Mismanagement to blame for $1.4bn cost blowout at Gobi Desert copper mine expansion consultants say

Anand Tumurtogoo in Ulaanbaatar August 10, 2021

Rio Tinto, which blamed ground and geotechnical conditions at Oyu Tolgoi, now has more explaining to do to the Mongolian government.

Harsh US sanctions on Belaruskali to have limited impact due to loophole

Ben Aris in Berlin August 10, 2021

The US handed down some of the harshest sanctions yet on Belarus and its leading companies and banned doing any business with potash producer Belaruskali. But a loophole in the regulations means its business won't be badly affected.

Turkey suspends Antalya health workers’ leave ‘as Russian tourist influx drives up Covid infections’

bne IntelIiNews August 10, 2021

Number of cases in country’s most visited tourist destination at least three or four times greater than official data shows, claims head of local medical association.

Bulgaria’s ITN leader gives up proposing government on lack of support

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia August 10, 2021

TV host turned politician Slavi Trifonov accused Bulgaria's anti-establishment parties of treason and hypocrisy after their refusal to back his nomination for prime minister.

Firefighters from Southeast Europe help North Macedonia to extinguish wildfires

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje August 10, 2021

North Macedonia is fighting raging wildfires caused by the extremely hot weather, which have been disastrous in the eastern part of the country.

UK and US impose harsh new sanctions on Belarus targeting potash, oil and banning investments into primary debt issues

Ben Aris in Berlin August 9, 2021

One the anniversary of the fraudulent presidential elections that plunged Belarus into its worst political crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union, Washington and London ramped up their sanctions regimes and hit hard.

Turkish forestry agency’s firefighting spending ‘was one tenth of its outlay on basketball teams’

bne IntelIiNews August 9, 2021

Budget was “planned as though there weren’t going to be any fires”, opposition lawmaker protests.

Wizz Air to hire another 4,600 pilots by 2030

bne IntelliNews August 9, 2021

Hungarian no-frills carrier the first major European airline to fully recover capacity to pre-COVID-19 levels.

More Russian independent media shuttered, but public clueless

FPRI BMB Russia August 9, 2021

Investigative publications Open Media and MBK Media, and human rights group Pravozaschcita Oktrytki, all groups affiliated with dissident ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, have had their websites blocked by Roskomnadzor.

Appointment of new Moldovan government ends years of political crises

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest August 9, 2021

Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita’s government plans ambitious judicial reforms but will have to balance high public expectations and its limited resources.

Romania’s central bank sees higher inflation but refrains from rate hikes

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest August 9, 2021

National Bank of Romania says it needs more clarity from the government before making rate hikes that should be coordinated with fiscal consolidation — which PM Florin Citu has yet to announce.

Minsk mayor orders western goods off shop shelves

bne IntelliNews August 8, 2021

The Minsk mayor has ordered goods from western countries that have imposed sanctions on Belarus off the shelves in the latest tit-for-tat measures in the pariah republic’s clash with the West.

Moscow court issues 5.5-year suspended sentence for fund manager Calvey

Ben Aris in Berlin August 8, 2021

A Moscow court gave Russia’s most famous fund manager Michael Calvey a 5.5-year suspended sentence for embezzlement, a day after finding him guilty, in a closely watched trial that will hurt Russia’s investment climate.

Committee head says at least 1,000 protesters and opposition politicians illegally wiretapped in ‘Bulgarian Watergate’

bne IntelliNews August 6, 2021

Hadzhigenov says committee already has the names of 140 illegally wiretapped persons, some of which were ordered by the chief prosecutor.

Erdogan lashes out at ‘terror of lies’ as criticism mounts over Turkey’s wildfire disaster response

bne IntelIiNews August 5, 2021

Ankara prosecutor investigating social media postings. Broadcasting watchdog warns TV stations about airing reports impacting morale of firefighters and public.

Czech central bank hikes interest rates again

bne IntelliNews August 5, 2021

The CNB increased its two-week repo rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%, underpinned by a new macroeconomic forecast.

Calvey convicted in Russian embezzlement case, sentence to be passed later

bne IntelliNews August 5, 2021

Russia’s most famous fund manager Michael Calvey has been found guilty of embezzlement by a Moscow court, but will serve no jail time in a decision that is widely seen as a major blow to Russia’s investment climate.

Western FMCG companies remain top advertisers on Belarusian state TV despite harsh sanctions regime

Ben Aris in Berlin August 5, 2021

Companies from Europe and the US place two out of three commercials broadcast on prime-time Belarusian state television.

Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova talks to Dozhd ahead of her trial on charges of attempting a coup

bne IntelliNews August 5, 2021

The trial of Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova started on August 4 where she is charged with attempting a coup d'état and faces up to 12 years in jail if convicted in what she claims is a politically motivated case.

Baltic states ‘block Georgian PM’s official visit plans amid Tbilisi failure to crack down on far right’

Neil Hauer in Tbilisi August 5, 2021

Report says officials upset by perceived unwillingness of Tbilisi to punish those responsible for violence against journalists and LGBTQ activists that resulted in cancellation of Tbilisi Pride event.