A resumption of lending in Russia by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) remains a distant perspective, even after the restart of the Ukraine peace settlement. Nevertheless, the EBRD is facing a competition from Moscow in the CIS.
Last year, 14 per cent of Lithuania's exports went to Russia, the largest share among the country's other importers. Latvia is Lithuania's second biggest trade partner, followed by Poland and Germany.
Serbia signed an agreement with Russian Nuclear Energy Corporation for the development of innovations and new technologies in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, primarily in medicine and agriculture.
Seven German MEPs across the political spectrum called on the German government to clarify its position on the politically contentious planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline linking Russian natural gas sources with German consumers.
The banking sector of Belarus, already shaken by the US sanctions that affect the local subsidiaries of Russian leading state-owned lenders, will face further problems if the US administration adopts new restrictions against Russia's richest businessmen.