Moldova says “no signs” of Russian invasion

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest May 3, 2022

Defence ministry says no signs Moldova is in danger after The Times reported Russia has already decided to attack the Moldovan separatist republic of Transnistria.

Hungary 'to continue to oppose EU sanctions on Russian oil'

Jennifer DeLay May 3, 2022

Zoltan Kovacs, Hungary’s State Secretary for International Communications, says Budapest remains opposed to proposals to ban the import of Russian crude oil and natural gas into the EU.

Russia taps FX reserves to dodge bond default

bne IntelliNews May 3, 2022

The Russian finance ministry said it has paid $564.8mn and $84.4mn in foreign currency for 2022 and 2042 eurobonds to the paying agent of the London branch of Citibank.

Will landlocked Kazakhstan prove a lure for Russian beach bums?

Joanna Lillis for Eurasianet May 2, 2022

Kazakhstan is set to become the new Turkey, according to enthusiastic sales pitches from Russian travel agencies.

Jailed Russian ex-minister Ulyukayev to be released from prison early

bne IntelliNews May 1, 2022

The jailed former Economics Minister Alexei Ulyukayev will be released from prison early, a court in Tver ruled on April 28. Ulyukayev was the first government minister to be arrested after accepting a $2mn bribe from Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.

Spared Russian oligarch Potanin sweeps banking assets with Tinkoff deal

bne IntelliNews May 1, 2022

Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin's Interros will acquire a 35% stake in bank TCS Group from the family trust of its founder Oleg Tinkov.

Slovak government refuses to comment on speculation it will pay for Russian gas in rubles

bne IntelliNews April 29, 2022

Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulik said the answer to this question would be made public "in due course".

Czech Archbishop Duka defends Russian soldiers over rape of Ukrainian women

bne IntelliNews April 29, 2022

Conservative head of Czech Catholic church causes outrage by asking public not to condemn Russian soldiers for atrocities they commit on Ukrainian women.

UN chief visits Kyiv

bne intellinews April 29, 2022

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is in Ukraine to meet President Zelenskiy. He started his visit by going to towns near Kyiv which saw particularly heavy fighting and were the sites of alleged atrocities by Russian soldiers.

White House asks Congress for $33bn in Ukraine aid, German parliament votes to send heavy weapons

bne IntelliNews April 29, 2022

US President Joe Biden asked Congress on April 28 to approve a massive $33bn for new funding for Ukraine, two thirds of which will be spent on weapons. On the same day lawmakers in Germany voted overwhelmingly to send Ukraine heavy weapons.

Montenegro’s parliament approves new minority government led by Abazovic

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

Montenegro’s parliament approved the new government led by Dritan Abazovic, whose main goal is to unblock the country’s EU-related reforms.

Kyrgyzstan alarmed by Tajikistan’s reported purchase of Bayraktar drones

Kamila Ibragimova for Eurasianet April 28, 2022

Kyrgyzstan had hoped its own acquisition of the same drones last year would give it a strategic edge over Tajikistan.

Visegrad Group needs to 're-invent itself", says Rupnik

Robert Anderson in Prague April 28, 2022

The Visegrad Group of four Central European countries is in “deep freeze” because of the Hungarian-Polish split over the Ukraine war, says Sciences Po professor.

Moldova rejects Ukraine’s offer to seize Transnistria

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest April 28, 2022

Series of attacks in Russia-backed separatist region raised fears that Transnistria — and Moldova — could be dragged into the war in neighbouring Ukraine.

EC triggers rule of law conditionality mechanism against Hungary

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

Commission cites Hungary's systemic irregularities and deficiencies in the management of EU funds and its lack of anti-graft measures.

Gazprombank executive signs up to fight for Ukraine, says fellow top executives were murdered

Theo Normanton April 28, 2022

Ukrainian-born vice president of Gazprombank Igor Volobuev says that he has returned to his homeland to take up arms against the Russian military. He also suggested that a former colleague from Gazprombank did not commit suicide, but was murdered.

Renault hands over AvtoVaz to Kremlin for one ruble

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

French carmaker Renault will transfer its 68% stake in Russia’s largest carmaker AvtoVaz to the state for a symbolic price one ruble and a five-year option to get the asset back.

Emerging Europe growth to fall to an average of 3% this year, says wiiw

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

Russian GDP forecast to fall by 9-15% this year, while Ukraine's economy could collapse by 38-45%.

Plasticine protesters appear in Russian cities

Social media correspondent Dominic Culverwell April 28, 2022

Russian art activists continue to protest against the invasion of Ukraine by placing small figures holding anti-war placards across the country.

Poland and Germany near agreement on cooperation to ditch Russian oil

bne IntelliNews April 28, 2022

A deal with Poland could help allow Germany to agree to EU sanctions on Russian oil exports, leaving Hungary isolated as the main opponent of tightening pressure on the Kremlin.