandemic. Many countries are struggling to find solutions to economic issues like high inflation, depreciating value of native currencies, and shortages. Unfortunately, with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, these issues are expected to intensify for the time being. Many western countries, including the U.S., Canada, UK, and European Union are imposing sanctions on Russia, further contributing to economic turmoil both in Russia and domestically.

Publish Date:

The rise of the East and the decline of the West have become a common theme among Chinese government officials. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are plotting the next Cold War. China and Russia’s relationship grew closer over the mutual interest to dismount the United States' dominance. With the United States occupied with COVID-19 and pulling troops out of Afghanistan in disarray, Russia and China see an opportunity to invade the nearby countries Ukraine and Taiwan. Both countries have been targets for China and Russia for decades. As Ukraine struggles to join NATO it will be a tough battle for them to compete with Russia. Also, China is being projected to become the world’s largest economy and building the world’s largest army they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Publish Date:

On July 11, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman together signed the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA). The agreement, signed in Kiev, is meant to further improve market access between the two countries, settle trade conditions, create jobs, and cement their status as allies. The Canadian government has been a fervent supporter of Ukraine ever since the nation's first clashes with Russia, which left Ukraine in war-torn, economically faltering conditions. Talks for CUFTA between the two countries had been going for months before final negotiations wrapped up last year. Now, the confirmation of CUFTA signifies Canada's continued support of Ukraine in the face of its struggles.

Publish Date:

Ukraine’s economy has contracted ten of the last eleven quarters in an economic downturn that stretches back to 2012. In the first quarter of 2015 the economy contracted 18% compared to the same period last year, while Gross Domestic Product fell 7% in the same period. The underlying causes of this recession are both a downturn in the domestic market, as well as a struggle to sever its economic dependence on Russia and orient itself more towards the west, specifically the European Union.

Publish Date:

The United States has pledged financial support of $2 billion to Ukraine to help them prevent a looming bankruptcy, and boost recovery efforts amidst the financial turmoil in Europe and Asia. Ukraine is trying to recover and stabilize its economy, but the waging conflict in Eastern Ukraine with Pro-Russia rebels is hurting the economy and driving down consumer spending.

Publish Date:

Now that a year has passed since former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign Ukraine's EU Association Agreement, which began the protests in Maidan Square in Ukraine, the dust from the conflict is beginning to settle allowing speculation regarding the outlook of the nation's rebuilding economy. Now that current President Petro Poroshenko has signed the agreement, many economists are pointing towards rapid growth in the country's tech sector as a sign that clear skies are ahead for the European-aligned new Ukraine. In spite of this, crippling corruption and a brain drain are also casting doubts over Ukraine's foreseeable future.

Publish Date:

Tensions across Europe are escalating as a potential energy crisis is looming in the near future. In June of this year, Russia cut off all gas supplies to Ukraine, citing Ukraine's failure to payback debt. Ukraine has since been receiving gas from Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Hungary, however, suspended the flow of natural gas to Ukraine last Friday, intensifying the energy crisis in Ukraine.  Ukraine is dependent on natural gas to heat homes and to power industry during the rapidly approaching winter months.

Publish Date:

Within the last weeks, few news headlines have been as heart-wrenching as the loss of 298 lives on the Malaysian Airlines commercial flight that has been suspected of being destroyed by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. Stemming from the Russian government's support of this group, many countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, have proposed increasing sanctions on Vladimir Putin's government. These sanctions would include banning people in the U.S. from banking with three Russian banks, as well as sanctions targeting the oil sector, defense equipment, and sensitive technologies.

Publish Date:

In the midst of what appeared to be a comeback for the European automotive market, which includes western Russia in international marketing figures, the current political crisis in Ukraine has spurred on fears that Russia's days as a growing reliable source of car sales may be coming to a quick halt. Seeing as Russian forces in the Crimea region has resurrected Cold War tensions between Russian and Western supported factions, American and European investors in the Russian automotive market have reportedly lost confidence in Russia as a continued source of fuel for the sector's global recovery. These tensions come alongside economic turmoil that the international automotive industry has been handling in other emerging markets, which includes the currency market problems that are worsening prospects in the emerging-market countries of Turkey and South Africa.

Publish Date:

The political and economic future of Ukraine remains uncertain despite a rapidly changing political situation. This uncertainty will undoubtedly affect economic conditions for those in Ukraine but also other countries supporting Ukraine. Officials from both the United States and the European Union have stated that they are willing to provide financial assistance to Ukraine. How will the future of Ukraine be shaped by this financial assistance and growing international relationship?

Publish Date:

Ukraine’s economic future is contingent on a key decision that will be made by government leaders in the next couple of weeks.  In short, the country’s leaders must decide whether or not to accept a free-trade and political-association agreement with the European Union.  If Ukraine passes on this agreement, it is likely that the country will become a part of the Russian-led Customs Union, which also includes Belarus and Kazakhstan.  This decision will undoubtedly shape Ukraine’s economic environment going forward, especially related to trade.

Publish Date:

Recently, Doug Barry of the U.S. Commercial Service, interviewed Rich Steffens, who is head of the Senior Commercial Office in the Ukraine. In the interview, Mr. Steffens describes the learning curve required to effectively market and do business in the Ukraine and the larger former Soviet bloc. He also describes the major industries and natural resources which shape the way business is done, and the future markets that might emerge there. He also describes ways in which the U.S. Commercial service can, and has provided assistance to those seeking to do business in the Ukraine.

Check out the video version of the interview, or read the transcript!