Gazprom announces Nord Stream 2's completion

bne IntelliNews September 10, 2021

Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is now fully complete, Gazprom announced in a brief message on September 10, although how soon it will start pumping Siberian gas to Europe is still shrouded in uncertainty.

Moldova’s parliament moves to put key agencies under its own control

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 10, 2021

Government will be able to dismiss the heads of Moldova's energy and financial markets regulators as it seeks to clean the system of corrupt officials — but critics say it threatens their independence.

Serbia starts building Europe’s first Sinopharm vaccine plant

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2021

Serbia the first country in Europe to produce both Sinopharm and Russian Sputnik V vaccines for its own population and the region.

Process to admit Iran into Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ‘set to begin’

bne IntelIiNews September 9, 2021

Islamic Republic applied to join as far back as 2008 but sanctions have hindered its path. Move to obtain membership may still meet additional obstacles.

At least 14 died in fire at makeshift COVID-19 hospital in North Macedonia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 9, 2021

Fire broke out in Tetovo, where low vaccination rates led to a severe fourth wave of the pandemic, overwhelming local hospitals.

PM Viktor Orban’s friend granted casino license for 35 years in secret

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2021

Opposition pledges to challenge lengthy contracts and licences handed out to regime's favourite oligarchs.

Fitch warns political turmoil puts fiscal consolidation at risk in Romania

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 8, 2021

The collapse of Romania’s coalition government could disrupt fiscal consolidation efforts, which are key to resolving the negative outlook on Romania’s BBB- rating, rating agency said.

Commission moves to impose financial penalties on Poland over changes to Supreme Court

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 8, 2021

Decision elevates the long-lasting spat between Poland and Brussels over Warsaw’s judiciary reforms to a new height.

Afghans, Iranians in Tehran protest against Pakistani backing for a Taliban Afghanistan

bne IntelIiNews September 7, 2021

Hundreds descend on Pakistani Embassy. Iranian foreign ministry says reports Islamabad bombed Panjshir Valley resistance forces are under investigation.

Turkish airport with next to no passengers put up for sale

Akin Nazli in Belgrade September 7, 2021

PPP project Zafer Airport enjoys a government guarantee for 1.28mn passengers. Last year, it served 7,200. It peaked in 2017 at 104,000.

Western Balkans coal power plants defy emissions rules, causing thousands of deaths

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow September 7, 2021

Air pollution from coal-fired power plants in the Western Balkans caused the deaths of around 19,000 people in three years, says a new study.

Belarusian opposition leaders Maria Kolesnikova and Maksim Znak were sentenced to over a decade in jail

bne IntelliNews September 7, 2021

Belarusian opposition leaders Maria Kolesnikova, who campaigned with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in last year’s presidential election, and lawyer Maksim Znak were sentenced to 11 year and 10 years respectively for allegedly plotting a coup.

Nord Stream 2 completed as last pipe section welded into place

bne IntelliNews September 7, 2021

The last piece of pipe was welded into place on September 7, completing the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Russia’s vast Yamal gas fields directly to Germany and bypassing Ukraine.

Intense fighting in Afghanistan's Panjshir between Taliban and NRF rebel forces

bne IntelIiNews September 7, 2021

Intense fighting continues in the northern Afghanistan province of Panjshir, where rebel forces are resisting the Taliban takeover.

Strong summer tourism season to boost Adriatic economies

bne IntelliNews September 7, 2021

Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and Slovenia are reporting that visitor numbers are close to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Hungarian central bank sees little chance of government slashing 5.9% deficit target despite stellar growth

bne IntelliNews September 6, 2021

MNB expects the government to use additional proceeds from better-than-expected growth to boost expenditures this year ahead of election.

Low-cost airline Uzbekistan Express takes wing

Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent September 5, 2021

Carrier to serve as budget alternative of Uzbekistan Airways in "hybrid model".

Violent protests mark inauguration of Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro head

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 5, 2021

Controversial inauguration rocked the country, with supporters of President Milo Djukanovic accusing Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapic’s government of sacrificing the security of Montenegrins to serve the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Moldova’s biggest bank MAIB plans IPO abroad

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 5, 2021

MAIB is already listed on the Moldovan stock exchange, but is eyeing a listing in London, Amsterdam, Warsaw or Bucharest.

Anti-vaxxers storm public broadcaster's office in Ljubljana

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 5, 2021

Protesters managed to get into the news studio before the police intervened.