Lukashenko says he may quit as president
Belarus hits EU with tit-for-tat sanctions
Belarusian police introduce colour-coded torture system for detained protesters
Kremlin publicly condemns Belarusian police brutality in hint of growing frustration with Lukashenko
Russian services PMI rises to 48.2, but remains underwater as recovery continues to slow
Russia to start mass vaccinations on December 7
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev calls on Armenia, Russia, Turkey and Iran to assist in creating Nakhchivan land corridor
FPRI BMB Russia: Sberbank releases a three-year transformation strategy to e-commerce concern
Ukraine’s banking sector continues recovery, but profits still lagging last year
Ukraine’s real wages up over 10% in October but have been stagnant in dollar terms for almost a year
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Public has confused opinions on resolving the Donbas conflict
Western Balkans plus Ukraine subsidised coal with over €900mn in 2018-2019
Estonian parcel robot firm Cleveron eyes €30mn state loan
Estonia’s chief auditor says €1bn in state COVID-19 loans issued haphazardly
Economic sentiment in CEE falls in November as recovery momentum splutters
Estonian animation studio Imepilt to hold IPO
Brighter days ahead: The economic bounce back in 2021
Central, Southeast Europe stock markets jump in anticipation of COVID-free future
VISEGRAD BLOG: An easing of trade tensions but still an uncertain situation for export-oriented Central Europe
Hungary's PM risks isolation as Poland mulls dropping EU budget veto
Poland ready to back down from veto of EU budget
Hungary's ruling party in damage control mode after MEP sex scandal bombshell
Poland’s PMI remains stuck just above the improvement line at 50.8 in November
Czech companies dominate this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE
Coronacrisis to get worse before it gets better forecasts wiiw
EU diplomats say no chance of Bulgaria removing veto for Skopje to start EU accession talks
IMF says downside risks to Albanian economy are increasing
EU ministers fail to agree on launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia
Western Balkans commit to green agenda and regional common market at Sofia summit
Bosnia’s opposition ousts nationalist parties in major cities
Bosnia’s main ethnic parties fight to hold onto power in local elections
Southeast Europe’s EU members to get biggest boost from next budget and recovery funds
Bulgaria imposes 3-week lockdown to slow down COVID-19 spread
CEE politicians highlight trade and security ties as they congratulate Biden
Breakaway Transnistria fully under Sheriff’s control as Obnovlenie party sweeps board in parliament election
Moldova’s presidential election is over, now the battle for the parliament begins
Moldova’s foreign policy reset
Russian establishment quick to congratulate Moldova's new president-elect
Rising COVID-19 cases put intense pressure on CEE healthcare systems
MEPs urge European Commission to act against Hungarian media financing in North Macedonia and Slovenia
North Macedonia mulls decriminalising cannabis to boost tourism
Retail surpass pre-crisis peak as Romanians shop instead of holiday
Romanian venture capital firm Catalyst launches new €40mn-50mn fund for TMT
Aegon to sell its CEE business to Vienna Insurance for €830mn
The state is back in business
Slovenian PM Jansa stands alongside Hungary and Poland in EU rule of law row
BEYOND THE BOSPORUS: Turkish number crunchers deliver November inflation surprise of 14%
Erdogan needs to go says analyst assessing Turkey’s economic collapse
Ukraine strikes deal with Turkey to produce killer drones instrumental in Karabakh conflict
In Karabakh deal, as many questions as answers
Protesters flood Yerevan demanding Armenia’s “traitor” PM quit over Nagorno-Karabakh surrender
Who emerge as the real winners from the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
Below average 2020 wine production destined for volatile and uncertain global market
Iran calls on Saudis to limit $67bn defence spending to Tehran’s $10bn
Iranian prosecutors pledge to pursue Trump for Soleimani killing even after he leaves White House
No reaction from Kazakh elites as bombshell FT report says Nazarbayev’s son in law siphoned millions from pipeline scheme
UK court freezes $5bn in assets connected to fugitive Kazakh banker Ablyazov
Attack of the Debt Tsunami: global debt soars to a new all-time high
Kyrgyzstan's proposed new constitution provokes widespread revulsion
Kyrgyzstan's China debt: Between crowdfunding and austerity
CFC joins RWC in assessing KAZ Minerals buyout offer as under-valuation
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
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
Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage
No surprises in Tajikistan as Rahmon retains presidency with 91% of vote
A Tajikistan poised on verge of economic calamity set for vote
Tajikistan revives on-off dispute with Iran
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
Turkmenistan: Everybody yurts, sometimes
Dirty money investigation reviews identified payments worth $1.4bn linked to Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan unveils extensive privatisation programme
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The reality of Turkey’s crisis-stricken economy and the financial support China provides to ease its bite have caused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to in recent times make no more than “diplomatically bland” remarks about Beijing’s treatment of the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang that he was once so outspoken about.
