Bulgaria considers building small nuclear reactor

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 18, 2021

US NuScale and Kozloduy NPP agree to explore deployment of SMR in Bulgaria as doubt remains over future of Belene power plant construction.

Georgia’s PM resigns after court orders detention of opposition leader

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest February 18, 2021

Amid country’s political crisis sparked by claims of a rigged general election, Giorgi Gakharia says “I want to believe that this step will help reduce polarisation”.

Abuse and hate speech against LGBTI people rises across Europe and Central Asia

bne IntelliNews February 18, 2021

Crackdown on democracy and civil society during pandemic accompanied by increase in hate speech by politicians finds ILGA-Europe report.

Closure of German-Czech borders hits German companies

bne IntelliNews February 18, 2021

New restrictions are putting vital supply chains at risk as many German companies rely either on Czech inputs or commuting workers.

Slovak government under fire as COVID-19 death rate surges to worst in the world

bne IntelliNews February 18, 2021

Opposition calls for cabinet to resign, amid criticism of delays in imposing lockdown and poor communication with public.

EU imports of Russian gas surge in January, despite objections to Nord Stream 2

bne IntelliNews February 18, 2021

As leading EU countries lobby Germany to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2, the same countries have been dramatically increasing their imports of Russian gas as a cold snap sweeps the Continent

Kazakhstan: Government allowing shady banking minnows to wither

Almaz Kumenov for Eurasianet February 18, 2021

The goal is to allow mid-ranking players to compete with the giants.

Turkey’s Q2 natural gas import prices set to rise, talks launched on Iran contract

Akin Nazli in Belgrade February 17, 2021

Oil-indexed prices on track to rise substantially. Pipeline operator Botas is front-loading its 2021 take.

Montenegro’s ruling coalition splits over criminal code changes

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia February 17, 2021

Democratic Front will no longer support Zdravko Krivokapic’s government after he backed away from changes to the criminal code criticised by the European Commission.

Ukraine and Lithuania imported record amounts of power from Belarus, but move to break ties with its power grid

Ben Aris in Berlin February 17, 2021

Ukraine imported a record amount of electricity from Belarus in 2020, as other neighbouring EU countries cut their ties with the Belarusian power grid.

Navalny back in court on charges of slandering a WWII veteran

bne IntelliNews February 17, 2021

Anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny was back in court on February 16 to face charges of slandering a WWII veteran in the latest stage of a full-scale media campaign by the Kremlin to discredit its most vocal opponent.

Serbia to become vaccine production hub for the Western Balkans

Eldar Dizdarevic in Sarajevo February 17, 2021

Serbia will be first European country to manufacture Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, and plans to produce 20mn doses for its own citizens and the Western Balkans region.

Romania’s economy doing better than expected after surprisingly strong Q4

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest February 17, 2021

BCR and ING Bank significantly improved their forecasts for Romania's 2021 GDP growth.

Turkey’s lira ends day at 6.99 as markets bet on where rally goes from here

bne IntelIiNews February 16, 2021

Economist warns valuations could become stretched amid world-beating gains.

Hungary set to become first EU country to use Chinese COVID-19 vaccine

bne IntelliNews February 16, 2021

Budapest turns to Moscow and Beijing and criticises delays in Brussels' vaccination procurement.

Erdogan in spat with US over response to reported Kurdish killing of Turkish hostages

bne IntelIiNews February 15, 2021

Fallout also sees Turkish police detain more than 700 people, including members of pro-Kurdish HDP party.

Slovenia’s Jansa government survives no-confidence motion

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje February 15, 2021

Slovenian PM Janez Jansa’s illiberal policies and tightening grip on media set to continue unchecked until next election in 2022.

Ukraine’s Rada votes through bill to dismiss anti-corruption investigator NABU’s director

Ben Aris in Berlin February 15, 2021

Deputies of Ukraine’s Rada voted through a bill that empowers them to dismiss the director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), Artem Sytnyk

Belarusian protest leader Maria Kolesnikova charged with plotting a coup and setting up extremist group

bne IntelliNews February 15, 2021

Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova has been charged with plotting a coup and setting up an extremist group that could see her serve decades in prison, it was reported on February 12.

Kosovo general election delivers resounding win for ex-PM Kurti

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow, Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje February 15, 2021

Preliminary results show opposition Vetevendosje took 48% of the vote in snap general election.