Belarusian leaders and activists put on Russia’s wanted list

Ben Aris in Berlin October 8, 2020

Several high-profile Belarusian opposition leaders and activist have been put on the police wanted list in Russia, including Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the nominal winner of the August 9 presidential elections.

Uzbekistan one of only two countries in Europe and Central Asia to put in positive economic growth this year says World Bank

Alisher Kalandarov in Tashkent October 8, 2020

Higher gold production and growth in agriculture helped offset a sharp fall in industry and services. Government commended for reaffirming commitment to reforms.

Call for “clean” generation of politicians made amid chaos of Kyrgyzstan’s unresolved revolution

bne IntellIiNews October 7, 2020

Some fear of a ‘north-south’ split emerging as former mayor is greeted by thousands as he arrives back in “southern capital” of Osh.

‘Half of Nagorno-Karabakh civilians abandon homes amid fighting’

bne IntelIiNews October 7, 2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan continue to accuse each other of indiscriminate shelling. Armenian PM says Vladimir Putin has told him Russia will “uphold certain security commitments” to Yerevan if matters deteriorate to a certain point.

Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of attempted cluster rocket attack on oil and gas pipelines

bne IntelIiNews October 7, 2020

Yerevan calls Baku’s claim “outright lies”. Markets nervous successful strike could wreck plan to export Azerbaijani oil to European Union from November.

Belarusian opposition leader Tikhanovskaya meets Merkel in Berlin to ask for support

bne IntelliNews October 7, 2020

The pair discussed the plight of the Belarusian people following August's disputed election that left Lukashenko clinging on to power with the use of brute force.

Wave of attacks on foreign owned gold mines amid Kyrgyzstan’s political upheaval

Kanat Shaku in Almaty October 7, 2020

Locals express long-held anger at what they see as companies from abroad benefitting unduly from country’s natural resources.

Armenia could make Karabakh concessions if Azerbaijan does same says PM

bne IntelIiNews October 6, 2020

Russia’s foreign intel head says “already even thousands” of Islamist radical mercenaries now in conflict zone. States: “We can’t not be worried that the South Caucasus is capable of becoming a new launch pad for international terrorism."

Turkey’s bid to join EU now further away from success than ever says Commission

bne IntellIiNews October 6, 2020

In hard-hitting report, bloc’s executive slams Ankara’s treatment of economy, democracy and judiciary. Lira slips, partly also on reports that Turks are readying to test Russian missiles.

Opposition groups in Kyrgyzstan say they’ve seized power

Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent October 6, 2020

Move to cancel results of ‘fixed’ parliamentary election appears to come too late to appease those mounting coup d’etat.

Armenia, Azerbaijan trade accusations of shelling of civilians on ninth day of conflict

bne IntelIiNews October 6, 2020

Amnesty International says it has corroborated use of Israeli-made cluster munitions in attack on Nagorno-Karabakh main city Stepanakert.

Ukraine must choose east or west in the Motor Sich sale saga

Ben Aris in Berlin October 5, 2020

Ukraine has to make a cardinal choice when deciding whom to sell its Motor Sich engine maker to: does its future lie in the west with US and European partners or in the east with Russian and Chinese?

Kyrgyz police violently disperse election rigging protest that erupts in Bishkek

Muzaffar Ismailov October 5, 2020

Demonstrators incensed at claimed vote-buying and intimidation as two leading parties win parliamentary poll.

Armenia, Azerbaijan edge closer to outright war

bne IntelIiNews October 4, 2020

Baku accuses Armenians of rocket attack on civilian parts of second city Ganja. Yerevan accuses Azerbaijanis of indiscriminate bombardment of Nagorno-Karabakh capital Stepanakert. Ex-envoy thinks Azerbaijan will settle for limited territorial gains.

Crowds in Minsk disable water cannons at Sunday rallies, call for release of political prisoners

Ben Aris in Berlin October 4, 2020

Crowds in Minsk fought a low-key running battle against water cannon trucks deployed to disrupt the regular Sunday mass marches and even managed to disable a few.

EU imposes sanctions on Belarus.

Ben Aris in Berlin October 3, 2020

The EU has finally imposed sanctions on 40 Belarusian officials accused of organising the brutal police crackdown and general repression on the population during the month-long protests against incumbent President Lukashenko.

Viktor Orban floats idea of bilateral agreements if rule of law conditionality blocks approval of €750bn recovery fund

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest October 2, 2020

Prime Minister Viktor Orban hinted that Hungary may block approval of the EU's pandemic recovery fund if payouts are linked to rule of law issues.

Russia says Turkish foreign minister ‘agrees need for immediate cessation of Nagorno-Karabakh hostilities’

bne IntelIiNews October 2, 2020

Doubts as to whether statement is breakthrough given that hours earlier Turkey’s Erdogan rubbished calls for a ceasefire.

European Parliament committee gives unequivocal support to Bulgarian protesters

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia October 1, 2020

LIBE committee concerned about the “significant deterioration of respect for the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights" in Bulgaria.

UK pulls Turkey from travel corridor list day after revelations spark outcry over true extent of virus outbreak

bne IntelIiNews October 1, 2020

Move deals further blow to country’s beleaguered tourism industry, which endured wretched summer.