Coronavirus now present in all Central, Southeast Europe countries as Montenegro confirms first cases

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2020

Montenegro is the last country in the Central and Southeast Europe region to report a coronavirus outbreak. The virus is now present in countries across the region and continues to spread despite governments’ efforts to contain it.

North Macedonia and Serbia to postpone general elections

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje and Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 17, 2020

April elections to be postponed as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase in both countries.

ContourGlobal abandons €1.3bn coal-fired power station project in Kosovo

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2020

Kosovo’s new Prime Minister Albin Kurti had pledged to stop the 500MW power plant that would have been Kosovo’s largest ever energy investment.

Poland’s environment minister tests positive for coronavirus forcing tests for entire cabinet

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2020

Michel Wos testing positive and the need to test others led to delaying the March 17 meeting of the government at which details of an aid and stimulus package for the pathogen-stricken economy were to be discussed.

Turkey detains 19 for “unfounded and provocative” comments over officials’ coronavirus response

bne IntelIiNews March 17, 2020

Country was last major economy to report an infection. Veracity of its testing and declaring of scale of pandemic’s impact on Turks under scrutiny.

Russia’s government ramps up preparations to fight economic fall-out of coronavirus

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2020

Russia’s government is starting to ramp up its preparations to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and this week will put a comprehensive plan in place to deal with the economic impact of the associated slowdown.

Zelenskiy holds oligarch meeting to rally business in coronavirus fight

Ben Aris in Berlin March 17, 2020

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met with the top 15 Ukrainian oligarchs on the evening of March 16 to call on them to help in the country’s fight against the ballooning coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

Kazakh tenge plunges to record low as world oil prices flounder

Kanat Shaku in Almaty March 17, 2020

Depreciation triggered after Kazakhstan’s central bank (NBK) decides to stick to free float regime instead of supporting currency with interventions as it promised when crude price crashed last week.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) ties up with Japan to mass-produce state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing kit

bne IntelliNews March 17, 2020

The Russian Fund for Direct Investment (RDIF) has tied up with Japanese scientists to create a state-of-the-art portable kit that can test for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will go into mass production in April.

China calls on US to drop sanctions to help Iran fight coronavirus

bne IntelIiNews March 16, 2020

Beijing says Washington’s measures are “against humanitarianism and hampers Iran's epidemic response & delivery of humanitarian aid”.

Number of coronavirus cases in Turkish metropolis “has exploded”

Akin Nazli in Belgrade March 16, 2020

Medical Association head makes claim as Erdogan administration remains under pressure to explain how Turkey can have so few recorded infections.

Hungary closes borders, shops as country braces for surge in new coronavirus cases

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest March 16, 2020

PM Viktor Orban said the pandemic will have grave economic consequences and warned of a serious wave of unemployment.

Self-quarantined politician Ludovic Orban returns as Romanian PM

Iulian Ernst in Bucharest March 16, 2020

Rare moment of unity as Romanian MPs back new government to tackle the Covid-19 epidemic.

Hungary adopts new measures to curb spread of coronavirus as first death reported

Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest March 16, 2020

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban suggested emergency measures could be in place for months.

Retailers urge North Macedonia’s citizens not to stockpile amid coronavirus panic

Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje March 15, 2020

Retail turnover has spiked as panicked shoppers empty supermarket shelves of cooking oil, flour, pasta and hygienic products, but other sectors are suffering and Skopje resembles a ghost town by night.

Ukraine to sack NBU management, replacement candidates named

Ben Aris in Berlin March 15, 2020

Ukraine’s government has announced that it intends to replace the management of the National Bank of Ukraine and has put out a list of candidates to take over control of the central bank.

EBRD makes €1bn available as emergency measure to fight coronavirus impact

bne IntelIiNews March 15, 2020

The EBRD has unveiled an emergency €1bn “Solidarity Package” to help companies deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bulgarians stockpile groceries as government closes schools, shops and restaurants until March 29

Denitsa Koseva in Sofia March 14, 2020

The parliament voted to declare a state of emergency, giving the government extraordinary rights to partially limit people’s freedom in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

Kazakhstan declares first COVID-19 infections while Turkmenistan cuts FX access in face of pandemic

bne IntelIiNews March 13, 2020

Coronavirus inroads in Central Asia starting to become clear. But so far it’s economic fallout from outbreak’s impact on China that is most apparent.

Erdogan may be world’s most 'insulted' leader

bne IntelIiNews March 13, 2020

Justice ministry figures show that between 2014 and 2018 some 17,500 people were sued for insulting strongman. Hundreds of minors among those prosecuted.