Poland’s system of disciplining judges violates EU law, says CJEU advisor

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 7, 2021

Advocates General says disciplinary measures could damage judges’ independence by allowing the government to punish them for their rulings.

Russia launches Sputnik-Lite one-shot vaccine with 80% efficacy

bne IntelliNews May 7, 2021

Russia has launched the one-shot Sputnik-Lite anti-coronavirus vaccine, on May 6, that it claims has a 79.4% efficacy, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a press release.

US Secretary of State Blinken in Kyiv with promises of support and veiled rebukes for slow reform progress

Ben Aris in Berlin May 7, 2021

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Kyiv to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Ukraine’s top politicians in a show of solidarity in the face of Russian aggression.

Bulgarian businessman claims PM screened sexual assault video to intimidate him

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 6, 2021

Boyko Borissov denied accusations of links to extortion and torture made by businessman Svetoslav Ilchovski in damning testimony to parliament committee.

High representative warns Bosnian Serb leaders seek to split country

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 6, 2021

Valentin Inzko told the UN Security Council the challenge to Bosnia’s once multiethnic society is led by the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, Milorad Dodik.

Liechtenstein prince suspected of poaching after shooting biggest bear in Romania

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 6, 2021

The Romania National Environmental Guard is investigating the killing of a large brown bear that activists allege was illegally shot by a Liechtenstein prince during a hunt in the Carpathian Mountains.

Jailed Belarus presidential candidate Tikhanovsky charged with plotting mass riots

Ben Aris in Berlin May 6, 2021

The Belarusian Prosecutor-General’s Office has indicted jailed presidential candidate Sergei Tikhanovsky and his associates with plotting mass riots ahead of presidential elections last August.

Borsa Istanbul’s IPO price ceiling spell broken

Akin Nazli in Belgrade May 5, 2021

Flotation pipeline still producing new offerings.

Turkey’s air force becoming obsolete warns Istanbul think tank

bne IntelIiNews May 5, 2021

Washington’s ban on Ankara acquiring F-35s is a major headache and armed drones are no substitute for manned fighter jets, says EDAM analyst.

Serbia offers cash for jabs as it aims for herd immunity

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2021

Serbia is among the most advanced countries in Europe in terms of the share of the population already vaccinated but there are fears numbers could tail off amid anti-vaxxer sentiment.

EU has no tools to tackle Viktor Orban’s media conglomerate, says Jourova

bne IntelliNews May 5, 2021

Commissioner says she will discuss creating a media freedom act to protect media freedom as a 'pillar of democracy'.

Commissioner Varhelyi brings first EU-donated vaccines on Western Balkans tour

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 4, 2021

Tour of the region is also aimed at supporting the Western Balkans countries’ EU integration processes.

Bulgaria’s BSP to return last mandate to form government, snap election expected in mid-July

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia May 4, 2021

No party in the fragmented parliament produced by the April 4 election managed to put together a majority.

Fugitive businessman promises to recover $1bn stolen from Moldovan banks

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 4, 2021

Prosecutors are expected to accept Ilan Shor’s offer to help recover the stolen money in exchange for the termination of all lawsuits against him as Moldova urgently needs the money.

Kyrgyz, Tajik troops move back from border after fighting that killed dozens

Kanat Shaku in Almaty May 3, 2021

Ceasefire said to be holding after presidents speak on phone and calls for calm from Russia, EU and OSCE.

Albanian ruling party starts procedures to impeach president

bne IntelliNews May 3, 2021

President Ilir Meta was one of the most vocal critics of Prime Minister Edi Rama ahead of the April general election.

Russia's Sber grows ecosystem to 4% of revenues, still in red

bne IntelliNews April 30, 2021

Sber's ecosystem first-quarter revenues almost quadrupled their share of Russia's largest bank's 1Q21 revenues.

Turkey’s TAV seals buyout of 85% stake in Almaty International Airport

Kanat Shaku in Almaty April 30, 2021

Major $655mn FDI project for Kazakhstan will see doubling of airport’s capacity and construction of new international terminal.

Team Navalny shut down regional office network ahead of “extremist organisation” ruling

bne IntelliNews April 30, 2021

Team Navalny, the informal organisation behind jailed anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny, has closed down its regional network in anticipation of a court ruling labelling it an “extremist” organisation.

Hungary and Russia agree five-year delay in start of repayments of €10bn Paks loan facility

bne IntelliNews April 30, 2021

The decision to modify the financial terms of the contract signals that Moscow is not expecting the new nuclear reactor block to go operational before 2031.