Montenegro’s tourism minister resigns over video of inspectors taking bribe

bne IntelliNews November 3, 2019

Montenegro has been urged to take more decisive steps towards the fight against corruption and organised crime.

Azerbaijani gas ‘won’t flow to EU terminus until at least October 2020’

bne IntelliNews November 1, 2019

Delays reportedly caused in construction of final stretch of 3,400-km Southern Gas Corridor that is to make landfall in Italy.

Erdogan makes an enemy of VW’s trade unions

bne IntelliNews November 1, 2019

Labour representatives “repudiate approval” of automaker’s plan to build plant in Turkey while violence in Syria continues.

Hungary drops plans for politically influenced administrative courts

bne IntelliNews November 1, 2019

Budapest will scrap plans to set up a separate system of public administration courts, which had been in the crossfire of international organisations.

Czech PPF Group sold quarter of its stake in Hungarian Telenor

bne IntelliNews November 1, 2019

PPF Group of the richest Czech Petr Kellner sold a 25% stake in the Hungarian radio communications company Telenor, which includes Telenor Hungary and Telenor Real Estate, to Antenna Hungaria.

Warm relations between Budapest and Moscow confirmed at Putin's latest Hungary visit

bne IntelliNews October 31, 2019

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban defended his country's close ties with Russia and talked of Hungary’s position in a regional context “in the triangle between Moscow, Berlin and Istanbul” — with no mention of Brussels.

Romania’s largest airline Blue Air eyes Bucharest IPO after streamlining operations

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest October 31, 2019

Blue Air will return to its “low-cost roots” says CEO Oana Petrescu. The company broke even in FY2019 and plans to issue bonds to finance future growth ahead of a potential listing.

Denmark greenlights Nord Stream 2 construction in its waters

bne IntelliNews October 31, 2019

After months of bitter wrangling, the government of Denmark gave the go-head for Russia’s Gazprom to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline through its territorial waters – the last country on the route between Russia and Germany to grant construction perm

Bulgaria sets April 2020 as new target for entering ERM2

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia October 30, 2019

Support from EIOPA gives fresh hope that Sofia will realise its ambitions of joining the “eurozone waiting room” early next year.

Trump sanctions ‘hit Iran’s supplies of cancer drugs’

bne IntelliNews October 30, 2019

As reported by bne IntelliNews a year ago, Tehran’s MAHAK Pediatric Cancer Treatment & Research Center cannot entirely escape the impact of measures despite so-called US exemptions for humanitarian goods.

Russian supermarket chain Lenta reports first ever fall in revenues as organised retail hits a rough patch

Ben Aris in Berlin October 30, 2019

The second tier Russian supermarket chain Lenta has reported its first ever drop in revenues, but the entire industry is going through a rough patch as shopping habits are changing.

Political standoff in Bucharest threatens to hold up formation of new European Commission

bne IntelliNews October 30, 2019

Brussels “wants to move on” says a European Commission spokesperson as Romania’s president and outgoing prime minister squabble over who gets to appoint the country’s representative in the new Commission.

Ukraine president pledges not to return nationalised PrivatBank to former owners

bne IntelliNews October 30, 2019

The team of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the new nation's government are not going to return the nation's banks that were nationalised or went bankrupt to the former owners, Zelenskiy said during a speech at the RE: THINK.

Russian consumers pay an extra $7bn a year due to sanctions on EU food imports

bne IntelliNews October 29, 2019

Russia’s sanctions on the import of food products from the EU is costing Russian consumers RUB445bn ($7bn) a year, or about $50 a year per head, according to a study by economists at RANEPA and CEFIR.

Kosovo Telecom faces bankruptcy over debts to tax administration

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje October 29, 2019

Kosovo Telecom has been struggling to find a solution to its difficult financial situation for months after the government said it won’t repay the company’s debt.

Sberbank signs off on deal to buy 20% stake in

bne IntelliNews October 29, 2019

Russia’s largest bank and tech giant wannabe Sberbank has signed a non-binding agreement to acquire a 35% stake in MF Tekhnologii, the owner of a 58.3% voting interest in

Belarus deploys troops in Lithuanian direction amid NATO maneuvers

bne IntelliNews October 29, 2019

Belarus has "reinforced the nation's border” and "stationed more ground troops in the Lithuanian direction” in reaction to NATO exercises and the deployment of a contingent of US armed forces in neighbouring country near the border with Belarus, the

Moscow court extends Michael Calvey’s house arrest

Ben Aris in Berlin October 29, 2019

The Moscow municipal court denied bail to US citizen Michael Calvey, ruling he must remain under house arrest before a trial where he faces charges of embezzlement and fraud.

Latest Russia-Ukraine gas talks fail to yield breakthrough

bne IntelliNews October 29, 2019

Officials from Russia, Ukraine and the EU met again on October 28in Brussels to discuss terms for the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine next year, with still no breakthrough in negotiations in sight.

Bratislava in the running to host the Volkswagen Passat plant moved from Turkey

Nelly Tomchikova in Prague October 29, 2019

Slovakia's capital Bratislava might be considered as host to the mooted German Volkswagen Passat production plant that is now looking for a home after the company announced it would not build the €1bn plant in Turkey, sources told German weekly Autom