Rosneft privatisation is a coup for the Kremlin, less so for Sechin

Ben Aris in Berlin December 8, 2016

Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft, scored a major coup for the Kremlin by selling a 19.55% stake in the company to Qatar’s sovereign fund and oil trader Glencore. But the deal also clips Sechin's wings.

EU reaches suspension deal for granting visa-free travel to Ukrainians, Georgians

bne IntelliNews December 8, 2016

45 million Ukrainians and 5 million Georgians will enjoy the new travel rights once approved by the European Parliament but will not be able to work in the EU.

State agrees deal for UniCredit’s Polish bank, but misses out on RBI's

bne IntelliNews December 8, 2016

Polish state-controlled entities agree to buy a one third stake in Pekao for €2.4bn.

Russia's Rosneft sells 19.5% to Glencore, Qatar in surprise privatisation turnaround

bne IntelliNews December 8, 2016

The deal will bring $11bn to the cash-strapped Russian government as it tries to close 2016 with a 3.7% budget deficit.

Marriott International expresses interest in returning to Iran after three decades

bne IntelliNews December 8, 2016

The US-headquartered Marriott International hotel chain has expressed optimism about returning to the Iranian market after a three-decade hiatus.

Montenegro clears hurdle to Nato entry

Clare Nuttall in Bucharest December 7, 2016

US Senate foreign relations committee votes unanimously to ratify accession protocol.

Russian tycoon Deripaska to sue Montenegro over KAP bankruptcy

bne IntelliNews December 7, 2016

Oligarch to sue over Podgorica's decision to declare KAP aluminium smelter and Rudnici Boksita bauxite mine insolvent.

What affect will higher oil prices have on the 2017 Russian budget?

bne IntelliNews December 7, 2016

The Opec production cut deal struck in late November drove oil prices up by 10% in a week to almost $55 a barrel – its highest level since July 2015. That is very good news for the Russian budget.

Bids reportedly on the table for US Steel’s Slovak unit

bne IntelliNews December 6, 2016

Two major bids have been lodged for US Steel Kosice, one of Slovakia’s biggest employers and the focus of government anger over what it sees as a lack of responsibility from foreign investors, local media reported on December 5.

Mirziyoyev expectedly wins Uzbek presidential elections

bne IntelliNews December 5, 2016

It remains to be seen whether Mirziyoyev’s promise of change will remain just an empty promise or he will move to open ex-Soviet Central Asia’s most-populous country more to the outside world.

Macedonians tire of political turmoil

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje December 5, 2016

Voters are sceptical about big promises from the ruling party and opposition ahead of the critical December 11 election.

WWII nearly over: Russia in peace talks with Japan

bne IntelliNews December 5, 2016

Russia and Japan have entered into “detailed discussions” on a peace treaty. WWII never ended, at least for the two countries, as they did not formalise an end to hostilities and are technically still at war.

Incoming Uzbek president offers promise of change

Nizom Khodjayev in Tashkent December 2, 2016

But many remain sceptical because of regime's history of never following up on announcements.

Sir Peter Hambro leads call for UK to reset Russia relations

Jason Corcoran in London December 2, 2016

Gold-mining tycoon says British political establishment has to forget Litvinenko killing and get back to business.

Russia uncowed and heading back to growth, Putin declares in annual address

bne IntelliNews December 1, 2016

Putin pushes message of economic and social development on a homegrown platform of strength after two years of Russia's isolation.

Central Europe’s factories unsure of Eurozone recovery

bne IntelliNews December 1, 2016

Central European factories remain on an uncertain footing, purchasing manager indices suggest, despite further signs of recovery in the Eurozone.

Hungarian public works schemes just hide problems

Blanka Zoldi in Brussels December 1, 2016

If those on public works schemes were considered as unemployed, the country’s jobless rate would be the highest among the Visegrad countries, rather than the lowest.

Bulgaria edges towards early elections

Dimitar Koychev in Sofia December 1, 2016

Elections likely as GERB changes stance, rules out supporting a new government in the current parliament.

Czech lawmakers pass “lex Babis”

Tim Gosling in Prague November 30, 2016

Pushed by the coalition-leading Social Democrat Party, the law targets billionaire Finance Minister Andrej Babis – a likely PM after elections next year – over his numerous conflicts of interest.

New steel radiation container swallows ruined Chernobyl reactor

bne IntelliNews November 29, 2016

Giant 36,000-tonned structure encloses block destroyed in world's worst nuclear accident in 1986.

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