Bulgaria’s Turkish minority party: What went wrong?

News from Bulgaria’s domestic political scene seldom make it to the European mainstream. On one such rare occasion, in December 2015 Reuters reported the sacking of Lyutvi Mestan, the leader of Bulgaria’s Turkish minority party – the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF, or DPS as transliterated in Bulgarian). The general reader could have dismissed the event as trivial but such a view would have … Read more…

Is South Stream making a silent return?

There is no official document that shows the South Stream gas pipeline project has been cancelled, it has been “frozen” and could be re-activated if such need would arise, Pavel Zavalny, chairman of the energy policy commission in the Russian Duma, said in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio on Monday. The Ukrainian gas transit infrastructure is will be getting more and more unreliable in … Read more…

Bulgaria vs Nord Stream 2: Set the priorities right

Bulgaria will not be signing a letter of opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project, a planned expansion of the existing Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany through the Baltic Sea, the country’s prime minister Boiko Borissov told reporters on 29 November. A few days earlier, media reports announced that ten EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) – Czech Republic, … Read more…

How Nord Stream 2 could affect the Central and Eastern Europe gas market? (op-ed)

By Wojciech Jakóbik.  Poles boast that upon completion of the LNG terminal construction in Świnoujście will provide one hundred percent independence from Russian gas supplies. If Russia will not cooperate, then Poland will bring the raw material from another direction, using reverse flow services or the LNG terminal. However, the problem lies in the fact that Warsaw has already revealed the plan that could undermine the … Read more…

A change in Warsaw: Where is Poland headed for?

The recent parliamentary election in Poland, held on 25 October, delivered two historical results. For the first time on the country’s post-communist political scene there will be a single party to rule by a full majority. The conservative Law and Justice party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc, PiS), led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, managed to secure 235 seats in the 460-seat Polish Sejm, the national parliament’s lower chamber, … Read more…

Gazprom’s pipelines – dead end or stratagem?

For those who follow the saga of Gazprom’s pipeline projects the recent months certainly offered a decent spectacle. Ever since the cancellation of South Stream and the announcement of Turkish Stream in December 2014, the information puzzle around Gazprom’s actual intentions and capabilities has been growing in complexity. The lack of clarity and transparency allows for speculations by observers over occasional media reports or press … Read more…

Macedonia’s political impasse continues as summer steps in

Bad news came from the Macedonian capital Skopje yesterday July 8th. The opposition party leader Zoran Zaev declared that the snap election deal from June 2nd was now “dead” due to incumbent prime minister Gruevski’s reluctance to step down to a care-taker government which was to supervise the early vote. The announcement coincided with the publication of an opinion poll carried out by the International Republican Institute (IRI) which shows … Read more…

Why the political crisis in Macedonia proves to be a tough nut to crack?

Many of us who follow the development of the political crisis in Macedonia had our eyes set on the round of talks between incumbent PM Gruevski and opposition leader Zaev which took place in Brussels this Wednesday (10 June). After 12 hours of discussions under the mediation of Commissioner Hahn, no tentative agreement was reached and the talks largely failed. This turn of events, though disappointing, should have … Read more…

What are the main conclusions from the Polish presidential election?

On Sunday 10 May Poles went to the polls to elect their president. Unexpectedly, to the dismay of his party and supporters, incumbent candidate Bronislaw Komorowski lost to the main opposition candidate Andrzej Duda. A second round of elections will be staged on 24 May as Komorowski’s 33.8% and Duda’s 34.8% are below the 50% required margin for an outright victory. What are the implications? … Read more…

SigmaBleyzer report on Ukraine’s macroeconomic situation in April 2015

We are re-publishing this report on Ukraine’s current economic situation as the numbers give an idea of the current economic difficulties in the country. The report was prepared by SigmaBleyzer private equity investment management firm & The Bleyzer Foundation in Kyiv and published by the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council. You can find all copyrights and author attributions below. This is a free and publicly accessible report and all rights belong … Read more…