Western Balkans citizens legally resident in EU equal to 14% of region’s population
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has stripped Belarus of the right to hold the World Championship this year
Alexei Navalny arrested on arrival as he returns home
LONG READ: The oligarch problem
Russia's National Welfare Fund accounts for almost 12% of GDP
Police arresting activists ahead of Saturday’s demonstration in support of Navalny
Biden seeking a five-year extension to START II missile treaty
Russian consumer confidence index drops q/q, y/y in 4Q20
Western Balkans and Ukraine urged to scrutinise coal subsidies
Oligarchs trying to derail Ukraine’s privatisation programme, warns the head of Ukraine’s State Property Fund
Private finance mobilised by development banks up 9% to $175bn in 2019
VISEGRAD BLOG: Central Europe's populists need a new strategy for Biden
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Czech MPs pass protectionist food law in violation of EU rules
M&A in Central and Eastern Europe fell 16% in value in 2020, says CMS report
Hungarian vehicle makers hit by supply chain shortage
COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Poland
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
Albania needs reforms for e-commerce to thrive, says World Bank
BALKAN BLOG: US approach to switch from quick-fix dealmaking to experience and cooperation
Corona-induced slump in global clothing sector dragged down Albania’s 2020 exports
Bosnia's exports in 2020 amounted to BAM10.5bn, trade deficit to BAM6.3bn
Bulgaria's Biodit first company to IPO on new BEAM market
Bulgaria’s government considers gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
Spring lockdown caused spike in online transactions in Croatia
ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Moldova
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Montenegrins say state administration is most corrupt institution
North Macedonia plans to cut personal income tax in IT sector to zero in 2023
Romania government to pursue “ambitious” timetable for justice reforms
OUTLOOK 2021 Romania
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovenia
Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
Slovenia’s government to release funds to news agency STA after EU pressure
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
D’S Damat franchise deals ‘show Turkey’s hard-pressed mall operators becoming their own tenants’
Turkey’s benchmark rate held as concerns over faltering recovery come to fore
Turkish lira breaches HSBC’s stop-loss, Turkey ETF signalling outflows
CAUCASUS BLOG : What can Biden offer the Caucasus and Stans, all but forgotten about by Trump?
Armenia ‘to extend life of its 1970s Metsamor nuclear power plant after 2026’
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Iran’s Khamenei menaces private citizen Trump with image of aircraft shadowing blond golfer
Iran’s technology minister indicted for failing to properly implement internet censorship
No US move to rejoin Iran nuclear deal imminent, say Biden national security nominees
TEHRAN BLOG: Will Biden bet on a quick return to the Iran nuclear deal?
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
Mongolia's PM quits amid protests over treatment of mother with coronavirus and newborn baby
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
Download the pdf version
Kyrgyzstan’s embattled President Sooranbai Jeenbekov suddenly resigned early on October 15 amid his country’s post parliamentary election upheaval.
The previous day he insisted he would stay on as president, stating that leaving office now could trigger “unpredictable developments to the detriment of the state” and emphasising that he would only agree to resign after holding a new parliamentary election and calling a presidential election to help stabilise the country. Jeenbekov then held a further meeting with Sadyr Japarov—a fervent nationalist who is also a former top official, ex-lawmaker and convicted kidnapper, freed from jail by protestors amid the demonstrations against Kyrgyzstan’s October 4 parliamentary election results and then voted in by parliament as the country’s new prime minister—who sought to persuade him to immediately step down.
Eurasianet reported that supporters of Japarov threatened to mount an assault on the presidential residence if Jeenbekov did not resign.
Jeenbekov meets with speaker of parliament Kanatbek Isaev (left) and Japarov in Bishkek on October 14 (Image: president.kg, official website).
Following the meeting with Japarov, Jeenbekov announced his resignation in a statement, saying: “I am not clinging to power. I do not want to go down in the history of Kyrgyzstan as a president who allowed bloodshed and shooting on its people. I have taken the decision to resign.”
He added: “For me, peace in Kyrgyzstan, the country’s integrity, the unity of our people and calm in society are more important than anything else. Military personnel and law enforcement agencies are obliged to use weapons to protect the residence of the head of state. In this case, blood will be shed. It is inevitable. I urge both sides not to succumb to provocations.”
