MAIN TAKEAWAY OF THE MONTH
Russia’s war in Ukraine continues to put pressure on the regional and international stability, as this month, the Kremlin declared martial law in the captured Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhizhia. Moscow also announced the start of training of its strategic deterrent forces, raising concerns of a possible nuclear escalation of the crisis. The Western nations continue to provide Ukraine with military and financial support, while also moving away from the Russian gas dependency. Meanwhile, Russia has announced the suspension of the UN-brokered grain deal, emphasizing its readiness to send 500.000 tons of grain for free to the poorest countries and to replace Ukrainian grain with its own.
In the energy field, OPEC announced that it will reduce its oil production, increasing energy prices. Russia is considering using Turkey as an alternative third party for gas deliveries in Europe, while expanding its gas deliveries to Asia. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) is working on introducing a dynamic price cap and has filled 94.3% of its gas reserves. Romania is working on expanding regional energy projects, including projects involving Moldova, which is struggling with its dependence on Russian energy.
In October, the Balkans witnessed post-election protests in Republika Srpska, a lingering political crisis in Bulgaria, and the potential resumption of tensions between Kosovo and Serbia. Nonetheless, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been recommended for candidate status by the European Commission.