European Commission probes state aid for Romania's troubled Blue Air

bne IntelliNews April 18, 2023

Investigation to assess whether restructuring plan can turn low cost carrier Blue Air around after it suspended flights in September.

Iran unveils off-brand version of Dacia Logan for Iranian, Russian markets

bne IntelIiNews April 17, 2023

“Sandero” vehicle will be known as “Cadilla” in Russia. Lada maker AvtoVAZ produces engine block.

Kremlin critic Kara-Murza jailed for a maximum of 25 years

bne IntelliNews April 17, 2023

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a fierce Kremlin critic and opposition politician, was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Russian court on April 17 for treason and denigrating the military. This is the harshest possible sentence.

Russians remain calm as ruble exchange rate rapidly weakens past pre-war value

bne IntelliNews April 17, 2023

For the bulk of the 14 months since President Putin’s decision to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the ruble has been stronger than it was prior to the war. This trend has now rapidly reversed, and the ruble finds itself in free fall.

Stockmann Russia to open 16 new stores nationwide in 2023, CEO reveals

bne IntelliNews April 17, 2023

Stockmann is looking to seize the opportunity presented by the widespread availability of high-quality real estate, abandoned by foreign companies that fled the country in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

European Commission slams bans imposed by Hungary, Poland and Slovakia on Ukrainian grain exports

bne IntelliNews April 17, 2023

Central European states introduce temporary ban on imports of cheap Ukrainian grain after glut pushed down prices and hurt local farmers.

Turks unable to use automats after officials shrink size of one lira coin

Akin Nazli in Belgrade April 16, 2023

Reports say it was costing mint three lira to produce a one lira coin amid severe currency depreciation. Central bank denies scrap dealers have been melting down coins to profit.

Ukraine seizes assets of billionaire Novynskyi's Smart Holding

Ben Aris in Berlin April 14, 2023

Authorities have seized the assets of leading Ukrainian conglomerate Smart Holdings, changed the name of the beneficial owner of shares in the registrar and taken control of its three gas fields that supply gas directly to Kharkiv.

Orban calls US a friend after he pulls out of Russian-dominated IIB

Tamas Csonka in Budapest April 14, 2023

Premier tones down his anti-Western rhetoric after increased pressure from the Biden administration and the threat of further sanctions against Hungarian officials.

Moldovan pro-Russian leader sentenced to 15 years jail for massive bank fraud

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest April 14, 2023

Ilan Shor, currently in Israel, sentenced to 15 years' jail and must repay €250mn for banking fraud that cost Moldova 10% of GDP.

Slovak central bank chief under pressure after conviction for bribery

Albin Sybera April 14, 2023

Slovak premier and president call for governor to reconsider his position but Kazimir says he will appeal.

EU lawyers say Russian frozen central bank funds must be returned after the war

Ben Aris in Berlin April 14, 2023

Lawyers of the European Commission have come to the conclusion that the Central Bank of Russia's frozen assets must be returned to Russia after the war in Ukraine ends, Die Welt reported on April 13.

Hungarian government confirms decision to pull out of sanctions-hit IIB

Tamas Csonka in Budapest April 13, 2023

The decision to withdraw by the bank's second-largest shareholder implies that Hungary will refuse to take part in any attempt to rescue the IIB, which had been rumoured to be in crisis even before the imposition of sanctions.

The Hague’s Arbitration Tribunal orders Russia to pay Naftogaz $5bn compensation for loss of Crimean assets

bne IntelliNews April 13, 2023

The Hague’s Arbitration Tribunal has ordered Russia to pay Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas champion $5bn in compensation for losses caused by Moscow’s seizure of Naftogaz’s Crimean assets during the annexation of the peninsula in 2014.

Babis’ fraud case to be reopened after state prosecutor appeals January acquittal

Albin Sybera April 13, 2023

Czech populist opposition leader may still be caught on charges of fraudulently obtaining a €2mn EU subsidy for the Stork’s Nest conference centre.

Russia is world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency miner

bne IntelliNews April 13, 2023

Russia has overtaken Kazakhstan to become the world's second-largest cryptocurrency mining country in 2023.

US targets Budapest-based International Investment Bank with sanctions

Tamas Csonka in Budapest April 12, 2023

Washington says IIB enables Russia to increase its intelligence presence in Europe, and to use corruption to conduct malign activities in Central Europe and the Western Balkans.

Police break up oil worker demo in Astana

bne IntelIiNews April 12, 2023

More than 80 detained as authorities disperse protest mounted by group who travelled to capital from volatile town of Zhanaozen.

Hungary reaches new energy agreements in Moscow

Tamas Csonka in Budapest April 12, 2023

Budapest defies EU again and signs new agreements to ensure the uninterrupted supply of Russian gas and crude oil and to amend the financing of the Paks nuclear power plant expansion.

Lowest rainfall in decades threatens Turkey’s grain production

bne IntelIiNews April 11, 2023

USDA says impacts will be bigger than those caused by earthquake disaster.