Eastern Europe / News

EU imposes fifth round of sanctions on Belarus over the migrant crisis

bne IntelliNews December 3, 2021

Brussels imposed its fifth round of sanctions on Belarus on December 2 in response to the migrant crisis engineered by Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko in November.

Blinken and Lavrov talks break up after 30 minutes

Ben Aris in Berlin December 2, 2021

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken appealed to his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to choose diplomacy over coercion in face-to-face discussions in Stockholm but the two sides remain far apart.

EU challenges China’s Belt and Road with €300bn Global Gateway

bne IntelIiNews December 2, 2021

Bloc’s giant investment offer may appeal to countries worried by Chinese “debt-trap diplomacy”. Beijing warns against geopoliticising infrastructure.

Putin offers to start negotiations on a non-expansion of Nato to the east security deal

bne IntelliNews December 1, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the West to start talks on a security deal and legal guarantees that would prevent Nato from expanding East.

Last Iraqi Airline flights evacuate migrants from Belarus as crisis winds down

bne IntelliNews November 30, 2021

The last two Iraqi Airlines flights evacuated migrants from Belarus that had asked to go home, on November 29.

Russia, China slam selective invitations to US “Summit for Democracy,” call US hegemony in international politics “anti-democratic”

Ben Aris in Berlin November 29, 2021

The foreign ministries of China and Russia have slammed the selective invites to a US-sponsored “Summit for Democracy” slated for December that saw countries like Poland and India invited, but some EU allies and Nato members excluded.

More details emerge of alleged coup plot in Ukraine

Ben Aris in Berlin November 29, 2021

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told journalists at a press conference in that Kyiv had information suggesting a coup d'état was being planned in the coming months involving the country’s top oligarch and Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov.

Russian billionaire Usmanov has been re-elected to a fourth term as the President of the International Fencing Federation

bne IntelliNews November 27, 2021

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has been re-elected to a fourth term as the President of the International Fencing Federation (FIE) during the body’s congress in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Moldova disburses €70mn from state budget to pay gas bill to Gazprom

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 26, 2021

Russian gas major had threatened to switch off gas supplies to Moldova over unpaid gas bill.

63 dead in Siberian mine methane explosion tragedy

bne IntelliNews November 26, 2021

Over 63 miners died during a methane gas explosion in a Siberian mine on November 25. "According to preliminary information, no one is left alive in the mine," state news agency TASS

Migrants continue to try to cross Poland’s border from Belarus, but the camp has gone

Ben Aris in Berlin November 25, 2021

Middle Eastern migrants continue to try to storm the Polish border from Belarus, but security forces say the woodland camp is largely gone.

Moscow claims US rehearsing nuclear strike against Russia as East-West tensions rise further

bne IntelliNews November 24, 2021

Russia claims that US bombers flying only 20 km from Russia’s border were rehearsing a nuclear strike on Russia from two different directions earlier this month, the Defence Ministry said in a statement on November 23.

Ukraine asks Gazprom to extend gas transit deal for 15 years

bne IntelliNews November 24, 2021

Ukraine has asked Russia’s gas behemoth Gazprom to extend the current gas transit deal that expires in 2024 for another 15 years and has offered to cut transit fees in half.

Russia’s Gazprom threatens to cut Moldova’s gas off in 48 hours over unpaid bill

Ben Aris in Berlin, Iulian Ernst in Bucharest November 23, 2021

Russia’s national gas company Gazprom warned the Moldovan government on November 22 it would cut off gas supplies unless an overdue payment for gas was settled within 48 hours.

US Senator Menendez submits new harsh Russian sanctions bill if Ukraine invaded

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2021

With geopolitical tensions rising to their highest level since April on reports of a Russian troop build-up near Ukraine, US Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez introduced possible harsh new sanctions on Russia to a defence spending bill.

Russian retail investment boom drives IPO of SPB Exchange

bne IntelliNews November 22, 2021

Russia's second-largest stock exchange bourse, SPB Exchange, has raised about $175mn in a highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) on its own platform, Reuters reported citing the announcement of the bourse.

Ukrainian sting operation lured Wagner fighters to Minsk – Bellingcat

bne IntelIiNews November 22, 2021

A group of alleged Russian mercenaries was arrested and deported in Minsk in July 2021. Now, a report says that they were lured there by Ukrainian military intelligence in a brazen operation ultimately designed to bring them before a Ukrainian court.

Putin calls on Lukashenko to start dialogue with Belarusian opposition

Ben Aris in Berlin November 19, 2021

The Russian president’s proposal was quickly knocked back by opposition-in-exile, which says Lukashenko must free political prisoners before any such talks can be considered.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accuses West of escalating military tensions, calls for security guarantees

Ben Aris in Berlin November 19, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of "escalating" military tensions by selling arms to Ukraine, holding unscheduled naval drills in the Black Sea and flying bombers near its borders in a speech on November 18.

Tension on Belarus-Poland diminishes, but refugees not out of the woods yet

Ben Aris in Berlin November 19, 2021

Tensions on the Belarus-Polish border diminished as the first 500 refugees were flown home and most of the remainder were moved to a warehouse for food and shelter, but hundreds remained in the camp in the woods by the fence as night closed in.