Western Balkans citizens legally resident in EU equal to 14% of region’s population
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has stripped Belarus of the right to hold the World Championship this year
Alexei Navalny arrested on arrival as he returns home
LONG READ: The oligarch problem
Russia's biggest demonstrations since 2011 in protest of Navalny jailing
Opposition activist Navalny's call for mass protests a success as thousands take to the streets across Russia
Russia's National Welfare Fund accounts for almost 12% of GDP
Police arresting activists ahead of Saturday’s demonstration in support of Navalny
Western Balkans and Ukraine urged to scrutinise coal subsidies
Oligarchs trying to derail Ukraine’s privatisation programme, warns the head of Ukraine’s State Property Fund
Private finance mobilised by development banks up 9% to $175bn in 2019
VISEGRAD BLOG: Central Europe's populists need a new strategy for Biden
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Czech MPs pass protectionist food law in violation of EU rules
M&A in Central and Eastern Europe fell 16% in value in 2020, says CMS report
Hungarian vehicle makers hit by supply chain shortage
COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Poland
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
Albania needs reforms for e-commerce to thrive, says World Bank
BALKAN BLOG: US approach to switch from quick-fix dealmaking to experience and cooperation
Corona-induced slump in global clothing sector dragged down Albania’s 2020 exports
Bosnia's exports in 2020 amounted to BAM10.5bn, trade deficit to BAM6.3bn
Retailers and restaurant owners threaten protests in Bulgaria if reopening is delayed
Bulgaria's Biodit first company to IPO on new BEAM market
Bulgaria’s government considers gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions
Spring lockdown caused spike in online transactions in Croatia
ING: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
OUTLOOK 2021 Moldova
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Montenegrins say state administration is most corrupt institution
North Macedonia plans to cut personal income tax in IT sector to zero in 2023
Romania government to pursue “ambitious” timetable for justice reforms
OUTLOOK 2021 Romania
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovenia
Slovenia’s opposition files no-confidence motion against Jansa cabinet
Slovenia’s government to release funds to news agency STA after EU pressure
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
D’S Damat franchise deals ‘show Turkey’s hard-pressed mall operators becoming their own tenants’
Turkey’s benchmark rate held as concerns over faltering recovery come to fore
Turkish lira breaches HSBC’s stop-loss, Turkey ETF signalling outflows
CAUCASUS BLOG : What can Biden offer the Caucasus and Stans, all but forgotten about by Trump?
Armenia ‘to extend life of its 1970s Metsamor nuclear power plant after 2026’
OUTLOOK 2021 Armenia
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Iran’s Khamenei menaces private citizen Trump with image of aircraft shadowing blond golfer
Iran’s technology minister indicted for failing to properly implement internet censorship
No US move to rejoin Iran nuclear deal imminent, say Biden national security nominees
TEHRAN BLOG: Will Biden bet on a quick return to the Iran nuclear deal?
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
Mongolia's PM quits amid protests over treatment of mother with coronavirus and newborn baby
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
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
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
Download the pdf version
Plainclothes agents in Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat have reportedly been nabbing people uttering the word “coronavirus” or discussing the pandemic in public.
RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reported the worrying development in the remote, tightly controlled country, which has an official coronavirus (COVID-19) infection count of zero.
The word "coronavirus" is also said to have disappeared from newly published state brochures on disease prevention in authoritarian Turkmenistan, which borders Iran, a country that has experienced one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks. Instead of instructing citizens on ways to prevent the spread of the virus, altered brochures replace the word "coronavirus" with "illness" and "acute respiratory diseases", among other terms.
An anonymous source in Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Health and the medical industry has told independent news website turkmen.news that one Turkmen died after contracting the virus in the ex-Soviet nation’s Lebap Region.
First claim of Central Asia infection
RFE/RL reported earlier in March that at least two Turkmen had tested positive for the virus at a hospital near Ashgabat, citing claims made by anonymous medical sources. The claims actually amounted to the first report of coronavirus infections in Central Asia, of which there are now officially several hundred, mainly in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Turkmen officials have reportedly been enacting some measures against the spread of the virus, such as discouraging public gatherings and circulating the (now altered) flyers warning citizens to stay alert for respiratory infections.
Separately, it emerged on April 1 that Turkmenistan has suspended the movement of freight traffic via its territory due to the pandemic, according to a foreign ministry document posted online by a Kazakh businessman. Reuters on April 1 confirmed the validity of the document with two anonymous diplomatic sources in Turkmenistan.
The document states that freight transport, including transit shipments, is “restricted” for the entirety of April. No exemptions are made.
Turkmenistan had already closed its borders to passenger traffic.
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