Lithuania reinstates face mask wearing indoors, advises working remotely

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius September 29, 2021

Lithuania is the first Central European country to resort to tightening the public health rules as infections rise amid the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Belarusian KGB officer killed in shootout with protester

bne IntelliNews September 29, 2021

A Belarusian KGB officer was killed in a Minsk shootout during an attempt to arrest US citizen Andrei Zeltser for protesting on September 28.

The Ukrainian government appoints new members to the Naftogaz executive board

bne IntelliNews September 29, 2021

Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has appointed new members to the executive board of Naftogaz of Ukraine after sacking the old members last week, Naftogaz said in a press release on September 28.

European Commission president to push for EU negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia by year-end

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 28, 2021

Ursula von der Leyen speaks strongly in favour of progressing Albania and North Macedonia towards EU accession, but EU members are still divided on the issue.

Botched Vera Su rescue operation showers toxic cargo into sea off Bulgaria

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 28, 2021

Attempt to move nitrogen fertiliser cargo off stranded ship called off after significant contamination to the sea and nearby land.

Slovenian opposition parties sign cooperation deal to take on PM Janez Jansa

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 28, 2021

Four opposition parties agreed to form coalition after next year’s general election as they seek to oust Jansa’s rightwing SDS from power.

Hungarian opposition leaders clash in second televised debate

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest September 28, 2021

Debate took place as opposition parties are holding the country’s first-ever primary to select candidates for 106 constituencies and pick their leader to challenge Hungary’s strongman Viktor Orban.

Nato troops step up presence on Kosovo-Serbian border

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 27, 2021

Tensions have reached a 10-year high since new rules set by Pristina forced Serbian drivers to change their number plates to enter Kosovo.

Stranded ship loaded with fertilisers threatens Bulgarian coast

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 27, 2021

Environmental groups fear the Vera Su may already be leaking cargo of nitrogen fertilisers and diesel fuel into Yailata protected area as officials fail to act.

Russia's Renaissance Insurance hopes to raise $290mn with IPO

Ben Aris in Berlin September 27, 2021

One of Russia’s leading privately owned insurance companies, Renaissance Insurance Group, has announced that it will IPO on Moscow Exchange (MOEX), the company said on September 27.

Tajikistan ‘receives reports of Taliban allies making plans for incursion’

bne IntelIiNews September 27, 2021

Neighbouring country to Afghanistan thought to be hosting resistance leaders who may be seeking to regroup.

Erdogan issues S-400 threats after unhappy time in New York

bne IntelIiNews September 26, 2021

Turkish leader did not get to meet Joe Biden, but he is about to meet Vladimir Putin.

Poland records 130,000 excess deaths in past 12 months as pandemic deepens demographic crisis

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 26, 2021

The government’s flagship welfare programme, the universal payout of €109 monthly per every child under 18, has not resulted in any sustained increase in the number of births.

Romanian PM Citu wins party leadership election

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 26, 2021

Citu’s victory over incumbent PNL leader Ludovic Orban complicates efforts to rebuild the party’s centre-right coalition with reformist USR-PLUS.

Smart Organic plans Sofia IPO to fund purchase of German competitor

bne IntelliNews September 26, 2021

Bulgarian producer and distributor of organic food comes back for second attempt at IPO as it aims to buy German firm and build new factory.

Novatek deputy chairman arrested over allegedly hiding $93mn from IRS

bne IntelliNews September 24, 2021

The deputy chairman and former CFO of Russia’s second-largest gas producer Novatek, Florida businessman Mark Gyetvay, has been arrested in the US on tax charges relating to $93mn that was hidden in offshore accounts.

Russian petrochemical giant Sibur merges with rival TAIF

Ben Aris in Berlin September 24, 2021

Russia’s biggest petrochemicals company Sibur has closed a deal to take over 100% of its Tatarstan-based rival TAIF in an equity swap that will leave the shareholders of TAIF with 15% of the merged company and bonds.

Poland’s PM skips regional summit to snub Czech premier Babis over mine row

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 24, 2021

Poland reportedly plans to suspend cooperation with Czechia in the Visegrad Group until the mine’s case has been resolved in an amicable way.

Czech president released from hospital after alleged convalescent stay

bne IntelliNews September 24, 2021

Milos Zeman´s health is all the more important now when the general elections are approaching, as it is the president who nominates the head of the winning party to form a new government.

Former Ukrainian president Poroshenko defeats High Court claim for $260mn by oligarch Surkis

Ben Aris in Berlin September 24, 2021

The British High Court struck down a $260mn claim made by Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Surkis and his related companies against former President Petro Poroshenko and the former NBU governor Valeriya Gontareva on September 22.