Hungary’s EU ambassador steps down two weeks after blocking the extension of sanctions to Patriarch Kirill

bne IntelliNews June 20, 2022

Hungary’s permanent representative to the EU, Tibor Stelbaczky, has reportedly stepped down from his post. The Hungarian Embassy in Brussels refused to confirm or deny the report.

North Macedonia’s opposition VMRO-DPMNE seeks snap elections with major protest

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje June 19, 2022

Thousands join opposition protest in Skopje, where anti-government sentiment is fuelled by soaring living costs and failure to progress towards EU accession.

Putin praises Bosnia’s Dodik for loyalty to Russia

bne IntelliNews June 19, 2022

Bosnian Serb leader travels to St Petersburg for SPIEF 2022 forum after blocking Bosnian efforts to impose sanctions on Russia.

Putin lashes out at the West during his SPIEF keynote and prepares Russians for a long fight

Ben Aris in Berlin June 18, 2022

Putin lashed out at the West during his keynote speech at St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on June 17, claiming that it was using Russia as a scapegoat to excuse its failure to control inflation.

FBK accuses Putin and Miller of using Gazprom as “bottomless purse” in latest scandal report

bne IntelIiNews June 18, 2022

A report by Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation claims Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller has allegedly embezzled from Russia's gas giant to fund a network of properties and offshores. Putin's inner circle is also accused of profiting from the theft.

Albania trails neighbours in auto-parts production but economists see a chance to catch up

bne IntelliNews June 17, 2022

IFC and World Bank report says Albania could take advantage of new opportunities created by post-COVID nearshoring and shift to e-mobility.

Czechia to appeal €625mn international arbitration award over cancelled blood plasma contract

bne IntelliNews June 17, 2022

Diag Human wins investment protection treaty claim in 30-year-old case.

'Ukraine belongs to the European family,' declare EU premiers

Dominic Culverwell in Berlin June 17, 2022

Leaders of Germany, France, Romania and Italy announced their support for Ukraine’s European Union candidate status, but with qualifications, at a major meeting in Kyiv on June 16.

All bang and no buck at Russia's SPIEF22

bne IntelIiNews June 17, 2022

Russia's premier investment event normally attracts thousands of business people from across Europe to hobnob with the Russian elite, but this year a mere 115 Western companies chose to take part.

High-ranking politicians from Serbia and Bosnia attend ‘Russia’s Davos’ shunned by West

bne IntelliNews June 17, 2022

While most European leaders stayed away from the SPIEF 2022 forum after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Bosnian President Milorad Dodik was there and made a rousing defence of Putin.

Turkey on verge of total bankruptcy says Erdogan’s former economy czar

bne IntelIiNews June 16, 2022

“The future of our children is at stake. We are faced with a matter of economic and financial survival,” says Ali Babacan.

Romania receives gas from first new offshore development in 30 years

bne IntelliNews June 16, 2022

Romania aims to become a net exporter of gas following the discovery of large offshore resources in the Black Sea, but progress has been slow.

New majority brings down Bulgaria’s parliament speaker

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia June 16, 2022

Opposition parties including those from the far-right and populist right are preparing to bring down PM Kiril Petkov's reformist government.

Tokayev tells Russian TV Kazakhstan won’t break Western sanctions

Peter Baunov in Almaty June 16, 2022

Also says some people in Russia “misrepresent whole situation” by claiming that during January unrest Moscow “saved” Kazakhstan with troop dispatch and now country must for ever “bow at feet” of Kremlin.

Prime minsters of Albania and Montenegro visit Kyiv in show of support

bne IntelliNews June 16, 2022

With a critical EU Council meeting coming up next week, much of the discussion centred on the three countries’ prospects for EU accession.

Macron wants ‘accelerated co-operation’ for Moldova as details of EU ‘political community’ proposal leak

bne IntelliNews June 16, 2022

On Ukraine's border and with part of its territory controlled by Russia-backed separatists, Moldova is hoping for a positive answer to its application for EU candidate status.

Ukraine set to dominate Czech EU presidency

bne IntelliNews June 16, 2022

Government presents five key priorities for its rotating presidency of the EU, which begins on July 1.

After 675 years researchers conclude Kyrgyzstan was the home of the Black Death

bne IntelIiNews June 16, 2022

Academic detective work led scientists to a pair of 14th-century cemeteries that held an unusually high number of tombstones dated to 1338 and 1339. DNA sequencing did the rest.

‘Election mode’ Erdogan ain’t for budging over Finland and Sweden’s Nato applications

bne IntelIiNews June 16, 2022

Turkish leader is staring down the barrel of tough national polls on horizon. Playing nationalist hardball will keep some of his remaining voters happy.

Calls growing for a price cap on Russian oil exports

Ben Aris in Berlin June 15, 2022

Europe has been wrestling to get its members to sign up to a full ban on Russian oil products but a ban could send the price of oil up and make Russia even more money. Better to cap prices and starve the Kremlin of revenues.