‘Election mode’ Erdogan ain’t for budging over Finland and Sweden’s Nato applications

bne IntelIiNews June 16, 2022

Turkish leader is staring down the barrel of tough national polls on horizon. Playing nationalist hardball will keep some of his remaining voters happy.

Calls growing for a price cap on Russian oil exports

Ben Aris in Berlin June 15, 2022

Europe has been wrestling to get its members to sign up to a full ban on Russian oil products but a ban could send the price of oil up and make Russia even more money. Better to cap prices and starve the Kremlin of revenues.

Russia announces it will slash gas flow via Nord Stream 1 by 60%

bne IntelliNews June 15, 2022

Russia’s Gazprom has announced it is slashing gas flow via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by 60%, blaming Siemens’ failure to repair compressor units on time and other technical problems at the Portovaya compressor station.

IKEA to sell off Russian inventory and plants

bne IntelliNews June 15, 2022

Swedish furniture major IKEA will scale down its business in Russia, lay off some employees, sell off inventory, and will start looking for buyers for its four Russian plants.

Russia has sanctioned 49 UK officials and journalists, including bne IntelliNews columnist Mark Galeotti

Ben Aris in Berlin June 15, 2022

Russia sanctioned 49 UK officials and journalists on June 14, including prominent bne IntelliNews columnist Mark Galeotti, accusing them of “one-sided” reporting.

Georgia to take management control of struggling mineral water company Borjomi

Cavid Aga in Baku June 15, 2022

Sanctioned Alfa Group transfers 7.7% stake and control of famous drinks company to Georgian state.

Bulgaria appeals for German help to clean up suspected heroin route border checkpoint

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia June 14, 2022

Ruling party MP claims heroin is trafficked through the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint on the Bulgaria-Turkey border, where video cameras in the phytosanitary lab were switched off for 10 years.

MEPs urge EU member states to recognise Kosovo

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje June 14, 2022

Five EU countries do not recognise Kosovo as an independent state, stymieing its hopes of joining the bloc.

Bulgarian PM Petkov closer to restoring majority as MPs desert ITN

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia June 14, 2022

Bulgaria’s ruling coalition lost its majority when ITN pulled out, but may get the support of disaffected ITN MPs — though early elections can’t be ruled out.

Nordic banks hit by new money laundering scandal in the Baltic states

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius June 14, 2022

Baltic branches of Nordic bank Nordea and Norway's DNB bank, as well as Luminor Bank, acted as conduits for alleged money laundering.

Uzbekistan, Russia's Rosatom discuss 'cost optimisation' for nuclear plant

Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent June 13, 2022

Tashkent indicates it has concerns that the project may not be economically feasible.

'Sugar rush' in Uzbekistan as prices skyrocket

Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent June 13, 2022

Officials say logistics difficulties have hit Brazilian sugar cane deliveries. Queues causing tensions as sugar resellers attempt to capitalise.

Artel becomes largest private company to place bond on Tashkent Stock Exchange

Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent June 13, 2022

Artel Electronics, Central Asia’s leading electronics and home appliances manufacturer, achieves corporate bond milestone in Uzbekistan.

Georgian government braces for blocking of EU candidacy

Cavid Aga in Baku June 13, 2022

Media reports at the weekend said that Georgia would not be given candidate status to start negotiations on EU accession at the June 23-24 EU summit.

Estonian coalition negotiations to start between Reform, Isamaa and the Social Democrats

Linas Jegelevicius in Vilnius June 13, 2022

Rightwing Ismaa party signals that it willl join negotiations being led by Reform, rather than those launched by the Centre Party.

Hungary launches probe against Ryanair after airline says it will pass on windfall tax

bne IntelliNews June 13, 2022

Ryanair says 'ill-timed and ill-considered tax has made Hungary instantly uncompetitive and less attractive to airlines and tourists'.

Kosovo applies for CoE membership, plans to apply for EU candidate status by year end

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest June 12, 2022

Application to the Council of Europe filed after Russia pulled out of the body in March, giving Kosovo a better chance of securing membership.

Meduza’s sources say the Kremlin plans to annex occupied Ukrainian territories and merge them into a new federal district in Russia

Andrey Pertsev for Meduza June 12, 2022

The Kremlin is planning to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine and combine them into a single federal district within Russia, three sources close to the Putin administration told Meduza.

Russia’s McDonald’s spin-off releases new logo

Theo Normanton June 11, 2022

Russia's answer to McDonald's has released its new logo. The brand was created after McDonald's withdrew from Russia and sold its assets to a licensee. The first new restaurants operating on former McDonald's sites are due to open on June 12.

Vucic resists pressure from Scholz to join Russia sanctions at tense press conference

bne IntelliNews June 11, 2022

Serbian president restates Belgrade's position that it will not join western sanctions on Russia despite appeals from German chancellor to fall into line with EU policy.