Poland is ready if Russia cuts gas transit to the EU across Ukraine this winter

bne IntelliNews December 12, 2019

Poland is ready if Russia cuts gas transit to the EU across Ukraine this winter, oil and gas company PGNIG said in a statement on December 11.

S&P downgrades Romania’s outlook to negative amid fiscal slippage

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest December 12, 2019

No major consolidation policies have been announced by the new government, and it can't afford to curtail a promised rise in pensions as Romania heads for local and parliamentary elections in 2020.

Moldova’s central bank loosens monetary policy to stimulate growth

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest December 12, 2019

The BNM’s decision to cut rate when inflation is rising, and provide further stimulus if needed, seems to be aimed at helping Chisinau finance next year’s budget deficit from the local market if it struggles to secure foreign financing.

Turkey loses one claim to infamy as it falls to second spot for jailing journalists

bne IntelliNews December 11, 2019

Country led oppression ranking for four years but CPJ watchdog says “the reduced number of prisoners does not signal an improved situation for the Turkish media”.

US hits Iran with more sanctions as Rouhani repeats talks can only follow end of “economic war”

bne IntelliNews December 11, 2019

Officials designate shipping network said to be transporting weapons to Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen.

Erdogan ‘discussed with Boris Johnson plan to accelerate Turkish TF-X fighter jet project’

bne IntelliNews December 11, 2019

Rolls-Royce scaled back efforts to join programme after disagreements. Talks now described as revived. Development comes as US set to confirm ban on F-35 deliveries to Ankara in S-400 row.

US sanctions cause a storm in Latvia’s ports

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw December 11, 2019

The Latvian government hastily decided to take over control of the country’s two largest ports in Riga and Ventspils after the US imposed sanctions on leading local businessman Aivars Lembergs.

Amendments to the law on special status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions introduced to Rada after N4 meetings

bne IntelliNews December 11, 2019

The law is due to expire at the end of this year, and Russian President Vladimir Putin called for it to be updated and extended during the Normandy Four summit earlier this week.

Montenegro’s government to invest €155mn in flag carrier

bne IntelliNews December 10, 2019

Montenegro Airlines is the latest Southeast European flag carrier struggling for survival in the face of competition from the big budget airlines.

Owner of Iran’s answer to YouTube and Netflix charged with promoting prostitution

bne IntelliNews December 10, 2019

Judiciary turns attention to Aparat and Filimo.

Hungarian government's controversial culture bill sparks protests

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest December 10, 2019

Sexual harassment case involving a high profile director gave Hungary's right-wing government a pretext to overhaul funding for cultural institutions and increase state control over theatres.

Estonia and Latvia mull 1 GW offshore wind project

bne IntelliNews December 10, 2019

Offshore wind farm to add to low-carbon energy sources in the Estonian and Latvian energy mixes, in line with the EU’s climate goals. Estonia’s electricity production currently relies on burning oil shale and is among the dirtiest in Europe.

Putin and Zelenskiy make a positive start to the Donbas peace talks in Normandy Four talks, but put off the hardest problems

Ben Aris in Berlin December 10, 2019

It was a long and gruelling day for the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany who met in Paris in the Normandy Four format for the first time in three years to try and restart the process of bringing an end to the undeclared Donbas war.

Charges filed against Serbia’s President Vucic to smoke out marijuana allegations

bne IntelliNews December 9, 2019

Milos Vucevic of Vucic’s ruling SNS party filed the charges to clarify the situation after the opposition accused the president and his brother of links to a farmer who was arrested for growing marijuana on an organic farm near Belgrade.

Putin, Lukashenko fail to secure 'integration' deal amid anti-Russia protests in Belarus

bne IntelliNews December 9, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko failed to secure a deal over further "integration" of political and economic systems of the two states during five-hours of talks on December 8 talks in Russia’s Bla

Erdogan accuses allies-turned-rivals of defrauding state lender Halkbank

bne IntelliNews December 8, 2019

His allegations related to a loan made to a university come as Babacan and Davutoglu look set to launch new political parties.

Rouhani says Iran's "resistance budget" has “least possible dependence on oil”

bne IntelliNews December 8, 2019

Sales of state bonds and properties to be used to help plug gap caused by lost orders for shipped crude.

Russian Olympic athletes should be allowed to compete under the Russian flag says businessman Alisher Usmanov

Ben Aris in London December 8, 2019

​Russian oligarch and president of the Olympic fencing committee Alisher Usmanov weighed into the doping scandal on December 6, sending a letter to the Olympic committee saying competing under the national flag is a right, not a privilege.

Poland launches huge renewable energy auction in bid to improve energy mix

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2019

Polish energy market regulator URE launched an auction for up to 2.5 gigawatts of onshore wind power capacity as Warsaw seeks to meet the EU-required target of a 15% share of renewable energy in final energy consumption by 2020.

Poland’s oil and gas giant Orlen plans takeover of utility Energa

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw December 6, 2019

PKN Orlen aims to build a strong group capable of competing on the international market, but takeover plans raise questions about Energa’s controversial project to build a major new coal-fired power plant.