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Eastern Europe

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  • HAVANA/ WASHINGTON, July 1- The United States and Cuba on Wednesday formally agreed to restore diplomatic ties that had been severed for 54 years, fulfilling a pledge made six months ago by the former Cold War enemies. "Cuba is encouraged by the reciprocal intention to develop respectful and cooperative relations between our two peoples and governments," Raul...

  • ST.PETERSBURG, Russia— General Motors has halted production at its single assembly plant in Russia as sales have plummeted amid an economic downturn. Sergei Lepnukhov, GM's spokesman in Russia, said Wednesday the plant in St. Petersburg stopped work "in the framework of the company restructuring its business model in Russia." The plant, GM's only fully owned...

  • MOSCOW, July 1- Russian state lender Sberbank intends to begin bankruptcy proceedings against three subsidiaries of indebted miner Mechel, a bank official said on Wednesday. After months of discussions with lenders and government officials to restructure its $6.6 billion net debt, Mechel has reached agreements with all of its creditors except Sberbank,...

  • KIEV/ MOSCOW, July 1- Ukraine halted natural gas imports from Russia on Wednesday after a failure to agree on a price for the third quarter, state transport monopoly Ukrtransgaz said, in talks loaded with the political tension between the two. Russian gas flows to Europe via Ukraine were unaffected,. "From today, Ukraine is not getting gas from Russia.

  • MOSCOW— The Russian gas company Gazprom halted supplies to neighboring Ukraine on Wednesday after the collapse of pricing talks, a company official said— but an EU official said the dispute would not affect the flow of Russian gas to Europe. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Russia stopped deliveries at 10 a.m. because Ukraine didn't make an advance payment for...

  • The New Development Bank, also known as the BRICS Bank, is one of two international development banks that China is promoting as an alternative to western institutions such as the World Bank. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's legislature, approved the agreement between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to create the...

  • YEREVAN, Armenia— Street protests in Armenia against a hike in electricity prices, which have been roiling the capital for nearly two weeks, are the most serious unrest the Caucasus nation has seen in years. The protests are continuing despite the president's decision to suspend the price rise. Armenia is allied closely with Russia, where some fear the protests...

  • KIEV, July 1- Ukraine halted natural gas imports from Russia on Wednesday after energy officials from the two countries failed to agree on quarterly prices, state transport monopoly Ukrtransgaz said. "From today, Ukraine is not getting gas from Russia. Talks in Vienna between Russia and Ukraine on gas supplies fell apart on Tuesday.

  • IMF urges Ukraine, creditors to reach agreement Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 | 6:45 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, June 30- The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday urged Ukraine and its creditors to reach an agreement over debt restructuring after meeting with both sides in Washington. Agreeing on a debt restructuring is one of the conditions Kiev must meet under the IMF's $17.5 billion bailout program. "The Fund encourages Ukraine and its creditors to...

  • Russia fails to clinch deal on gas supplies to Ukraine Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 | 4:44 PM ET

    MOSCOW— Talks on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine have failed to reach an agreement on future supplies. The two countries have fought several gas price wars in past years, and gas disputes exacerbated after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine. He said Ukraine will buy gas from other nations...

  • MOSCOW, June 30- Russia expressed disappointment on Tuesday over new sanctions imposed by Canada over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis and warned that it would respond. "The new sanctions will only add negativity to Russian-Canadian relations which are already not going through their best times because of Ottawa," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander...

  • WARSAW, Poland— Poland's government, at its first ever session outside Warsaw, approved a multi-billion-euro plan on Tuesday to stimulate the coal-mining region of Silesia's industry and job market. "The point is to give a strong impulse for the region that is meant to be the heart of Poland's industry," Kopacz said. "I gave the maximum possible without endangering...

  • MOSCOW— Russian investigators announced Tuesday they are reopening the case of the 1998 killing of a Siberian mayor and consider former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky a prime suspect. Khodorkovsky has lived in exile in Switzerland since his 2013 release from prison, where he spent 10 years on charges of tax evasion, embezzlement and money laundering that...

  • *Iraq exports hit record despite Baghdad, KRG tension. LONDON, June 30- OPEC oil supply in June has climbed to a three-year high due to record or near-record output from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, a Reuters survey found, underlining the focus of the group's top exporters on market share. OPEC supply has risen in June to 31.60 million bpd from a revised 31.30 million bpd in...

  • The Latest: Turkey wants to help Greece recover Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 | 3:23 AM ET

    Turkish prime minister says his country is ready to help Greece overcome its economic crisis and is offering to expand cooperation in areas such as tourism, energy and trade. Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey wants to live "in peace," and has no interest in seeing Greece "languish." Turkey and Greece have been long-time foes but the two countries have sought to build...

  • KIEV, June 29- The Ukrainian Finance Ministry kept up pressure on creditors on Monday before key restructuring talks, blaming a bondholder group for the deadlock in negotiations, but the bondholder group said the ministry's comments showed an inconsistency in Kiev's stance. Ukraine, which is seeking to plug a $15.3 billion funding gap, is meeting bondholders...

  • Greek turmoil a turnoff for potential euro recruits Monday, 29 Jun 2015 | 3:24 PM ET

    WARSAW, June 29- The turmoil over Greece is pushing away from the euro the very nations that could do most to burnish the currency union's tarnished credentials. Poland and Denmark are among the biggest European economies still outside the euro. Yet years of euro zone wrangling with Greece, culminating in this week's breakdown of talks with creditors, have left...

  • *Serbia, Macedonia limit bank transactions with Athens. Millions of people in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Romania have deposits in banks owned by Greek lenders, putting this corner of south-eastern Europe in the frontline if the Greek crisis spreads. Central banks in Macedonia and Serbia introduced extra restrictions on the movement of capital...

  • Kurdistan ramps up independent oil sales Monday, 29 Jun 2015 | 9:43 AM ET

    ANKARA/ ARBIL, June 29- Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region has ramped up independent oil sales since mid-June while cutting allocations to Iraq's state oil firm SOMO in an escalating dispute over export rights and budget payments. June became the first month of large independent sales since December last year, when Kurdistan agreed a deal with Baghdad...

  • SOFIA/ SKOPJE, June 29- Petar Bakhchevanov withdrew some cash from an ATM in Bulgaria's capital on Monday as a test to make sure the deepening debt crisis in neighbouring Greece had not spread to the Greek-owned bank where he keeps his savings. Millions of people in ex-Communist Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Romania have deposits in banks owned by Greek...