Belarus expands its use of the death penalty

bne IntelliNews May 21, 2022

Belarus has broadened the legal use of death by firing squad in order to further supress oppositional activity within the country, creating a further rift with the West and with the country's population.

The Mariupol siege is over as the last Azov defenders surrender

bne IntelliNews May 20, 2022

The month-long siege of the Azovstal metal works in Mariupol is over after the remaining members of the Azov fighters surrendered and Russian forces took complete control of the almost totally destroyed sprawling plant.

Kyrgyzstan: Eccentric health minister fights for his job amid claims of corruption and bullying

Ayzirek Imanaliyeva for Eurasianet May 20, 2022

That Beishenaliyev has held onto his job this long has much to do with his old friendship with the president.

Azov commanders have remained behind in the Mariupol steelworks to continue the fight

bne IntelliNews May 20, 2022

Russia claims 1,730 Ukrainian soldiers from the Azov brigade holed up for nearly tw months in the Azovstal metal works have been taken prisoner since May 16, but a video released by the deputy commander claims the leaders are staying and will fight.

Russia hopes Chinese carmakers will help revive Moskvitch brand

bne IntelIiNews May 20, 2022

Moscow is reportedly in talks with Chinese carmakers in the hopes of obtaining parts and design expertise for the revival of the Soviet-era Moskvitch brand.

Russia may leave the WTO and WHO. In practice, it never really joined

Theo Normanton May 20, 2022

Russia's parliament will consider leaving the World Trade Organisation, World Health Organisation and other international organisations which it feels have "neglected their obligations towards Russia".

UN special rapporteur issues damning indictment on human cost of sanctions in Iran

bne IntelIiNews May 19, 2022

12-day fact-finding tour finds nation left exposed to “scarcity of resources to guarantee the basic needs of those most in need”.

Macron urges Sofia and Skopje to solve their dispute amid tensions in Europe

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 19, 2022

Pressure on Sofia to lift its veto and allow North Macedonia to start EU accession talks has increased since Russia's invasion of Ukraine raised fears of destabilisation in the Western Balkans.

Amid sanctions, Kazakh firm stops supplying Russian steelworks

Joanna Lillis for Eurasianet May 19, 2022

Kazakh companies are treading carefully doing business with Russia.

Romania hopes to unlock Black Sea natural gas projects with revised Offshore Law

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 19, 2022

The amendments have been expected for years to unlock several investment projects in the country’s Black Sea perimeters that could bring in 6 bcm of gas a year from 2027.

Nine dead after Tajikistan launches ‘anti-terrorist operation’ in GBAO

Aida Kadyrzhanova in Almaty May 19, 2022

Restive region has seen series of protests since death in custody of activist arrested as kidnapping suspect. No evidence of terrorists in midst of protesters has been presented by authorities.

Poland and European Commission strike rule of law deal to unlock billions from pandemic recovery fund

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw May 18, 2022

Brussels will assess the real value of the pledged changes before deciding ultimately on unlocking funds that could total €4bn this year.

Serbian officials blame bomb hoaxes that paralysed Belgrade on refusal to sanction Russia

bne IntelliNews May 18, 2022

Primary schools, shopping malls and restaurants were targeted by hundreds of bomb threats on May 16, shutting down much of the Serbian capital.

EU opens loophole for Russian gas-for-rubles scheme

bne IntelliNews May 18, 2022

The EU said that companies could keep buying Russian gas through Gazprombank without breaching sanctions for Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, with the condition that they consider their obligations fulfilled once they pay in euros or dollars

Iran, Tajikistan unveil military drone factory in Dushanbe

bne IntelIiNews May 17, 2022

Allies step up defence cooperation as security situation in Afghanistan deteriorates. Iranians have rapidly become a big regional drone power.

Borrell says EU should step up engagement in Western Balkans to counter Russia threat

bne IntelliNews May 17, 2022

EU high commissioner warns decision of most candidate countries to align to the EU sanction policy exposes them to threats from Russia.

End of siege of Azovstal is near as hundreds of wounded Ukrainian troops evacuated

Dominic Culverwell in Berlin May 17, 2022

Hundreds of injured Ukrainian troops were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol where they had been holed up for more than two months.

PPF agrees to sell Russian banking assets

bne IntelliNews May 17, 2022

Czech financial group finally sells out to a group of investors led by Ivan Tyryshkin, chairman of the fintech SPB Exchange.

Switzerland inches towards Nato as neutrality is put to the test

bne intellinews May 17, 2022

The Swiss defence ministry is compiling a report on the options for increasing Swiss security. One possible result is that the country will re-interpret its neutral status and move closer to Nato.

Critical TV director jailed in Georgia

Javid Agha in Baku May 17, 2022

Nika Gvaramia was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for causing damage to Rustavi-2 TV company while serving as director.