Belarus Olympic sprinter seeks asylum in Europe after escaping from Belarusian government minders during the Tokyo games

bne IntelliNews August 2, 2021

Belarusian Olympic sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya is seeking asylum in Europe after escaping from Belarusian government minders that were trying to force her to fly home on August 1, where she faces possible arrest and imprisonment.

Erste Group revises upwards CEE region’s 2021 growth outlook

bne IntelliNews August 2, 2021

CEE lender cites region’s outstanding resilience during the pandemic and the expected positive impact from the EU’s recovery fund.

US, UK and Israel accuse Iran of Gulf attack on tanker that killed Briton, Romanian

bne IntelIiNews August 1, 2021

Analysts widely suspect Iran and Israel are involved in an undeclared shadow war in which they carry out attacks on each other's vessels. This war appears to be escalating

Politicians posture over bloody cocaine turf war in Serbia

Eldar Dizdarevic in Sarajevo August 1, 2021

President Vucic shows murder footage on national TV, vows to ‘cut off the head’ of drug mafia.

Turkey evacuates thousands of tourists amid hellish wildfire scenes

bne IntelIiNews July 31, 2021

Heat intensity of infernos measured with satellite data reportedly four times higher than anything on record for the nation.

Yukos shareholders claim $5bn appeal award from Russia

bne IntelliNews July 30, 2021

Yukos was once Russia’s biggest oil producer and briefly its most valuable company.

Pashinyan proposes Russian border posts along entire Armenia-Azerbaijan frontier

Neil Hauer in Yerevan July 30, 2021

Clashes in the wake of last year’s Nagorno-Karabakh war have become more frequent in recent months.

‘Ignorant or careless ministers spreading rice cultivation across Iran despite water crisis’

bne IntelIiNews July 29, 2021

After drought protests rock country, columnist takes officials to task for backing water-intensive rice farming in arid and semi-arid nation.

Falling out among reformist parties puts Bulgaria’s new government in doubt

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 29, 2021

ITN deputy leader talks of ‘dirty game played by dirty people’ as potential coalition partners demand written guarantees before backing an ITN-led government.

Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia to launch borderless travel zone by 2023

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 29, 2021

Three countries founded the ‘mini-Schengen’ initiative to improve economic and regional cooperation in the Western Balkans after EU enlargement to the region stalled.

Biden hosts Belarusian opposition leader Tikhanovskaya in the White House

bne IntelliNews July 29, 2021

Meeting gives strong signal of support to opponents of Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Russian billionaire Abramovich denies buying Chelsea FC for Putin in high-profile defamation case

bne IntelliNews July 29, 2021

Abramovich is suing British journalist Catherine Belton and her publisher HarperCollins over Belton’s 2020 book "Putin’s People".

Georgia’s ruling party abandons EU brokered deal that ended country’s political crisis

Neil Hauer in Yerevan July 28, 2021

Georgian Dream claims going into local elections with main opposition yet to sign the agreement would "would be harmful for Georgia’s interests".

Bulgarian parties edge closer to deal on new government

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 28, 2021

A government backed by the three political newcomers in parliament and the Bulgarian Socialist Party is now looking likely.

North Macedonia’s fugitive ex-PM Gruevski now flogging tableware and cleaning products in Hungary

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 28, 2021

Hungarian media reveal Gruevski set up his company in a Budapest suburb after fleeing North Macedonia to avoid serving a prison sentence.

Romania’s historic Rosia Montana mining site added to UNESCO world heritage list

bne IntelliNews July 28, 2021

Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources, which has a mining licence for Rosia Montana, sued the Romanian government after it asked for the area to be added to the UNESCO world heritage list.

Georgia may be most homophobic country in Europe data suggests

bne IntelIiNews July 28, 2021

Orthodox Christian priests participated in riot that caused cancellation of Tbilisi Pride, but research suggests homophobia is prevalent throughout Georgian society. Turkey ranked second most homophobic.

Montenegrin state withdraws deposits from bank dubbed president’s ‘personal ATM’

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia July 27, 2021

Montenegro’s state-owned companies have withdrawn deposits worth €13.1mn from local Prva Banka.

Tajik president’s 'nephews severely beat health minister after mother's COVID-19 death'

bne IntelIiNews July 27, 2021

Unconfirmed reporting says that many of Emomali Rahmon’s relatives have been hospitalised with coronavirus symptoms in recent weeks.

Thousands protest over spyware scandal as Hungary's Fidesz boycotts national security committee

bne IntelliNews July 27, 2021

Viktor Orban's government has refused to deny accusations that it used Israeli spyware to watch journalists and political opponents.