Major fighting erupts between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

bne IntelIiNews September 27, 2020

Both sides accuse each other of starting clash. Russia calls for immediate ceasefire. Turkey pledges to stand by Azerbaijan.

TURKEY INSIGHT: Follow the (hot) money

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 25, 2020

As banking regulator follows surprise rate hike with relaxation of lenders’ FX swap limits, all the signs are that the Erdogan administration is in the market for a shot in the arm that, ultimately, can only do more damage.

Lukashenko has isolated himself from the rest of the world with a secret inauguration

Ben Aris in Berlin September 25, 2020

Even former leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has thrown his support behind the Belarusian population protesting against self-appointed President Alexander Lukashenko.

Iran’s oil minister openly admits forging export documents to dodge US sanctions

bne IntelIiNews September 25, 2020

Tanker tracking companies, meanwhile, see September surge in Iranian crude shipments with one describing “levels we haven’t seen in a year and a half”.

“Putin’s chef” follows through on threat to bankrupt Navalny, bailiffs seize his apartment

Ben Aris in Berlin September 25, 2020

Russian bailiffs have seized the Moscow apartment of Alexei Navalny as the close personal ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin, follows through on threats to ruin the opposition activist.

Romania at high risk of downgrade to junk

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 25, 2020

Fitch and Moody’s scheduled reviews of Romania’s creditworthiness this autumn, shortly after MPs backed 40% pension hike that could push budget deficit up to 11% of GDP.

Belarus IT specialists develop software to identify OMON officers wearing masks

Ben Aris in Berlin September 25, 2020

Belarusian IT specialists based in Los Angeles have developed software that allows them to identify police and OMON riot police officers even if they are wearing a mask. Once identified, the officers' names are added to online blacklists.

Kudrin calls for restarting privatisation programme as tax reforms gather pace

Ben Aris in Berlin September 24, 2020

Former Finance Minister and Audit Chamber head Alexei Kudrin said the government could raise an additional RUB200bn-300bn ($2.6bn-4bn) a year from privatising state-owned enterprises (SOEs)

A dozen countries refuse to recognise Lukashenko’s inauguration

Ben Aris in Berlin September 24, 2020

A dozen countries refused to recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus after he secretly inaugurated himself on September 23. Tensions were high in Minsk after the news broke and spontaneous protests erupted.

Profit of Russian developer Samolet Group soars 44% in 1H20

bne IntelliNews September 24, 2020

Russian developer Samolet Group reported a 44% year-on-year jump in net profit to RUB688mn in 1H20 under IFRS, with revenues maintained flat y/y at RUB23bn ($302mn) and Ebitda up by 5% y/y to RUB3.9bn, the company said in a statement.

Shares of Russian Yandex soar on Tinkoff Bank merger

bne IntelliNews September 24, 2020

Shares of Russian internet major Yandex jumped by 14% on the Moscow Exchange as news broke of its purchase of Tinkoff online bank

Polish miners escalate protests as restructuring talks with government stall

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 24, 2020

Warsaw has proposed that coal’s share in electricity generation will fall to 37-56% in 2030 and then to just 11-28% in 2040. Miners flatly reject the plan.