Hungary to finance Fudan University with €1.4bn from Chinese loans

bne IntelliNews April 7, 2021

Spending on Chinese university more than the entire funding of Hungary’s higher education sector in 2019.

Hungary to start gradually lifting restrictions as 2.5mn get the COVID-19 jab

bne IntelliNews April 7, 2021

Many epidemiologists have warned that it is too early to lift restrictions as Hungary continues to report the worst fatality rates on the globe per 1mn inhabitants.

Minister’s Sarajevo genocide denial creates new rift in Montenegro’s ruling coalition

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 6, 2021

PM Zdravko Krivokapic caught between need to prove his government’s pro-EU orientation and the hardline Democratic Front that appointed Justice Minister Vladimir Leposavic.

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy calls on Nato to accelerate its accession

bne IntelliNews April 6, 2021

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged Nato to speed up his country's membership in the alliance on April 6, saying it was the only way to end fighting with pro-Russia separatists.

Romgaz is sole bidder for ExxonMobil’s stake in Black Sea project

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest April 6, 2021

Romgaz seeks to buy ExxonMobil's stake in the Neptun Deep offshore gas field.

Only a third of Russians consider Navalny’s jailing as “unjust” and half approve of the decision

bne IntelliNews April 6, 2021

Just under a third (29%) of Russians consider the jailing of anti-corruption activist and opposition politician Alexei Navalny as unjust, while half (48%) approve of the decision, according to independent pollster the Levada Center.

Starbucks to open first Uzbekistan outlet as country’s “virgin” niche lures new players

Alisher Kalandarov in Tashkent April 6, 2021

Coffee chain to join KFC, Wendy’s and Baskin Robbins among big Western names on Tashkent city streets. Russia’s Shokoladnitsa and Black Star Burger have also arrived.

Eurosceptic rightwing trio discuss EP alliance at Budapest summit

bne IntelliNews April 5, 2021

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Polish premier Mateus Morawiecki and former Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini fail to achieve breakthrough at first meeting.

Exit polls indicate Boyko Borissov’s Gerb won’t form Bulgaria's next government

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 5, 2021

PM Borissov took the largest share of the vote but is unlikely to find coalition partners in the new parliament.

Kosovan parliament elects Vjosa Osmani as president

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 4, 2021

Kosovan MPs elect the country's second woman president — and avert a constitutional crisis.

Slovenian opposition parties seek constitutional impeachment of PM Jansa

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje April 4, 2021

Opposition accuses Slovenia's right-wing prime minister of playing with people's lives during the pandemic in second attempt to remove him from power.

Chaos in Poland after government opens, then shuts down vaccinations for 40-year-olds

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw April 1, 2021

Government first tries to claim move was planned, but then finally admits that it had allowed younger people to jump the vaccination queue by mistake.

Moldova enters state of emergency amid overlapping health and political crises

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest April 1, 2021

The parliament’s decision to impose a 60-day state of emergency was condemned by President Maia Sandu, who said it was intended to delay early elections.

Coronavirus re-erupts in Turkey

bne IntelIiNews March 31, 2021

Already mired in a homegrown economic crisis, the country faces losing out on vital tourism revenues for a second summer running.

Government wants a solar panel on every roof in Serbia

Eldar Dizdarevic in Sarajevo March 31, 2021

Draft law aims to turn Serbia into a nation of energy prosumers as Belgrade pursues energy transition.

Russia to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus by the end of August, says Putin

bne IntelliNews March 31, 2021

Russia is one of the few places in Europe where infection rates are falling rapidly and the country is likely to reach “herd immunity by the end of August", according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Belarus confirmed coronavirus cases exceed 320,000

bne IntelliNews March 31, 2021

The total number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has exceeded 320,000 with the country counting as many as 995 more new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the health ministry reported on March 29.

Vaccination campaigns launched across Western Balkans

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2021

After months of delays, all of the Western Balkans countries have embarked on the vaccination of their populations against coronavirus.

Segezha Group launches CLT panel factory

bne IntelliNews March 30, 2021

Leading Russian wood processor Segezha Group has launched the country's first factory to manufacture cross-laminated timber panels in Sokol, Vologda region, 500 km northeast of Moscow.

Biden invites Putin, Xi to his first major climate talks

by Ros Davidson in San Francisco March 30, 2021

In a significant move, President Joe Biden of the US has invited rivals Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China to the US’ virtual climate talks. The forum will be held virtually on 22-23 April.