Eastern Europe / News

Webinar & Podcast: Whither Ukraine in 2021?

Ben Aris in Berlin November 26, 2020

Without an IMF deal can Ukraine get through 2021 without a crisis? With $11bn of debt to pay in debt redemption but only $26bn in reserves, Ukraine is headed for a crisis unless it can kiss and make up with the IMF.

Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict

bne IntelIiNews November 25, 2020

Production might possibly be complicated by parts export ban introduced by Canada.

Accusations fly as a new coronavirus vaccine candidate enters the race for the $100bn market

Ben Aris in Berlin November 25, 2020

Another vaccine has entered the race to cure the world of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but unlike the US version, when AstraZeneca announced its successful preliminary trial results its share price crashed as a result.

Putin increases personal income tax for the first time in two decades

Ben Aris in Berlin November 24, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin hiked personal income taxes from their flat 13% for the first time in two decades with a decree signed on November 22.

Belarus hits EU with tit-for-tat sanctions

bne IntelliNews November 23, 2020

The Belarusian government hit the EU and a number of European countries with tit-for-tat sanctions on November 22 and suspended all dialogue with the EU on human rights, according to the Belarusian Foreign Minister, Vladimir Makei.

Rosatom's €12.5bn nuclear plant expansion in Hungary moves forward

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest November 23, 2020

Hungary's energy regulator MEKH issued an electricity implementation licence for the construction of two new blocks at the Paks nuclear power plant in a fast-track procedure.

Belarusian police introduce colour-coded torture system for detained protesters

Ben Aris November 22, 2020

Belarusian police have introduced a colour-coded system for marking detainees that determines how severely they will be beaten, according to reports posted on social media

Russians get ready to spend the holidays at home as Xmas tree sales soar 23-fold

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2020

Russians are getting ready to celebrate a COVID-19 Christmas at home and have been laying in supplies for the holiday season that saw artificial Christmas tree orders on Russia’s biggest e-commerce site Wildberries soar 23-fold.

KAZ Minerals says risks around Baimskaya copper project in Russia up due to new government infrastructure plan

Kanat Shaku in Almaty November 19, 2020

Complex submitted development plan for Chukotka "has resulted in higher infrastructure costs and a delay to the bankable feasibility study".

Kremlin publicly condemns Belarusian police brutality in hint of growing frustration with Lukashenko

Ben Aris in Berlin November 18, 2020

There have been a string of signs from the Kremlin that it is slowly losing patience with Belarus' self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko as the brutality of his repressive tactics continues to ratchet up.

Belarus OMON arrest and torture demonstrators defending slain protester's impromptu memorial at weekend march

bne IntelliNews November 16, 2020

Hundreds of Belarusian OMON riot police clashed with demonstrators at the “Square of Changes”, were trying to prevent them from dismantling a makeshift memorial to the 31-year-old Raman Bandarenka, who was beaten to death earlier that week.

NBU says no IMF tranche for Ukraine this year

bne IntelliNews November 14, 2020

Ukraine will not receive its second scheduled International Monetary Fund (IMF) tranche of $700mn before the end of this year, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Kyrylo Shevchenko said following a week of meetings in Washington.

An outpouring of grief, anger and frustration in Minsk as police beat another protester to death

Ben Aris in Berlin November 13, 2020

There was an outpouring of grief, frustration and anger in Belarus on November 12 after police beat to death another protester who was trying to stop the authorities from removing red and white ribbons from a fence in the “Square of Change.”

Russia goes Big Pharma in the fight for the coronavirus business

Ben Aris in Berlin November 13, 2020

Russia was widely criticised when it was the first in the world to register the Sputnik V anti-coronavirus vaccine in August, accused of rushing through the approval for political gain. Now it is a front-runner to win about $1bn in vaccine sales.

#BREAKING: Russia’s Supreme Court lifts most of US fund manager Michael Calvey’s house arrest restrictions

Ben Aris in Berlin November 12, 2020

Russia’s Supreme Court has ordered most of the restrictions on US fund management Michael Calvey and his colleagues from Baring Vostok be lifted on November 12.

Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine efficacy is 92%, preliminary data shows

bne IntelliNews November 12, 2020

The efficacy of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 92%, according to preliminary data, the authorities announced on November 11, a day after the US firm Pfizer announced it had developed a vaccine that is 90% effective.

The region of Ingushetia is about to become the first Russian region ever to go bust

Ben Aris in Berlin November 12, 2020

Russia’s southern region of Ingushetia is about to become the first ever region in the country to go bankrupt, after its debt service obligations soared to 125% of its income thanks to spiralling healthcare costs and a slowing economy.

CFC joins RWC in assessing KAZ Minerals buyout offer as under-valuation

Kanat Shaku in Almaty November 12, 2020

Offer will prevent minority shareholders from realising full value of their investment in copper miner, CFC says. RWC has said it is “deeply underwhelmed” by the bid.

Protesters flood Yerevan demanding Armenia’s “traitor” PM quit over Nagorno-Karabakh surrender

bne IntelIiNews November 12, 2020

Parliament attempts to meet but can’t establish quorum. Russian peacekeepers start to arrive. Ethnic Armenian head of enclave urges inhabitants not to flee, saying it will be possible to still live in territory.

Belarusian President Lukashenko makes protesting a criminal offence

bne IntelliNews November 11, 2020

Belarus' self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko has ramped up the risk of protesting by making it a criminal offence that carries a sentence of only two weeks in jail, but could result in several years incarceration.