Features

LONG READ: Serbia’s hijacked protests

Ivana Jovanovic July 12, 2020

Protests against the Serbian government’s handling of the coronacrisis and the announcement of a new lockdown descended into violent attacks on police and state buildings after they were taken over by far-right groups, some linked to Russia.

Divided Poland to choose more turmoil in presidential election on Sunday

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw July 10, 2020

Whether incumbent President Andrzej Duda or the centre-right mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski wins the run-off presidential vote, it will mark the start of several years of turmoil.

No enthusiasm for July 15 election in North Macedonia amid relentless coronavirus epidemic

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje July 9, 2020

Both the ruling SDSM and opposition VMRO-DPMNE say they expect victory, but the electorate are more concerned about the seemingly unstoppable spread of the virus.

Mongolia to go ahead with Naadam festival, but with no tourists

Milena Mendes in Ulaanbaatar Mongolia July 9, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has played hell with the international event calendar everywhere this year. But not in Mongolia, which has decided to go ahead with Naadam, Mongolia’s biggest festival.

Protests pose unprecedented threat to Turkmenistan’s authoritarian government

Emil Avdaliani in Tbilisi July 6, 2020

Turkmenistan faces a new set of political and economic problems as protests become widespread and the government is unwilling to address the situation.

Suma Chakrabati leaves the EBRD a greener bank

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow July 3, 2020

Green financing reached close to 50% of the EBRD’s volume of investment in 2019, but as he leaves the bank Chakrabati warns of the need to put the green economy at the heart of the post-COVID recovery.

Udokan: Alisher Usmanov’s Siberian copper valley

Ben Aris in Berlin June 30, 2020

With its launch scheduled for 2023, Siberia's Udokan copper deposit is among the largest in the world.

Letter to Putin exposes campaign against US investor Calvey

Jason Corcoran in Moscow June 29, 2020

Letters to President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s powerful Federal Security Service (FSB) reveal how shareholders in Russian lender Vostochny Bank sought to smear US investor Michael Calvey

Leading Czech aviation specialist turns to high-tech respirator production

Ben Aris in Berlin June 26, 2020

It's a sort of coronacrisis-inspired version of the swords to ploughshares story. WPA, the Czech Republic’s leading aircraft component supplier, has turned its high-tech production skills to producing high-quality respirators

Armenia seeks security forces reorganisation

Ani Mejlumyan for Eurasianet June 25, 2020

Behind the unexplained recent firings is a push to put the security services under greater civilian control.

Global pandemic is boon for ESG funds, outperforming their brown peers

Ben Aris in Berlin June 22, 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been a boon for environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds, 85% of which are now outperforming their non-ESG peers, according to a paper released by the Institute of International Finance (IIF)

Tourists trickle back to the Adriatic

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 21, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of people are now on the move in Central and Southeast Europe as travel restrictions imposed to contain the novel coronavirus are eased.

LONG READ: Construction work on Belarus’ Ostrovets nuclear power station almost complete, but is it safe?

Ben Aris in Berlin June 19, 2020

Construction work at Belarus’ Ostrovets NPP is coming to an end and it is expected to come online in July. But the facility remains a bone of contention with its neighbours, who simply don't trust the Belarusians to run a nuclear facility

China and Russia blur lines on “division of labour” in exerting influence over Central Asia

Kanat Shaku in Almaty June 18, 2020

Author of report from Washington think tank points to fading of traditional arrangement whereby Moscow takes care of security matters while Beijing takes care of the economic side.

Trump, Erdogan & Halkbank—John Bolton memoir throws focus back on curious events

bne IntelIiNews June 18, 2020

Controversy obscured by sheer number of other issues surrounding US president. New book says it should have been centre-stage.

Belarus looking forward to a long hot summer as presidential elections loom

Ben Aris in Berlin June 16, 2020

In his first 15 years in office, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko enjoyed impressive popularity. But he faces mounting opposition as three creditable candidates plan to run against him in August's presidential elections

INTERVIEW: PrivatBank under attack but on the mend

Ben Aris in Berlin June 15, 2020

The state nationalised PrivatBank in 2016 and has put it back on its feet. But the management is fighting a constant legal battle against its former oligarch owner, Ihor Kolomoisky, who is trying to regain control of the bank.

LONG READ: Voters in Serbia starkly divided into pro and anti Vucic camps before ‘corona elections’

Ivana Jovanovic June 15, 2020

The June 21 elections most likely won’t bring any change on the Serbian political scene. Thanks to the fragmented opposition and smart moves by President Aleksandar Vucic, the SNS is heading for another comfortable majority.

CEE banks heading for one of their worst crises in 10 years

Clare Nuttall in Glasgow June 15, 2020

Post-COVID-19, banks in Central and Southeast Europe expect demand for financing to contract sharply, credit standards to tighten and an increase in NPLs, a new EIB survey shows.

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