Seven of 15 former Soviet countries have become “consolidated authoritarian regimes”, says new report; fall in oil prices linked to lack of transparency, accountability

Author: Nate Schenkkan, Freedom House, Published on: 12 April 2016

"Nations in tansit 2016: Europe and Eurasia brace for impact", 12 April 2016

While illiberal nationalism rose in Europe, with Central European leaders closing borders and denouncing refugees and migrants as a threat to the nation, financial pressures brought about by falling oil prices and worker remittances undermined the economies of Russia and most former Soviet states. The risk is that these separate developments could converge, with the collapse of Eurasian states adding to Europe’s growing list of troubles...In the Eurasian half of the Nations in Transit region, the collapse in global commodity prices, especially oil, drove Russia into recession and triggered similarly desperate currency crises and budget shortfalls in the petrostates of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. The decline rippled through the non-energy economies of the Eurasian periphery that are dependent on Russia through subsidies and migrant labor: Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan...Seven of the 15 countries of the former Soviet Union are now consolidated authoritarian regimes at the very bottom of the Nations in Transit scale, with Democracy Scores approaching the worst-possible 7.00. Over 224 million people live in these countries, accounting for 77 percent of the total population of the former Soviet Union and 55 percent of the total population of the Nations in Transit coverage area.

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