Russia’s Communist Party to get a Navalny smart voting bump in the Duma elections

Ben Aris in Berlin September 15, 2021

Russia’s Communist Party is likely to get a big bump in this weekend's Duma election after opposition activists Team Navalny threw its weight behind most of its candidates as part of its “smart voting” strategy.

Merkel says EU should “keep its word” in relations with accession candidates

bne IntelIiNews September 15, 2021

After EU accession progress was blocked by Bulgaria, Albanian PM Edi Rama tells German chancellor Western Balkans are “held hostage” by nationalism in EU countries.

Azerbaijan starts charging Iranian trucks supplying Armenia

Heydar Isayev and Ani Mejlumyan for Eurasianet September 14, 2021

The move appears to be part of a steadily increasing effort by Baku to exert control over the road in southern Armenia that passes through pockets of Azerbaijan-controlled territory.

Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile ‘could be enough for atomic bomb within month’

bne IntelIiNews September 14, 2021

US think tank’s conclusion does not, however, address the time it would take Tehran to assemble a deliverable weapon on a missile warhead.

Radical right Sovereignists vow to force referendum over Croatia’s euro adoption

bne IntelliNews September 14, 2021

As Croatia moves towards euro adoption, Croatian Sovereignists are preparing to battle to defend the kuna.

Iran refers to ‘illegality’ of Turkish presence in Caspian Sea military drills

Javid Agha in Baku September 14, 2021

Tehran concerned at how special forces from Turkey linked up with Azerbaijani counterparts.

Merkel says EU enlargement to Western Balkans is “absolute geostrategic interest”

bne IntelliNews September 14, 2021

On farewell visit to Belgrade, Germany’s outgoing chancellor warns that if EU doesn’t move fast enough it will be "forced to come to terms with other partners” in the region.

Romania's Fondul Proprietatea says state may deprive it of 19% stake in Bucharest Airports

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 14, 2021

Investment fund says management of Bucharest Airports National Company wants to dilute its stake to 0.7% through the capitalisation of an overvalued plot of land used by Baneasa airport.

North Macedonia’s health minister offers resignation over fire in COVID-19 hospital

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 13, 2021

Fire in a makeshift COVID-19 hospital in Tetovo killed 15 people.

Croatia, Serbia and Ukraine were emerging markets with biggest upgrades from Fitch over last five years

bne IntelliNews September 13, 2021

The three emerging Europe countries bucked the overall trend of declining Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Ratings seen across emerging markets.

Bulgaria’s president to schedule snap general election for November 14

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia September 12, 2021

Shakeout in the polls ahead of Bulgaria’s third general election of 2021 sees ITN’s support slump, while Democratic Bulgaria’s popularity rises.

Gazprom announces Nord Stream 2's completion

bne IntelliNews September 10, 2021

Construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is now fully complete, Gazprom announced in a brief message on September 10, although how soon it will start pumping Siberian gas to Europe is still shrouded in uncertainty.

Moldova’s parliament moves to put key agencies under its own control

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 10, 2021

Government will be able to dismiss the heads of Moldova's energy and financial markets regulators as it seeks to clean the system of corrupt officials — but critics say it threatens their independence.

Serbia starts building Europe’s first Sinopharm vaccine plant

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2021

Serbia the first country in Europe to produce both Sinopharm and Russian Sputnik V vaccines for its own population and the region.

Process to admit Iran into Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ‘set to begin’

bne IntelIiNews September 9, 2021

Islamic Republic applied to join as far back as 2008 but sanctions have hindered its path. Move to obtain membership may still meet additional obstacles.

At least 14 died in fire at makeshift COVID-19 hospital in North Macedonia

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje September 9, 2021

Fire broke out in Tetovo, where low vaccination rates led to a severe fourth wave of the pandemic, overwhelming local hospitals.

PM Viktor Orban’s friend granted casino license for 35 years in secret

bne IntelliNews September 9, 2021

Opposition pledges to challenge lengthy contracts and licences handed out to regime's favourite oligarchs.

Fitch warns political turmoil puts fiscal consolidation at risk in Romania

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest September 8, 2021

The collapse of Romania’s coalition government could disrupt fiscal consolidation efforts, which are key to resolving the negative outlook on Romania’s BBB- rating, rating agency said.

Commission moves to impose financial penalties on Poland over changes to Supreme Court

Wojciech Kosc in Warsaw September 8, 2021

Decision elevates the long-lasting spat between Poland and Brussels over Warsaw’s judiciary reforms to a new height.

Afghans, Iranians in Tehran protest against Pakistani backing for a Taliban Afghanistan

bne IntelIiNews September 7, 2021

Hundreds descend on Pakistani Embassy. Iranian foreign ministry says reports Islamabad bombed Panjshir Valley resistance forces are under investigation.