Slovak Economy Minister resigns but coalition crisis rumbles on

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2021

SaS leader Richard Sulik says Prime Minister Igor Matovic must now fulfil his pledge to quit, but the two rivals still disagree about the balance of ministers in the cabinet.

Turkey’s banks “key source of vulnerability” amid lira strife

bne IntelIiNews March 22, 2021

Crunch point may soon arrive as lenders attempt to deal with large burden of short-term maturing FX external debts. These amount to $88.7bn, or 12.5% of GDP.

Bulgaria expels two Russian diplomats as spy scandal escalates

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 22, 2021

Sofia rounded up six Bulgarian nationals suspected of spying for Russia, which has a strong presence in the Southeast European country’s energy sector.

NBU on the defensive in war against Kolomoisky as deputy governor accused of embezzlement

Ben Aris in Berlin March 22, 2021

Investigators are looking into how the NBU shared information with corporate sleuths Kroll and others it hired to probe fraud at the oligarch's nationalised bank Privatbank.

Motor Sich assets impounded, state to take over control

bne IntelliNews March 22, 2021

A Kyiv court has impounded all assets and shares of the aerospace firm Motor Sich, as the government gets ready to "return the company to the people".

Kosovan parliament votes in new government led by Albin Kurti

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 22, 2021

Kurti returns to power after left-wing nationalist Vetevendosje's resounding election victory but faces tough tasks of responding to pandemic and appointing Kosovo's new president.

Russia’s cartoon Masha and the Bear becomes a top global entertainment brand

Ben Aris March 22, 2021

Russian cartoon Masha and the Bear has been ranked in the top three most popular children's entertainment brands in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, according to the Kidz Global international research agency.

Germany’s Merkel says Sputnik V purchases possible if EU fails to find alternative sources of vaccines

Ben Aris in Berlin March 22, 2021

Chancellor Angela Merkel concedes that Germany may buy the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine if no alternative sources of vaccines are found soon.

Russia backs down from Twitter shutdown after the US network allegedly silences opposition voices

Ben Aris in Berlin March 22, 2021

The Russian government says it is “reconsidering” its policy to Twitter after it appears the US company started to close Russian opposition accounts.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko names possible successors

bne IntelliNews March 22, 2021

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko named former minister of the interior and presidential aide Yuri Karayev and former health minister Vladimir Karanik as possible successors if he were to stand down as president.

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.