COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Belarusian government sees $2bn of withdrawals, issues $580mn worth of bonds in 2020
Lukashenko: I am no enemy of the people
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
One of Russia’s biggest wood product companies, Segezha could be Sistema’s next IPO
The volume of the Russian National Wealth Fund tops $183.93bn as gold overtakes dollar asset for first time
EU to begin certifying Russian Sputnik V vaccine for use in Europe
New Ukrainian VC firm QPDigital aims to invest up to $100 million in digital startups
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Most Ukrainians are optimistic about 2021 – poll
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Estonian premier quits after Tallinn development scandal
Top Centre Party official suspected of corruption in Tallinn real estate scandal
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
Romanian tech entrepreneurs expand into banking sector
OUTLOOK 2021 Hungary
Hungarian government remains silent after Capitol riots
World Bank expects modest recovery for Europe and Central Asia in 2021
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
Slovakia to invest €1.2bn in digitisation
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Heavy flooding causes chaos in parts of Southeast Europe
Vodafone Albania plans €100mn infrastructure investments after AbCom merger
OUTLOOK 2021 Albania
Kyiv accuses Bosnian President Dodik of lying about icon gifted to Russian foreign minister
Bosnia’s real GDP contracts 6.3% y/y in 3Q20
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING THINK: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
OUTLOOK 2020 Bulgaria
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Zagreb Stock Exchange's Crobex10 index at highest level since March 5
OUTLOOK 2021 Kosovo
Arrera Automobili aims to launch Albania’s first supercar
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Moldova’s PM resigns to prepare the ground for early elections
Socialist lawmakers in Moldova scrap settlement on $1bn bank frauds
Montenegro’s new ruling coalition carves up top state jobs
OUTLOOK 2021 Montenegro
Vast tide of floating waste threatens Balkan hydropower plants
North Macedonia's manufacturing confidence indicator down by 8.5 pp y/y in December
OUTLOOK 2021 North Macedonia
Transparency International warns of high corruption risk in CEE defence sectors
Moldova fears flooding from Ukraine's planned Dniester hydropower plants
Romania’s industrial recovery paused in November
OUTLOOK 2021 Serbia
Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Slovenia’s dire COVID-19 situation in 4Q20 caused second economic dip
Slovenia’s Eligma completes €4mn funding round
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Let’s tentatively pencil in a date for Turkey’s hot money outflow
Turkish opposition leader lawsuit demands one lira from Erdogan, police probe “bald” interior minister posts
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
Armenia’s PM cautions conflict with Azerbaijan “still not settled” after trilateral meeting with Putin
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
Russia, Kazakhstan pushing for oil production increases on the back of coronavirus vaccine-fuelled oil price optimism
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Georgia’s political kingpin Bidzina Ivanishvili quits politics
Modern-day “Robin Hood” inspires Georgians drowning in debt
Iran’s navy conducts missile drill while analyst argues Trump even capable of nuclear strike in final days
TEHRAN BLOG: Who’s more credible? Johnson backing Trump’s Nobel chances or Iran applauding arrest warrant for US president?
STOLYPIN: Scope for limited progress under Biden, so long as the past remains the past
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
OUTLOOK 2021 Kyrgyzstan
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
OUTLOOK 2021 Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Makro positions itself for growth in a more competitive market
Download the pdf version
The Belarusian health ministry has restricted the provision of data on the number of registered patients with coronavirus (COVID-19), while the state media have run stories of success in dealing with the outbreak over the last few days.
On April 1, local independent media reported a second death from the coronavirus. Natalia Orlova, a 70-year-old English language schoolteacher resident in a village in the Minsk region reportedly died in a local hospital.
The Belarusian health ministry has indirectly confirmed the second death from the coronavirus in the country, saying in a statement that “a second death has been recorded of an aged patient with multiple chronic diseases, which, according to preliminarily data, were exacerbated by coronavirus infection," news agency BelaPAn reported the same day.
The ministry used the same wording in reporting the first coronavirus death in Belarus. The ministry does not say how many people are known to have been infected with the coronavirus in the country, although it has repeatedly claimed that it is not going to hide information.
The ministry begins its statement by saying that more than 32,000 tests for COVID-19 have been performed in Belarus to date. The ministry goes on to say that "activities are underway to monitor the current epidemiological situation and patients are, if necessary, hospitalised for further monitoring and examination".
On March 31, authoritarian Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the biggest challenge for the nation at the moment is the economic meltdown. According to Lukashenko, the Belarusians "need to work and use every possibility to save ourselves from this crisis." He also said that "the disease rate peaks every spring, but it goes down later."
The statement appeared against a background of growing criticism of the Belarusian authorities, which have refused to impose a quarantine on the country. Earlier in March, Lukashenko told the nation's inhabitants to take to the fields and drive tractors to fend off the virus, and has told his government the pandemic is nothing more than a "psychosis".
On March 27, the remaining leading media outlets urged the nation's authorities to stop hiding the real situation with the coronavirus epidemic in Belarus, following the health ministry's suspension of daily detailed updates on the number coronavirus cases, which triggered speculations about censorship.
The Belarusian government and the National Bank of Belarus (NBB) are holding discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support "in the face of economic challenges stemming from the worsening global economic situation and the coronavirus pandemic", the regulator said on March 30.
The talks are about the IMF Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), which provides member countries with financial assistance to support the authorities’ policies in response to the emergency financing needs, according to the central bank.
Earlier, the IMF announced its readiness to provide up to $40bn to middle-income countries against the backdrop of the rapidly deteriorating global economic situation due to the coronavirus pandemic. Based on the RFI’s access conditions, Belarus would be eligible for up to approximately $900mn.
The statement followed early March's announcement that Minsk is mulling selective default on its external state debt. Minsk faces a peak in its public debt repayments, as Russia refuses to provide fresh financial support to its neighbour. Specifically, Belarus is due to repay $3.6bn in both external and domestic government debt in 2020 and $3.3bn in 2021, according to bne IntelliNews calculations.
In March, Minsk cancelled a new Eurobond placement due to the instability of financial markets caused by the spread of coronavirus.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: