Eastern Europe / News

Russian retail consolidation continues as Lenta buys e-grocer Utkonos

bne IntelliNews December 17, 2021

One of Russia's mid-cap food retailers, Lenta, has announced its intentions to acquire the Utkonos e-grocery service for RUB20bn ($270mn) to expand its online market share and acquire unique competences and loyal customer base.

NEO: Avito becomes world’s most visited classified site

NEO December 16, 2021

Russia’s Avito topped Similarweb’s list of most visited classified advertisement sites for November 2021, in a sign that emerging markets are taking the lead in this fast-growing sector.

Navalny wins Sakharov prize, but European Parliament spells his name wrong

bne IntelliNews December 16, 2021

The European Parliament awarded jailed opposition figure Alexey Navalny with the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom on December 15, but spelled both his name and the word “corruption” incorrectly on the certificate.

Putin, Xi vow “renewed friendship” at virtual summit a week after Putin’s summit with Biden

bne IntelliNews December 15, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, held a virtual summit on December 15 in a show of solidarity against what they called “US aggression.”

Lithuanian premier rejects ministers' resignations over Belarus sanctions-busting scandal

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius December 15, 2021

Head of state-owned railways will instead step down over contract that allows Belaruskali potash to continue being carried to Port of Klapeida.

Belarusian court sentences Tikhanovskaya’s husband and other leading opposition figures to 15-18 years in jail

bne IntelliNews December 15, 2021

A Belarusian court sentenced Sergey Tikhanovsky to 18 years in jail along with several other top opposition figures, journalists and bloggers on December 14 as the Lukashenko regime continued its brutal repression of its enemies.

Owner of Russia's largest car dealer Rolf forced to sell

bne IntelliNews December 15, 2021

Russia's largest car dealer Rolf of Sergei Petrov has been sold to rival KlyuchAvto for an undisclosed amount.

Russia issues a eight-point list of demands

Ben Aris in Berlin December 13, 2021

Following the two-hour December 7 virtual summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden the Russian Foreign Ministry has followed up and issued a concrete eight-point list of demands on December 10.

Lithuania humiliated by Belarus sanction-breaking scandal

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius December 13, 2021

Foreign and transport ministers offer to resign after revelation that state-owned railways has continued to transport potash exports of sanctioned regime.

Biden pledges no backstage talks with Russia about Nato’s eastern flank

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw December 10, 2021

US president reassures Bucharest Nine of commitment after talks with President Putin stoke fears.

Russian wines export to France, as bottlenecks tighten in Europe

bne IntelliNews December 10, 2021

Russia could see a 20-25% spike in the prices of imported wines in 2022 due to a poor harvest in Italy and France, supply chain disruptions and higher costs, RBC business portal wrote citing local distributors and retailers.

Grim plights in Belarus and Turkey underlined as Committee to Protect Journalists reports “especially bleak year” worldwide

bne IntelIiNews December 10, 2021

Prison census finds number of journalists jailed around the world in 2021 hit a new record.

Putin wins concession from Biden for Russia-Nato security deal talks

bne IntelliNews December 9, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin won a major concession from US President Joe Biden, who has agreed to talks involving Russia and four major Nato members to discuss European security arrangements, it was reported on December 8.

Talks have begun with the US over Ukraine crisis, but the Kremlin is playing a long game

Ben Aris in Berlin December 8, 2021

The Kremlin was unusually slow to release statements following the two-hour summit on December 7 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden, but said that talks have begun on the key issues and would continue.

Putin-Biden summit fails to resolve the Ukraine military build-up crisis

bne IntelliNews December 7, 2021

Putin’s demand that Nato offer guarantees that Ukraine will never join was never something that Biden could consent to.

Belarus to stand with Russia if war breaks out in Ukraine

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2021

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko made it clear that Minsk’s loyalties lie with Moscow and he would back Russia in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, in a lengthy interview with RIA Novosti.

EC backs strategic gas storage reserve to hedge against future gas shortages

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2021

Europe will create its own strategic gas reserves in order to hedge against future gas shortages, European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said at a press conference on December 3.

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.