World Bank drops Doing Business report after alleged pressure from Bulgaria-born IMF chief to favour China

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 18, 2021

Investigation says Kristalina Georgieva, then a high-ranking World Bank official, and former former Bulgarian finance minister Simeon Dyankov pressured officials to improve China’s position. Georgieva denies the accusations.

Iran cements ties with East as it becomes full member of SCO

bne IntelIiNews September 17, 2021

“The world has entered a new era,” says Iranian president. “Hegemony and unilateralism are failing. The international balance is moving toward multilateralism and redistribution of power to the benefit of independent countries.”

Hundreds of Turkish medical company bosses and workers throw keys to ground in unpaid debts demo

bne IntelIiNews September 16, 2021

State hospitals said to owe firms hundreds of millions of dollars. Company bosses warn they are losing financial ability to sustain supply chain.

Montenegro’s ruling coalition split over government reshuffle

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 16, 2021

Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic's government again at risk of collapse as two of the formations behind it demand a reshuffle.

Bulgaria’s popular caretaker PM Yanev to head next interim cabinet

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 16, 2021

Yanev will remain in the PM position until the November general election after his ministers’ efforts to root out high-level corruption made it the most popular cabinet in decades.

US lawmakers make last ditch effort to kill off the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

bne IntelliNews September 16, 2021

US lawmakers made a last ditch effort to kill off Russia’s recently completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is now completed but not yet in operation.

Tens of millions of wealth fund dollars have ‘flowed to corporation linked to relative of Uzbekistan’s Mirziyoyev’

bne IntelIiNews September 16, 2021

Media investigation raises curtain on Orient Group, founded by brother of president's son in-law.

Azerbaijan detains Iranian truck drivers as ‘land corridors’ dispute with Armenia worsens

bne IntelIiNews September 15, 2021

Tactic may be designed to up pressure on Yerevan to permit a route that would enable Azerbaijanis to reach their Nakhchivan exclave via Armenian territory.

Russian oil major Rosneft gets closer to gas exports

bne IntelliNews September 15, 2021

The Russian Ministry of Energy will report to the government on potentially allowing state oil giant Rosneft access to gas exports "in the coming days".

Russia’s Communist Party to get a Navalny smart voting bump in the Duma elections

Ben Aris in Berlin September 15, 2021

Russia’s Communist Party is likely to get a big bump in this weekend's Duma election after opposition activists Team Navalny threw its weight behind most of its candidates as part of its “smart voting” strategy.

Merkel says EU should “keep its word” in relations with accession candidates

bne IntelIiNews September 15, 2021

After EU accession progress was blocked by Bulgaria, Albanian PM Edi Rama tells German chancellor Western Balkans are “held hostage” by nationalism in EU countries.

Azerbaijan starts charging Iranian trucks supplying Armenia

Heydar Isayev and Ani Mejlumyan for Eurasianet September 14, 2021

The move appears to be part of a steadily increasing effort by Baku to exert control over the road in southern Armenia that passes through pockets of Azerbaijan-controlled territory.

Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile ‘could be enough for atomic bomb within month’

bne IntelIiNews September 14, 2021

US think tank’s conclusion does not, however, address the time it would take Tehran to assemble a deliverable weapon on a missile warhead.

Radical right Sovereignists vow to force referendum over Croatia’s euro adoption

bne IntelliNews September 14, 2021

As Croatia moves towards euro adoption, Croatian Sovereignists are preparing to battle to defend the kuna.

Iran refers to ‘illegality’ of Turkish presence in Caspian Sea military drills

Javid Agha in Baku September 14, 2021

Tehran concerned at how special forces from Turkey linked up with Azerbaijani counterparts.

Merkel says EU enlargement to Western Balkans is “absolute geostrategic interest”

bne IntelliNews September 14, 2021

On farewell visit to Belgrade, Germany’s outgoing chancellor warns that if EU doesn’t move fast enough it will be "forced to come to terms with other partners” in the region.

Romania's Fondul Proprietatea says state may deprive it of 19% stake in Bucharest Airports

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 14, 2021

Investment fund says management of Bucharest Airports National Company wants to dilute its stake to 0.7% through the capitalisation of an overvalued plot of land used by Baneasa airport.

North Macedonia’s health minister offers resignation over fire in COVID-19 hospital

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 13, 2021

Fire in a makeshift COVID-19 hospital in Tetovo killed 15 people.

Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine were emerging markets with biggest upgrades from Fitch over last five years

bne IntelliNews September 13, 2021

The three emerging Europe countries bucked the overall trend of declining Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Ratings seen across emerging markets.

Bulgaria’s president to schedule snap general election for November 14

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 12, 2021

Shakeout in the polls ahead of Bulgaria’s third general election of 2021 sees ITN’s support slump, while Democratic Bulgaria’s popularity rises.