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
Download the pdf version
Questions are growing over how it is that Turkey is still claiming to be coronavirus-free despite being surrounded by neighbouring countries with confirmed cases of the illness—including Iran, which has the world’s third biggest outbreak.
On March 6, CNBC reported the irritation of Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, who was widely taken to be referring to countries including Turkey and North Korea, when he told reporters ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna: “I believe that we are announcing and declaring our situation and some countries don’t say anything about their situation.”
Iran was initially criticised for being slow off the mark in acknowledging its coronavirus status but was this week praised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for “switching on” to the coronavirus outbreak… and taking a fresh “all-of-government approach”. By around 13:00 GMT on March 7, Iran had logged 5,823 coronavirus cases including 145 deaths.
Zanganeh also said that Iran has not “received any important assistance from any country” to help deal with the epidemic and accused US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “lying” when telling US House representatives that the US had made offers of humanitarian assistance to help Iran contain the outbreak.
Fragile economic situation
Turkey’s economic situation is fragile and a severe hit to its big tourism industry—which accounts for 13% of the country’s economy—from coronavirus-triggered holiday cancellations would make it even more so.
On March 7, as fears of a global recession mounted, one of S&P Global’s top sovereign analysts said that Turkey, other lower-rated emerging markets and some oil producers will face the biggest pressure on credit ratings from the coronavirus.
Frank Gill, S&P Global’s senior director of Europe, Middle East and Africa sovereign ratings told Reuters that “this coronavirus epidemic is clearly going to weigh on any tourism economy in 2020”.
One worry for many countries in the face of the coronavirus crisis is the prospect of their domestic currency tumbling, making it more costly to pay debt borrowed in hard currencies like dollars. “We are looking at Turkey very closely,” Gill said in relation to this point.
“Mistrust… is saddening”
March 7 brought a report from bianet in which the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) confirmed that Turkey, a country of 82mn people, has not recorded any coronavirus cases. TTB chair Sinan Adiyaman told the media outlet that "the mistrust among the citizens against the Health Ministry” was “saddening”.
"There are not any cases right now. If there were cases, if it spread, it would be evident. The patients would be gathered in one place and deaths related to [coronavirus] would be seen. We are not hearing about this from anywhere. We have never received information from our physician colleagues in this manner,” Adiyaman added, stating that the TTB COVID-19 Monitoring Group receives information from medical chambers from all provinces across Turkey.
Even if Turkey officially avoids the coronavirus altogether, it will of course suffer major foreign trade impacts caused by the epidemic. On March 6, Al-Monitor reported how Turkey’s closure of its only border crossing with Iraq amid a spike in coronavirus cases in its southern neighbour has disabled a major trade route, threatening the livelihoods of millions of people.
The Habur crossing—Turkey’s second busiest crossing—which opens into Iraqi Kurdistan, was sealed off on March 1, a week after Turkey closed its border with its eastern neighbour Iran.
“Currently our monthly exports to Iraq are worth some $800-900 million. There are also the transit shipments via Turkey,” Nevaf Kilic, head of the Turkey-Iraq Industrialists and Business People Association, told Al-Monitor. “Some 2,500 trucks cross through Habur daily. The closure of the crossing is a blow to the livelihoods of millions of people.”
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request have been expired. Please,
Access recover request have been expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: