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
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The US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook is leaving his post, with Elliott Abrams, the US Special Representative for Venezuela, set to add Iran to his role "following a transition period" with Hook, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on August 6.
Hook's departure is something of a surprise to Iran watchers, given that there is a critical juncture next week with Washington bidding to extend a UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic that expires in October. As things stand, it looks like Russia and China plan to veto the move at the UN Security Council.
"We’re going to continue to make the case for this,” Reuters reported Hook as telling reporters on the morning of August 6, hours before his departure was announced. “We hope that the council can find a way,” he added.
It was not immediately clear when Hook's tenure would formally end.
Pompeo did not give a reason for Hook's decision to leave but wrote in a tweet that Hook was moving on to the private sector. He praised him as a "trusted adviser and a good friend" who has achieved "historic results" in countering Tehran and securing the release of US citizens detained by Iran.
Hook, 52, was appointed to the top Iran role at the US State Department in late 2018. He has been unrelenting in applying Washington's intensifying pressure campaign to Tehran and has come under fire from critics for moving forward with what they see as indiscriminate sanctions that hurt ordinary Iranians but fail to bring the Iranian leadership to the table to address what the US, allied with Iran’s regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia and Israel, claims is the malign influence of Iran in Middle East hotspots.
Abrams, 72, a Republican foreign policy veteran, was named US Special Representative for Venezuela in January last year. He has spearheaded a hardline approach aimed at ousting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has lately formed a strategic partnership with Iran, which has included badly needed gasoline deliveries from the latter to Venezuela. The move has drawn US ire, adding to President Donald Trump’s frustrations that he has not managed to dislodge either Maduro or achieve his goals with Iran.
Iran’s economy could expand by as much as 4.4% in 2021 if US President-elect Joe Biden lifts sanctions that have contributed to a deep three-year recession, the Institute of International Finance ... more
Iran has requested that allies across the Middle East be on high alert and avoid provoking tensions with the US that could give an outgoing Trump administration cause to launch attacks in the US ... more
Iran’s health minister has warned that the country faces a doubling of its daily rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths if Iranians don’t abide by rules brought in to stem the spread of the ... more
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