Russia haemorrhaged money last year, but Kremlin working overtime to stem capital flight this year

Ben Aris in Berlin October 3, 2023

Sanctions on Russia have failed to cut the Kremlin off from the export revenues from oil and raw materials that are being used to fund the war in Ukraine, but they have bled the country of hundreds of billions of dollars – indirectly.

Poland's Law and Justice mounts vicious campaign to retain power

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw October 2, 2023

Jaroslaw Kaczynski's radical rightwing party accuses centrist opposition of treachery as it seeks an unprecedented third consecutive term.

Digital propaganda revolution dominates Slovak election campaign

Albin Sybera in Bratisava September 30, 2023

President Zuzana Caputova has been repeatedly warning that her country is in an “information storm”.

Slovak election goes right down to the wire

Albin Sybera September 29, 2023

Slovaks head to the polls on September 30 in an early election that is both vital for the country’s future and perhaps the future of Central Europe.

"The worst is over," says Russia's economic elite

Ben Aris in Berlin September 29, 2023

After a horrendous start to the year with excruciating new oil sanctions that led to the largest January deficit on record, the Kremlin is starting to sound increasingly optimistic about the health of the Russian economy by the end of the year.

Plans for doubling Azerbaijan's gas flows to Europe on hold

David O'Byrne of Eurasianet September 28, 2023

Expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor pipelines carrying Azerbaijani gas to Europe is on hold pending confirmation that Europe will buy the gas. Baku's offensive to retake Nagorno-Karabakh could further complicate things.

Ukraine releases 2024 budget plan, more spending on military, but raising enough funding will be tough

Ben Aris in Berlin September 28, 2023

The Ukrainian government has published a draft budget for 2024, but raising enough money to fund the war effort and keep the economy working is going to be a struggle.

Slovak strongman Robert Fico follows the Orban playbook

Robert Anderson in Bratislava September 27, 2023

Opponents warn that if Fico wins this weekend's election he will follow Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban’s playbook by hollowing out the country’s democracy and cosying up to the Kremlin, making Slovakia another European renegade.

EBRD projects slowdown in Central Europe, robust growth in Eurasia

bne IntelliNews September 27, 2023

High gas prices, China slowdown and shifts in industrial production contribute to slower growth in Central Europe.

PANNIER: Climate change brings neverending energy crisis to Kyrgyzstan

Bruce Pannier September 27, 2023

Drought and melted glaciers mean a lack of water for hydro-electricity generation and the last-resort use of more dirty coal to provide power.

Azerbaijanis still too nervous to celebrate Nagorno-Karabakh victory

bne IntelIiNews September 26, 2023

Azerbaijanis are tired of war but it is not yet clear that the 30 years of conflict are finally over against the ethnic Armenian enclave as well as Armenia itself.

A slow thaw in frozen US-Iran relations has led to booming oil exports

Ali Behboudian September 25, 2023

The deep freeze that has been US-Iran relations is slowly thawing. That doesn’t mean relations will become “good” anytime soon. But it does mean that Iran will be able to slowly reintegrate into the global economy.

Russian Foreign Minister roasts US and its European allies as an "Empire of Lies" in UN speech

Ben Aris in Berlin September 25, 2023

The United States and its European allies are an "empire of lies," undertaking commitments it has no intention of fulfilling, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told delegates in his speech at the 78th United Nations General Assembly.

Humanitarian crisis unfolding in Nagorno-Karabakh

Ben Aris in Berlin September 24, 2023

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave following the launch of Azerbaijan’s so-called anti-terrorist operation on September 19. Hundreds of people have already been killed. Thousands more than have been made homeless.

INTERVIEW: Michal Simecka, Progressive Slovakia leader

Robert Anderson in Bratislava, Albin Sybera in Bratislava September 24, 2023

Liberal leader says populist rival Robert Fico would become Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban's partner in pushing Russian interests inside the EU.

Ukraine can’t join the EU until the Common Agricultural Policy is reformed

Ben Aris in Berlin September 23, 2023

On December 16 the European Council starts negotiations with Kyiv to join the EU. But while no one expects the process to go quickly, Ukraine cannot join at all unless the EU first reforms its Common Agricultural Policy.

Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency NABU drifting into the president’s orbit

bne IntelliNews September 23, 2023

Under the leadership of Semen Kryvonos, the newly appointed head of Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), concerns grow about the bureau's independence, as it appears to be falling under the influence of the president’s office.

Eastern EU members building roads instead of railways

bne IntelliNews September 23, 2023

Across the EU far more has been invested in roads than railways over the last three decades, but this trend is even stronger in the newer EU members, a study commissioned by Greenpeace finds.

The fall of Nagorno-Karabakh

Neil Hauer in Yerevan September 23, 2023

While Azerbaijani officials have said that civilians will be allowed to stay there unharmed, few, if any, of the locals believe them.

PROFILE: Michal Simecka, leader of Progressive Slovakia

Robert Anderson in Bratislava September 22, 2023

There is a real hope that a late surge of support from the estimated one quarter of undecided voters could push Michal Simecka's Progressives into first place at the September 30 general election.