Persian-speaking Iran and Tajikistan boost defence relations

bne IntelIiNews April 8, 2021

Tajik Rahmon administration has long been wary of Tehran exporting Islamic Revolution to inhabitants opposed to Soviet-legacy rule.

Protesters attack Montenegrin PM Krivokapic's car

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 8, 2021

PM Zdravko Krivokapic blamed former President Milo Djukanovic's party for the incident involving a group of people who were travelling to the capital Podgorica to join a protest against the government.

Bulgaria’s PM Borissov gives up parliament seat

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 8, 2021

Speculation that Borissov plans to quit politics after his Gerb party failed to win enough votes to form the next government.

Turkmenistan: End of the road for the roaring growth myth?

Peter Leonard for Eurasianet April 8, 2021

The scale of the current crisis may be making IFIs rethink their longstanding policy of uncritically relaying Turkmen government data.

Ruble falls heavily on fears of war with Ukraine

bne IntelliNews April 8, 2021

The Russian ruble lost 2% on April 7, falling to a five-month low of RUB77.7 vs the dollar as the market was unnerved by the biggest military build-up so far of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border.

Czech premier fires third health minister since beginning of pandemic

bne IntelliNews April 8, 2021

Andrej Babis sacrifices another scapegoat as his government struggles to handle one of the worst COVID-19 epidemics in Europe and his poll ratings continue to slide.

Army sent into Tirana airport after strike grounds all flights

bne IntelliNews April 7, 2021

Strike grounded flights at Albania’s only operational international airport as air traffic controllers protested against layoffs and pay cuts.

Murat Ulker still Turkey’s richest billionaire says Forbes

Akin Nazli in Belgrade April 7, 2021

His Yildiz Holding has since 2018 restructured its debts several times. In food, its businesses include Godiva Chocolatier, Pladis Global and SOK.

Bulgarian PM Borissov offers Slavi Trifonov support to form government

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia April 7, 2021

Showman-turned-politican Trifonov, whose party is the second largest in the new parliament, has so far given no hint as to his plans after Sunday’s election.

Coronavirus explosions in Turkey and Iran intensify

bne IntelIiNews April 7, 2021

Latter bans tourist flights to the former. Iranian deputy minister angered by relaxation of restrictions over Nowruz holidays.

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.