Russia’s budget deficit hits its full year target in the first two and half months of 2023

Ben Aris n Berlin March 24, 2023

Russia’s federal budget deficit for the first ten days of March has already exceeded the planned RUB2.9bn for the entire year of 2023, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin admitted on March 24.

New Sino-Russia bridge in the Amur region will cut 2,000 km off Beijing-Moscow rail route

bne IntelliNews March 24, 2023

The state-owned Russia Railways (RZD) is pushing the construction of a new bridge over the Amur River that will cut some 2,000 km off an overland rail link connecting Beijing and Moscow as Russia continues to seek new unsanctionable trade routes.

Russia to legalise gold rush in Far East and Arctic

bne IntelliNews March 24, 2023

Russia is drafting a bill that would allow individuals to privately mine gold, Vedomosti daily reported. There are already 247 placer gold miners registered in Russia each producing less than 30kg a year.

Four Slovak MiG-29s are already in Ukraine

Albin Sybera March 23, 2023

The timing of arms supplies to Ukraine is crucial now that military experts argue that the right moment to launch an offensive against the invading Russian forces is just weeks away.

Lukashenko turns repression screws tighter with raids and jailings, UN condemns Belarus for crimes against humanity

Ben Aris in Berlin March 23, 2023

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has ramped up his brutal repression with a series of raids on opposition leaders and politically motivated jailings that has led the UN to accuse his regime of “crimes against humanity.”

Poll suggesting Polish opposition’s unity is only way to beat PiS was manipulated, critics say

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw March 23, 2023

Poll only counted those certain to vote, thereby reinforcing liberal narrative that all parties must unite against populist PiS government.

Kosovo’s football federation chief arrested in corruption probe

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2023

Agim Ademi arrested ahead of Kosovo's Euro 2024 qualifying matches on suspicion of misuse of funds and tax evasion.

Opposition rift leaves way clear for another Socialist victory in Albania’s local elections

bne IntelliNews March 23, 2023

Rival factions are fighting to control Albania's opposition Democratic Party.

Election blow to Erdogan as Turkey’s third biggest party implicitly backs main challenger

bne IntelIiNews March 23, 2023

“We will fulfil our historical responsibility against one-man rule,” says co-chair of pro-Kurdish HDP.

I’ll defeat Erdogan, put Turkey back on track then retire to look after grandchildren says Kilicdaroglu

bne IntelIiNews March 22, 2023

‘Gandhi Kemal’, battling to overcome a reputation for being a bit dull, strives to show he’s energised.

Putin accuses the West of “use of weapons with nuclear components” after UK says it will send Ukraine depleted uranium ammo

bne IntelliNews March 22, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused "the collective West" of using “weapons with nuclear components,” after the UK said it would send Ukraine depleted uranium ammunition on March 22.

Ukraine signs off on a $15.6bn EFF staff-level agreement with the IMF

bne IntelliNews March 22, 2023

Ukraine has secured a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a 48-month $15.6bn Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement, the government said on March 22.

Hungary fails to block Nato-Ukraine Commission talks

Tamas Csonka in Budapest March 22, 2023

Budapest claims that the move "hurts the cherished unity of Nato".

CEZ achieves record net income of CZK80.7bn in 2022

Robert Anderson in Prague March 22, 2023

Czech power group, which is 70% state-owned, said it could issue a record dividend of up to CZK117 a share.

Turkey’s stealth fighter jet has no engine but you won’t hear that from Erdogan election campaign

bne IntelIiNews March 21, 2023

After 13 years, TF-X project yet to come up with propulsion technology, yet president presenting “fifth generation” aircraft prototype as prestigious achievement.

Russia and China sign off $165bn of energy and transport deals in Xi's second day in Moscow

Ben Aris in Berlin March 21, 2023

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a second day of talks on China’s plan for the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict and expanding economic and trade ties.

Bosnian Pride organisers to sue Republika Srpska president

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 20, 2023

Milorad Dodik told police to ban Pride march and says he "does not accept" LGBT organisations after activists attacked in Banja Luka.

Former Kosovan PM says pensions at risk after SVB, Credit Suisse crises

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 20, 2023

Avdullah Hoti warns failure to appoint new board at state-run Pension Saving Trust leaves €2.5bn invested in financial markets at the “mercy of fate”.

Chinese President Xi in Moscow to meet Putin in a show of new global power

Ben Aris in Berlin March 20, 2023

Chinese President Xi Jinping just arrived in Moscow on a three-day state visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin that provides the Kremlin with a fig leaf of legitimacy for its military campaign in Ukraine and also promotes China to the top table.

Serbian opposition slam Vucic over talks with Kosovo

bne IntelliNews March 20, 2023

President Aleksandar Vucic moved closer to a deal with Kosovo at this weekend's Ohrid summit but faces fierce opposition at home.