Hungary subtly turns down Kyiv proposal for Orban-Zelenskiy meeting, former foreign minister says

bne IntelliNews December 8, 2023

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has subtly rejected an offer from Kyiv for a meeting between President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Prime Minister Viktor Orban, according to first commentaries after the news broke on December 7.

Turkey allows European Parliament rapporteur to visit Osman Kavala in prison

bne IntelliNews December 7, 2023

On same day, official warns Ankara to dial down the abrasive rhetoric, saying: "You are completely isolated. The only real friend you have is Azerbaijan."

China-EU summit resumes after five-year hiatus, but relations remain strained

Ben Aris in Berlin December 7, 2023

Chinese leader Xi Jinping hosted European Council President Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Beijing for the 24th Chinese-European Summit, the first meeting in five years.

Slovakia’s new government approves dismantling of Special Prosecutor Office

Albin Sybera December 7, 2023

European Commission warns cabinet to wait before going ahead with controversial changes in the legal system.

International banking groups mull expansion in CEE region

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2023

Half of the cross-border banking groups active in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe say they want to “selectively expand” in the region, shows the latest EIB survey.

North Macedonia seeks extradition of far-right politician in double murder case

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje December 6, 2023

All the suspects for the brutal murders of a 14-year-old girl and a 74-year-old man are members of the extremist, pro-Russia Desna party.

Arkadag, Turkmenistan’s “Man City”, blitz league in debut season

bne IntelIiNews December 6, 2023

Backed by the regime, new club signed most of their rivals’ best players and won all of their matches in march to title helped along by some most fortunate refereeing.

Moscow sees most snowfall in one day since records began

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2023

Moscow experienced an unprecedented snowfall on December 3, setting a record as the heaviest in the city's 145-year history of weather observations.

Zelenskiy video appeal to Congress for more help cancelled as Republicans present Biden with funding ultimatum

Ben Aris in Berlin December 6, 2023

An appeal Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had been due to make to the US congress for more money via video link on December 5 was cancelled at the last minute as the Speaker of the House issued an ultimatum to US President Joe Biden

Western brands’ adverts fund Russian disinformation in Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2023

Disinformation poses threats to stability and democracy and contributes to tensions and violence in the multi-ethnic communities of Bosnia and Kosovo, says report by Balkan Free Media Initiative and CRTA.

Hungarian economists say CPI figures are distorted by change in methodology

Tamas Csonka in Budapest December 6, 2023

Economists suspect figures are being massaged to improve economic picture.

Lukoil mulls sale of Bulgarian refinery, petrol stations

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia December 5, 2023

Russian oil company to reassess its presence in Bulgaria and could sell its business after Bulgarian parliament banned imports of Russian oil from March 2024.

Tusk-led Polish government could finally win confidence vote on December 11

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw December 5, 2023

Despite winning the election on October 15, the three-party government of Civic Coalition, the Third Way and the Left is yet to take over power because of obstruction by the outgoing Law and Justice party.

Albanian interior minister tells opposition MPs to stop starting fires in parliament or face prosecution

bne IntelliNews December 5, 2023

MPs set off flares and burnt papers inside the Albanian parliament, as part of a series of of acts of civil disobedience by opposition MPs.

JPMorgan EM Debt Fund buys in $2mn of Turk Eximbank’s eurobond due 2027

Akin Nazli in Belgrade December 5, 2023

Turkey’s 5-year CDS remain below the 400-level. The yield on the government’s 10-year eurobonds remains below the 9%-level. The USD/TRY rate is still heading north.

Orban raises stakes on Ukraine's EU accession ahead of summit

Tamas Csonka in Budapest December 5, 2023

Rejection of Ukrainian accession would deal a significant blow to the country's morale amidst the ongoing war with Russia, particularly given the hold-up in the US Congress to further US aid.

Former Kazakh leader Nazarbayev confesses to polygamy with Miss Kazakhstan 1999

bne IntelIiNews December 5, 2023

Ex-president releases shocking memoir detailing hidden life that led to a second family with two sons. Rumours had swirled for years.

Slovak cabinet approves new levy on banks to cut budget deficit

Albin Sybera December 5, 2023

The Ministry of Finance projects a public deficit of 6.5% of GDP this year and 6% of GDP next year.

Poland’s central bank fortifies defences against a Tusk government “political attack”

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw December 5, 2023

ECB says that preventing the NBP governor from performing his duties could affect the bank's independence.

Outrage as Ankara court orders dismissal of Turkish Medical Association board amid chemical weapons furore

bne IntelIiNews December 4, 2023

Decision comes with Turkey’s judiciary already in crisis sparked by top appeals court pursuing criminal complaint against Constitutional Court judges who ruled for the release of a jailed MP.