Ukrainian commercial flight crashes after takeoff in Iran killing all on board

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2020

A Ukrainian commercial airliner carrying at least 170 passengers crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport in the early hours of January 8 killing everyone on board.

Reports indicate Iran’s ‘Soleimani retaliation’ strikes on US bases in Iraq are conservative

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2020

“All is well!” tweets Trump, adding: “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!” Iranian foreign minister says “We do not seek escalation or war”.

Russia’s VTB files lawsuit against Mozambique to try and recover $535mn loan

Ben Aris in Berlin January 7, 2020

Russian state lender VTB has filed a lawsuit in Britain’s High Court against a Mozambican government company to try and recover a $535mn loan it made to the government for an ambitious project to develop the country’s natural resources.

Reduced global appetite ‘may be delaying’ Turkey’s traditional first month eurobond

Akin Nazli in Belgrade January 7, 2020

Vakifbank, meanwhile, has approval to issue €1bn of mortgage-backed securities abroad and to recall $500mn of 10-year subordinated (Tier II) eurobonds.

Russia’s Sheremetyevo international airport named most punctual and best employer in Russia

Ben Aris in Berlin January 7, 2020

Once famous for its dark arrival halls and legendarily long immigration queues, Russia’s leading international airport Sheremetyevo has transformed itself into one of the world’s best airports.

Czech firearms producer Ceska Zbrojovka plans IPO to fund US expansion

Nelly Tomcikova in Prague January 7, 2020

Czech firearms company Ceska Zbrojovka Group SE is considering an IPO on the Prague Stock Exchange to finance an expansion in the United States

Israel, Nato offer Trump only lukewarm support over slaying of Iran’s Soleimani

bne IntelliNews January 6, 2020

US president left casting around for strong backing from allies. Iranian commander, meanwhile, says only appropriate response to killing would be “complete destruction of America in the region”.

Russian nuclear power plants produce a record 208bn kWh in 2019

bne IntelliNews January 6, 2020

Nuclear plans account for 19% of Russia’s aggregate electricity generation compared to the 40% European average.

Croatia embarks on first EU Council presidency

By Clare Nuttall in Glasgow January 6, 2020

The EU’s newest member Croatia started its first six month presidency of the European Council on January 1.

Zoran Milanovic defeats incumbent to become Croatia’s new president

bne IntelliNews January 6, 2020

Former prime minister Milanovic elected as Croatia takes on the presidency of the EU Council for six months expected to see the adoption of the next EU budget and the UK's exit from the bloc.

Soleimani assassination: Iraqi parliament votes to expel US troops and Iran ends nuclear deal commitments

bne IntelliNews January 5, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of mourners take to streets in Iranian cities. Chants of “Iran’s wearing black, revenge, revenge”. Suggestions Tehran may seek a strategic vengeance in putting an end to US presence in region.

North Macedonia elects interim government ahead of snap election

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje January 5, 2020

Opposition politicians joins ruling party in interim government after PM Zoran Zaev stepped down following the EU’s failure to set a date to start accession negotiations.

Russia resumes oil deliveries to Belarus after new supply deal agreed

Ben Aris in Berlin January 5, 2020

Russia suspended oil deliveries in the first week of January as it failed to agree a new supply contract with Minsk, but supplies were resumed on January 4 after talks between the two countries' prime ministers.

Hungary’s state electricity company buys out loss-making power plant from oligarch

bne IntelliNews January 5, 2020

The sale came at the right time for oligarch Lorinc Meszaros, as Matrai Eromu’s preferential agreement with former owner RWE on carbon prices will expire in 2021, and its future is also in danger due to tighter rules on EU carbon-powered plants.

Montenegro church law creates rift with Serbia

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia January 5, 2020

Law stripping the Serbian Orthodox Church of hundreds of religious sites in Montenegro sparks mass protests and punch-ups in both parliaments.

Russia halts oil supplies to Belarus after talks on a new supply contract fail

Ben Aris in Berlin January 4, 2020

The previous supply contract expired on December 31, 2019 and the two sides had been trying to agree a new deal.

Bone-chilling threat to US issued by successor to assassinated Iranian general

bne IntelliNews January 3, 2020

“We tell everyone, be patient and see the dead bodies of Americans all over the Middle East,” says Esmail Ghaani. Donald Trump claims he “does not seek war”.

Russia, Ukraine agree on new five-year transit deal as US slaps sanctions on Nord Stream 2, TurkStream pipelines

Ben Aris in Berlin December 21, 2019

Ukraine and Russia have agreed on the principles of a five-year gas transit deal that still needs to be signed before December 29 just as the first US company suspends construction activities on Nord Stream 2 pipeline after new sanctions were imposed

Alfa Group’s A1 launches wanted campaign for oligarch accused of fraud hiding in London

bne IntelliNews December 20, 2019

A1, the asset recovery arm of Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Group, has launched a “Rewards for Information” campaign in London in an effort to recover GBP2.5bn that it claims was stolen from Russian retail bank Vneshprombank.

Croatians to choose between the incumbent, the opposition leader and the folk singer in presidential vote

bne IntelliNews December 20, 2019

Polls show any of the three frontrunners have a chance of taking the presidency, with vote set to go to a runoff in January.