US embassy warns of organised crime
Notably, on October 13 the US Embassy in Bishkek voiced support for “the efforts of President Jeenbekov, political leaders, civil society, and legal scholars to return the political life of the country to a constitutional order" and warned about the threat that organised crime poses to Kyrgyz democracy.
The embassy added in an unusually frank statement: "It is clear that one of the obstacles towards democratic progress is the attempt by organized crime groups to exert influence over politics and elections." It also stated that the impact of organised crime "was evident with vote-buying during the October 4 elections, violence and intimidation in Ala-Too Square on October 9, and irregularities in the parliament session on October 10."
The European Union has, meanwhile, expressed concern at the approach used by Japarov’s supporters to secure Japarov the prime minister’s seat.
Eurasianet observed on October 10 that the “rapid ascendancy” of Japarov “has hinged entirely on a strategy of intimidation executed by hordes of aggressive supporters bussed into the capital, Bishkek”. The publication also said: “Sadyr Japarov’s supporters have assaulted journalists. His mobs broke up a peaceful rally by pelting participants with rocks and bottles. And one of his men attempted to assassinate a political opponent.”
The reference to an assassination attempt concerned an incident that came at the end of the violent dissolving of the rally when a man fired bullets into the departing car of ex-president Almazbek Atambayev. Japarov subsequently claimed it was one of Atambayev’s own bodyguards that fired the shots.
In resigning, Jeenbekov also called on supporters of Japarov and other political figures to stop ongoing rallies to ease tensions. Japarov may be in line to also take the presidency in an acting capacity if the speaker of parliament does not fill the position as he is entitled to do. RFE/RL reported that after Jeenbekov’s resignation was made public, Japarov’s supporters continued rallies in central Bishkek , this time chanting "Japarov is our president!" and demanding parliament's dissolution and the resignation of speaker Kanatbek Isaev, who was appointed on October 13. The speaker told online media outlet 24.kg that he had "no moral right" to the presidency because of the lame duck status of the parliament, which faces a rerun of the disputed elections. Some of Japarov’s supporters on the streets chanted for his arrest.
Japarov first claimed to have been nominated as prime minister on October 10 by an emergency rump session of parliament. However, it was accused of not having a quorum and of using suspect proxy votes of absent lawmakers to make the appointment. Jeenbekov asked the parliament to hold the vote again. Japarov was then nominated as prime minister in an October 14 vote that was accepted by the president.
“I urge Japarov and other politicians to withdraw their supporters from the capital of the country and return a peaceful life to the people of Bishkek,” Jeenbekov also said after announcing he was quitting. “No power is worth the integrity of our country and harmony in society.”
Amid the ongoing state of emergency in Bishkek introduced by Jeenbekov on October 10, around 1,000 Japarov supporters rallied on October 14 in the capital, violating a ban on demonstrations. The crowd demanded Jeenbekov “go away” but dispersed in the evening to respect a curfew.
It is unclear if and how Japarov’s government will organise a presidential election for the near future.
Kyrgyzstan hosts a Russian military airbase and maintains close political and economic ties with the Kremlin. Moscow last week described the situation in the Central Asian nation as chaotic and intimated that it might intervene in the event of an escalation in violence and chaos. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff, Dmitry Kozak, flew in for talks with Jeenbekov and Japarov this week, with Moscow stressing that the chaos must be brought to an end.
In a development that preceded Jeenbekov’s resignation, Moscow-based daily RBK reported that Russia’s Finance Ministry was suspending all financial aid to Kyrgyzstan until the political situation was seen as stabilised. RBK said that the last such transfer was a $30mn payment in 2019. Since 2005, Russia has written off debts owed by Kyrgyzstan amounting to more than $700mn.
Kyrgyzstan has been undermined by political volatility for much of its three decades of independence since the end of the Soviet Union. A landlocked republic of 6.5mn people, three of its presidents have now been unseated by unrest since 2005.
Jeenbekov came to power in 2017 as the handpicked successor of previous president, Atambayev, who according to many accounts anticipated being able to control him from behind the scenes. But the new president turned on his former mentor. He was arrested and sentenced to 11 years in prison in June. Atambayev was, like Japarov, freed by protesters during the post-election unrest. He was rearrested the day after bullets were fired at his car.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: