Awkward embrace as Iran and Saudi Arabia seal deal on restoring relations brokered by China

bne IntelIiNews March 10, 2023

Agreement could have implications on reviving nuclear deal and could even help build ties between Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Riyadh.

Central Asia’s poorest farmers know the value of their land

bne IntelIiNews March 10, 2023

Farmland and pastures across the region are far less productive after decades of monocropping.

Moldovans turn to tourism and online sex work to make ends meet

James C Pearce in Moscow March 10, 2023

Moldova is often painted as small, struggling and stuck between the East and West. Its tourism industry was no different, at least until 2020. It has since borne the brunt of three global crises and has the battle scars to show for it.

Czech President Milos Zeman: a populist tragedy of our times

Robert Anderson in Prague March 9, 2023

The Kremlin-backing head of state, who left office this week, is widely seen as without question the worst Czech president since the restoration of democracy in 1989.

Outgunned Ukrainian soldiers near Bakhmut wait for more Western ammo

Guillaume Ptak in Bakhmut March 9, 2023

With Ukraine firing more than 5,000 artillery rounds each day by some estimates, ammunition for the country's artillery systems is running low, despite the country inheriting massive stocks of 155mm shells following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Incoming Czech President Petr Pavel marks clean break from Zeman's 10-year rule

Albin Sybera, Robert Anderson March 8, 2023

Pavel’s record election victory has widely been seen as a blow to the powerful populist trend in Central Europe, epitomised in the Czech Republic by Zeman and his ally, opposition leader Andrej Babis.

Bomb hoaxes disrupt education and daily life in North Macedonia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 8, 2023

Thousands of fake bomb threats linked by officials to Ukraine war have disturbed the everyday lives of North Macedonia’s citizens for months, with schools being the main targets.

The endless battle for Bakhmut

Neil Hauer in Chasiv Yar March 8, 2023

Civilian life still continues in Chasiv Yar, a few kilometres from Bakhmut, the fortress city that has become Ukraine's Stalingrad.

Gender gap persists in Emerging Europe’s industries of the future

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 8, 2023

Women are underrepresented in the growing ICT and green energy sectors.

Western, Russian diplomats globetrotting to win support in ballooning sanctions battle

Ben Aris in Berlin March 8, 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron is in Africa. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has just been to Central Asia before visiting India, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has just completed a tour of Africa, India and the Caucasus.

Russia cracks down on VPNs as restrictions on internet freedoms continue to increase

bne IntelliNews March 7, 2023

Moscow’s attempts to stifle internet freedom and further isolate the country from the rest of the world appear to be ramping up in the second year of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Croatian retailer Studenac on acquisition spree in market ripe for consolidation

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow March 7, 2023

Studenac aims to become one of Croatia's top three grocery retailers and increase its market share to over 12% though a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.

Sanctioned Russian banker Tinkov launches fintech project in Mexico

bne IntelliNews March 6, 2023

Prominent Russian oligarch Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of Russia’s only purely online bank, is behind the launch of an international financial startup in Mexico, banking sources have told bne IntelliNews.

Russia is successfully evading Western technology sanctions

bne IntelliNews March 6, 2023

Russia has managed to largely bypass Western sanctions on technology and semiconductor imports to supply itself with technology to keep its economy working and build sophisticated weapons.

Russomania slowly fades in Serbia as Putin’s hybrid war continues

Ann Smith in New York and bne IntelliNews reporters in Belgrade March 4, 2023

Falling living standards and first hand accounts from Russians and Ukrainians living in Serbia are starting to challenge Serbs’ allegiance to Russia.

Estonia's far-right EKRE party should not be written off

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius March 3, 2023

Estonia’s radical right-wing party is catching up with the ruling liberal Reform Party, with just hours to go before the general election on Sunday.

Ukrainian refugees and Russian migrants bring economic benefits but also stresses to Emerging Europe

bne IntelliNews March 3, 2023

Looking forward to the end of the war, whenever it happens, policymakers are already speculating on how many of the refugees and migrants are likely to stay and how many will return.

Perspectives | China wants the Line D pipeline. Can Central Asia deliver?

Joe Webster for Eurasianet March 2, 2023

Beijing is leaning toward buying additional Central Asian gas, despite reliability concerns.

Kyiv emerges warm and victorious from worst winter since World War 2

Dominic Culverwell in Kyiv March 2, 2023

Wind and sleet greeted the first spring morning in Kyiv. Despite the miserable weather, March 1 marks another victory for Ukraine; the survival of the dreaded winter.

Russia’s McDonald's rip-off to produce “Happy Mealski”

bne IntelliNews March 1, 2023

After McDonald's pulled out of Russia when the war in Ukraine started last year, its restaurants were rapidly taken over by a Russian replacement called Vkusno I Tochka ("Tasty, period") which now plans to introduce its own Happy Meal, The Kids Combo