1st Edition

The Russian Economic Grip on Central and Eastern Europe

Edited By Ognian Shentov Copyright 2019
    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is about the use of economic and state capture levers for achieving political clout. It details how Moscow has been able to exploit governance deficits and influence decision-making in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe through a range of economic means. The comparative country by country perspective on Russia’s corporate presence, trade, and investment in particular sectors of the region, especially energy, shows the patterns of the Kremlin’s use of economic presence and state capture tactics to amplify political and social leverage. By collating economic data with an analysis of governance loopholes and the political process, the authors reveal the Kremlin’s methods for swaying national policies, especially through the exploitation of governance failures in these countries. The book thereby highlights how Russia’s economic power is related to its wider strategic goals. It concludes that Russia’s economic grip, both direct and indirect, is tighter than official statistics imply.


    Part One: Russian Influence Root Causes

    1.1. Reassessing Russian Influence: Economic and Governance Underpinning

    1.2. State Capture: Kremlin’s Influence Amplifier

    1.3 Russian Influence, Trust in Media and Media Capture

    1.4. Structural Economic Vulnerabilities

    Part Two: The National Specifics of Russian Economic Influence and State Capture

    2.1. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Institutional Fissures

    2.2. Bulgaria: State Capture Unplugged

    2.3. Hungary: Leveraging Political Influence

    2.4. Latvia: Follow the Money

    2.5. Lithuania: Resilience Despite the Odds

    2.6. Macedonia: A New Russian Frontier

    2.7. Montenegro: The Power of Small

    2.8. Serbia: Restoring the Great Game

    2.9. Slovakia: Energy Dependence Vulnerabilities



    Ognian Shentov is Chairman of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Sofia, Bulgaria

    Ruslan Stefanov is the Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy Economic Program, Sofia, Bulgaria

    Martin Vladimirov is an analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy, Sofia, Bulgaria