Conservative German MP who lobbied for North Macedonia’s fugitive ex-PM resigns

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 21, 2021

Tobias Zech stepped down following media reports that he took cash for lobbying for North Macedonia’s former prime minister Nikola Gruevski in 2016.

Weekend of protests against corona restrictions in Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews March 21, 2021

Protesters express anger against tighter restrictions and vaccinations as well as a broad range of local issues in Southeast European cities.

National Bank of Ukraine deputy governor Rozhkova accused of treason and embezzlement

Ben Aris in Berlin March 19, 2021

Rozhkova, who spearheaded the highly successful clean-up of the banking sector in recent years, has been charged in connection with the Privatbank nationalisation.

Russia's CBR back to tough policy with first rate hike since 2018

bne IntelliNews March 19, 2021

The Board of the Central Bank of Russia has surprised market analysts by announcing a pre-emptive 25 basis point hike to the key interest rate, to 4.5%, to combat inflation threats. This is the first time it has raised the rate since December 2018.

Putin counters Biden killer comments with “takes one to know one” retort

Ben Aris in Berlin March 19, 2021

The war of words that broke out between Russia and the US following President Joe Biden’s affirmation he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “killer” continued on March 18 with Putin saying “takes one to know one.”

Mystery as Tajik president Rahmon disappears from public view

bne IntelIiNews March 19, 2021

At this time of year, he is usually out and about taking part in Nowruz festivities. But it is his son Rustam Emomali who is presiding over events.

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party finalises divorce from EPP

bne IntelliNews March 19, 2021

For the EPP, Fidesz's resignation is a relief as the party has long been an embarrassment for the grouping.

Armenia’s embattled PM announces he’s agreed to June snap election

bne IntelIiNews March 19, 2021

After weeks of street protests and counter-protests, a deal is struck for an early poll.

Belarus’ Tikhanovskaya calls for online vote on talks between Minsk and opposition

bne IntelliNews March 18, 2021

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is calling for online talks between self-appointed President Lukashenko's regime and the opposition.

Bulgaria the latest to announce lockdown as new COVID-19 wave descends on Southeast Europe

bne IntelliNews March 18, 2021

Over 4,000 COVID-19 cases daily are being reported in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, putting hospitals under strain.

Scotland’s WGPSN to pay £6.46mn after self-reporting bribery in Kazakhstan

Kanat Shaku in Almaty March 18, 2021

Subsidiary PSNA admitted making illicit gains from payments made to Unaoil to secure contracts in chemical, petrochemical, oil and gas industries.

Home Credit plunges to €584mn loss in 2020

bne IntelliNews March 18, 2021

Czech-owned consumer lending group adapts to COVID-19 by shifting to smaller loans and pushing digitilisation.

Serbian minister slams China’s CMEC over slow work on Kostolac B power station expansion

Eldar Dizdarevic in Sarajevo March 18, 2021

Construction of Block 3 at Kostolac B is the biggest project in Serbia's energy sector for three decades but has been slow to complete.

Volkswagen in negotiation with Czech government on building e-car battery plant

bne IntelliNews March 18, 2021

Plan could also involve state energy group CEZ, which wants to use domestic lithium deposits.

Porsche in talks with Croatia's supercar producer Rimac over Bugatti JV, Volkswagen head says

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2021

Porsche recently upped its stake in Rimac Automobili from 15.5% to 24% after investing an additional €70mn.

Biden: “Putin is a killer”

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2021

The ruble sold off heavily on March 17 after US President Joe Biden said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer in an interview.

Ukraine still importing power from Belarus, despite promise to break ties

Ben Aris in Belrin March 17, 2021

As the heating season is close to ending Ukraine is still importing large amounts of power from Belarus, despite a promise to break its connection to the Belarusian and Soviet era grid.

Screw comes loose on governor’s claim IKEA’s coming to Uzbekistan

Alisher Kalandarov in Tashkent March 17, 2021

Tashkent regional chief’s investment presentation to president turns out to be a rather dodgy construction.

President appoints new PM-designate as Moldova faces third coronavirus wave

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 17, 2021

President Sandu has a good chance of either getting Ion Grosu backed by parliament or forcing early elections after rival candidate made surprise move to London.

Bucharest Stock Exchange's main index hits record high

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2021

Blue-chip BET index closed the March 16 trading session at 10,844 points, beating the previous record set in 2007.