WSJ and Foreign Affairs Frontier Markets Briefing: Russia and the EAEU

New York


In recent years, Russia has been aggressively promoting the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a regional trade bloc comprising several former Soviet states across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. As the region’s economies become increasingly intertwined, questions are arising about Russia’s ultimate goal for the EAEU. In this unique collaboration between The Wall Street Journal and Foreign Affairs, we will explore the EAEU’s economic and political effects in the region and consider how Russia is using its economic heft and the power of trade to further its geopolitical agenda, as doubts grow about the strength and durability of the liberal international order and the Western-led system of global free trade.


5:00pm-5:30pm: Check-in

5:30pm-6:00pm: Geopolitical Overview

Alina Polyakova, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution

Moderator: Gideon Rose, Editor, Foreign Affairs

6:00pm-6:30pm: Business Environment Overview

Charles Robertson, Global Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital

Moderator: Dan Keeler, Editor, Frontier Markets, The Wall Street Journal

6:30pm-7:00pm: Joint Q&A with the audience

7:00pm-8:00pm-Cocktail Reception 


Dan Keeler, as the Editor, Frontier Markets at The Wall Street Journal, coordinates the Journal’s coverage of the world’s frontier markets. Dan conceived and launched the frontier market coverage in early 2014, adding a well-regarded weekly frontiers newsletter later that year. 

Dan also led the planning and editorial content development of the Journal’s highly successful inaugural Africa Investing Conference, which took place in London in March 2017.

WSJ’s frontier market coverage brings together a broad range of news and analysis, providing readers with a deeper understanding of some of the world’s most dynamic and fast-growing economies.

Dan regularly speaks at frontier-market-focused events. He’s moderated panel discussions at a variety of leading conferences, including Africa business conferences at Harvard and Wharton business schools, frontier-focused panels and discussions at Columbia University and the New York Society of Securities Analysts events, keynote interviews at the IFC/Emerging Markets Private Equity Association annual conference, and panel discussions at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and the Institute for Global Development.

Dan also teaches a frontier markets course to MBA students at Kellogg School of Management as an adjunct professor of finance.

Prior to joining the Journal Dan was the Editor of Global Finance magazine, where he steered the magazine’s coverage toward corporate responsibility and emerging markets.

He is also founder of New York’s FM Network, a group that hosts gatherings of finance professionals focused on smaller emerging markets.

Dr. Alina Polyakova is the David M. Rubenstein Fellow for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe and Adjunct Professor of European studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Polyakova is a recognized expert on European populism and Russian foreign policy and political warfare. She is the author of the 2015 book, The Dark Side of European Integration, which examines the role of national identity and the rise of far-right political parties in Europe. Polyakova has written extensively on Russia and Europe in The New York TimesThe AtlanticForeign AffairsThe Wall Street Journal and is a frequent commentator on Fox News, CNN, BBC and elsewhere.

A former Fulbright scholar, Polyakova previously served as Director of Research and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and as Senior Research Fellow and Professor at the University of Bern, Switzerland, and has held prestigious fellowships from the National Science Foundation. She holds a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.

Charles Robertson, a leading emerging markets specialist, is Renaissance Capital’s Global Chief Economist and Head of the Firm’s Macro-strategy Unit. Mr. Robertson covers the global economic themes having the greatest impact on emerging markets.

Over the past two decades, the scope of Mr. Robertson’s work has covered, among other topics: measuring democratisation and dictatorship risk in emerging markets; how the retirement age rising to 67 reflects deep-rooted problems in the West and great opportunities in emerging markets; how Africa can begin to escape the commodity cycle via broader education; the impact of terrorism and natural disasters on tourism; key ways to examine exchange rates in emerging and frontier markets, and why emerging-markets banks should thrive in the long-term.

Mr. Robertson is the lead author of The Fastest Billion: The Story Behind Africa’s Economic Revolution (, published in October 2012.

Mr. Robertson was ranked the number-one economics and macro analyst for emerging Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the Extel survey in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. In addition, the team he led was ranked the best macro team in Extel’s 2010 survey of equity investors. Another of Charlie’s teams took 1st place for SSA coverage in the institutional investor survey for 2012.

In 2016, Charlie was ranked 1st in the Extel survey for Frontier markets and again was 1st for Frontier markets in 2017, while Renaissance Capital was the top ranked firm for Frontier markets.

Mr. Robertson graduated from the London School of Economics in 1993, and worked at a UK parliamentary defense think-tank and a research boutique until joining the financial services industry in 1998.

Gideon Rose

Gideon Rose was appointed Editor of Foreign Affairs in October 2010. He was Managing Editor of the magazine from 2000 to 2010. He has also served as Associate Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council and Deputy Director of National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and has taught American foreign policy at Princeton and Columbia. He is the author of How Wars End (Simon & Schuster, October 2010).



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