Demonstrations throughout Europe to support Belarusian protests, Amnesty International slams Lukashenko’s “purge”

bne IntelliNews June 28, 2020

Demonstrations were held outside Belarusian embassies across Europe over the weekend in a show of solidarity for protests against the jailing of opposition leaders in Minsk, characterised as a “full-scale purge” by Amnesty International.

Belarusian government on the hunt for foreign investors to modernise the Minsk Tractor Factory

bne IntelliNews June 26, 2020

The Belarusian government is on the hunt for foreign investors to modernise the Minsk Tractor Factory (MTZ), one of the biggest in the world.

Belarusian celebrities speak out against the government as Lukashenko's problems mount up

Ben Aris in Berlin June 26, 2020

Belarus’ famous actors and artists added to the popular calls for the authorities to release several leading opposition candidates for president that have been arrested in the last week.

“Embarrassing” ejection of Turkey from MSCI EM index could suck near billion dollars from country’s stock markets says economist

bne IntelIiNews June 25, 2020

Points out asset managers that track the index would have to liquidate if country was booted out.

Turkey’s Hema Group restructures €400mn bank debt

Akin Nazli in Belgrade June 25, 2020

Restructuring waves in Turkey initiated in 2016 have strengthened.

Kosovo retreats from Washington talks after Thaci indictment

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje June 25, 2020

Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci was indicted for war crimes days before a critical US-brokered meeting, throwing the future of talks with Serbia into doubt.

Coronavirus success helps incumbent MPP to landslide win in Mongolia’s parliamentary election

Anand Tumurtogoo in Ulaanbataar June 25, 2020

New government will face difficulties arising from faltering growth, falling commodity exports, repayment of foreign debt, money laundering issues and continuing tensions over foreign investment in country’s copper and gold mines.

Fresh water system in Minsk collapses

bne IntelliNews June 25, 2020

Water in Minsk is contaminated, causing long queues for fresh water that is trucked into the city.

Kolomoisky’s Ukrtatnafta oil company wins Defence Ministry fuel supply contract despite offering a price that is a third higher than the others

Ben Aris in Berlin June 25, 2020

Ukraine’s oil company Ukrtatnafta, which is controlled by oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, has won a tender to supply the Ministry of Defence with 3,500 tonnes of aviation fuel despite asking a price that was almost a third higher than the lowest offer

Claims of vote rigging accompany launch of voting in Russia’s constitutional referendum

Ben Aris in Berlin June 25, 2020

Russia started early voting in its controversial referendum on changes to the constitution on June 25 that will reset the presidential term counter for President Vladimir Putin to zero and allow him to remain in office until 2036.

Trump endorses Poland’s President Duda days ahead of election in substance-less meeting

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw June 25, 2020

Duda returned to Warsaw with few tangibles, but meeting Trump could give him extra percentage points of support in the race in which he has begun to lose momentum.

Lawyers for arrested Belarusian opposition leader Babariko claim arrest was unlawful, as arrests continue across the country

bne IntelliNews June 24, 2020

The lawyers of ex-banker and leading opposition candidate Viktor Babariko, who was arrested last week, were in court on June 24 to complain about the detention of their client, which they claim was unlawful.

Kosovo’s Specialist Prosecutor files war crimes charges against President Thaci

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje June 24, 2020

Charges announced immediately before Thaci was due to meet his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic at the White House.

One in three Russians would ignore a coronavirus vaccine even if one were available

bne IntelliNews June 24, 2020

One in three (37%) Russians would refuse to take a vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) even if one were available, according to a survey conducted by Russia’s Higher School of Economics.

Belarusians are striking back with satire at the repressive random arrests of pedestrians.

Ben Aris in Berlin June 24, 2020

Fresh outrage followed after the police swooped on a line of shoppers queuing to get into the Symbal souvenir shop, randomly arresting people who were simply queuing up to get into the store. Now the police have become the butt of shopping jokes.

Western Balkan coal power plants still greatly exceed pollution limits

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 24, 2020

Levels of sulphur dioxide emitted by power plants in the EU-aspiring region exceed pollution limits by almost six times, finds a new report from Bankwatch.

S&P sees Turkey’s problematic loans at 20% by 2021

bne IntelIiNews June 23, 2020

High corporate sector indebtedness, accelerated lending via the state’s Credit Guarantee Fund (CGF) and steep proportion of FX lending by state banks concerning ratings agency.

Hungary's central bank surprises market with first rate cut in four years

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest June 23, 2020

The central bank's goal is to stimulate the economy, benefitting from disinflationary trends and the easing of volatility on global markets.

Temperatures in Russia’s Arctic Circle rocketed to over 45C in the coldest town on earth, breaking all previous records on June 19

Ben Aris in Berlin June 23, 2020

This summer has turned into the hottest since record-keeping began, as towns that are usually still blanketed by snow are experiencing a blazing heat wave, thanks to the escalating climate crisis.

US fund manager Michael Calvey diagnosed with cancer, appealing against his house arrest

bne IntelliNews June 23, 2020

The embattled founder of Baring Vostok Capital Management, Michael Calvey, has reportedly been diagnosed with cancer, Kommersant reported on June 23.