That’s the contention of a September 16 Foreign Policy article [paywall], which says that “with few friends left in the West, Ankara is counting on Beijing for help”.
Referring to the Turkic-speaking Muslim group subject to horrific human rights violations, Erdogan said in 2009: “The incidents in China are, simply put, a genocide. There’s no point in interpreting this otherwise.”
Turkey has been a safe haven for Uyghurs fleeing persecution ever since the Chinese Communist Party took control of Xinjiang in 1949 and it hosts one of the largest Uyghur diaspora populations in the world. But in 2016, Turkey arrested Abdulkadir Yapcan, a prominent Uyghur political activist living in the country since 2001 and initiated his extradition. The next year, Turkey and China signed an agreement allowing extradition, even if the claimed offence is only illegal in one of the two countries. Since early 2019, Turkey has arrested hundreds of Uyghurs and sent them to deportation centres.
Attempting to explain Erdogan’s “remarkable U-turn” in his policy towards the Uyghurs, the article looks at economic benefits Turkey—described as having become an “authoritarian” country from which Western companies and investors are staying away—has secured from China in years of late, noting:
• China is now Turkey’s second largest import partner after Russia.
• China has invested $3bn in Turkey between 2016 and 2019 and intends to double that by the end of next year.
• When the Turkish lira’s value dropped by more than 40% in Turkey’s 2018 currency crisis, the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China provided Turkey with $3.6bn in loans for energy and transportation projects.
• In June 2019, in the wake of the Istanbul mayoral election that indicated crumbling support for Erdogan, China’s central bank transferred $1bn under a swap agreement between the Chinese and Turkish central banks last renewed in 2012.
• Amid Turkey’s economic turmoil this year and with the Turkish central bank burning through dollar reserves, Beijing started allowing Turkish companies to use the Chinese yuan to make trade payments, allowing them easier access to Chinese liquidity.
• China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for building infrastructure has brought Beijing a strategic foothold on the Mediterranean Sea as Turkey has completed a railroad from Kars in eastern Turkey via Tbilisi, Georgia, to Baku, Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea, from where it links to transportation networks to China. In 2015, a Chinese consortium bought 65% of Turkey’s third-largest container terminal, Kumport, in Istanbul, acquiring a pivotal position in container transportation.
• Chinese investors have helped salvage Erdogan’s own poorly managed mega-infrastructure projects. In January, a Chinese consortium bought 51% of the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge connecting Europe and Asia across the Bosporus after revenue projections failed and the Italian-Turkish consortium controlling the bridge wanted out.
• This year, China’s Export and Credit Insurance Corp committed up to $5bn to the Turkey Wealth Fund for use in BRI projects.
• China is providing $1.7bn to build the Hunutlu coal-fired power plant on the Mediterranean Sea.
• Ankara plans to sign a deal with China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp to build Turkey’s third nuclear power plant.
• Turkey’s Bora ballistic missile—modelled on the Chinese B-611 missile, introduced in 2017, and deployed in the Turkish military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in May 2019—is a product of bilateral defence cooperation, as was participation of Chinese military officers in Turkey’s Ephesus military exercise in 2018.
• China’s Huawei, designated a national security threat in the US and elsewhere due to its ties to the Chinese government and military, faces no such opposition in Turkey. Its share in the Turkish market has grown from 3% in 2017 to 30% in 2019.
• Chinese technology company ZTE took over 48% of Netas, Turkey’s key telecommunications equipment manufacturer, in 2016.
Sweden’s Telia Company on October 6 ... more
The Kavkaz (“Caucasus”) large-scale military exercises have for the first time used a “swarm of drones” against ‘enemy forces’, Tass reported on September 24.
The Kavkaz 2020 drills, ... more
Fears are reportedly growing in China that the bubonic plague, known in the Middle Ages as ... more
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