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Eastern Europe

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  • TALLINN, Estonia— Train service between the capitals of Russia and Estonia has been suspended due to declining demand, reportedly for the first time in six decades. The Estonian railway company GoRail said European Union sanctions against Russia have led to a sharp decrease in the number of Russians visiting Estonia, making the Moscow- Tallinn route...

  • *Ukraine needs dollars, not words, from creditors- PM. KIEV, May 19- Ukraine passed a law on Tuesday that gives the government the right to halt payments to creditors as it wrangles over the terms for restructuring $23 billion of foreign debt. Ukraine is holding talks to restructure sovereign and state-guaranteed debt to plug a $15 billion funding gap, but...

  • KIEV, May 19- Ukraine's Finance Ministry said on Tuesday it would act on a new law allowing the government to suspend foreign debt payments "unless a good faith collaborative" solution could be found, repeating that any deal would require a writedown of principal. However it said it was hopeful a solution could be found and restructuring terms agreed "rapidly" with...

  • *PM says Ukraine needs dollars, not words, from creditors. Ukraine is holding talks to restructure sovereign and state-guaranteed debt to plug a $15 billion funding gap, but negotiations have soured in the past week, as bondholders repeated objections to any writedown on the principal owed and Kiev said that stance showed a lack of good faith.

  • Economic toll of conflict builds up for Ukraine Tuesday, 19 May 2015 | 9:22 AM ET

    There seems to be no bottom for Ukraine's economy. Ukraine's economy contracted by a stunning 17.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared with a year earlier, when the separatist conflict erupted. "In 2014, Ukraine lost approximately 20 percent of its economy with industrial sector output in Donetsk and Luhansk regions falling by 30 to 40 percent,"...

  • HONG KONG— For Americans, there are cheaper vacations in Europe and lower-priced imports. A Chinese factory is selling fewer goods in Europe. In Europe, many exporters have benefited because a stronger dollar tends to make their products cheaper in the United States.

  • BRUSSELS, May 18- Russia avoided further diplomatic confrontation with Ukraine and the European Union at three-way trade talks on Monday and did not renew previous demands for Kiev's duty-free deal with the bloc to be put on hold. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom highlighted the fact that all three parties jointly signed a statement that said the pact,...

  • Romania president raises alarm over illegal logging Monday, 18 May 2015 | 12:09 PM ET

    BUCHAREST, Romania— Romania's president says a new law allowing the logging of small woods could lead to "uncontrolled deforestation" in the country, posing a national security threat. President Klaus Iohannis said Monday that the proposed legislation could lead to the logging of as much as a million hectares. Romania has 6.6 million hectares of forest, home to...

  • MOSCOW, May 18- Russia's rouble strengthened on Monday, helped by companies selling foreign currency ahead of end-of-month tax payments to the state budget and also by weak demand for dollars and euros. The rouble's rise came despite central bank purchases of foreign currency to top up its reserves-- a policy shift announced last week-- and modest losses in global...

  • BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.— The liquid is dark red, a mixture of fat and blood, and Dr. Mark Berman pumps it out of the patient's backside. The number of stem-cell clinics across the United States has surged from a handful in 2010 to more than 170 today, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

  • ALMATY, May 16- A Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned and burnt up over Siberia soon after launch on Saturday, the latest in a series of mishaps for Russia's space industry. Russia's space agency Roscosmos subsequently said in a statement that the satellite, booster and third stage burnt up almost entirely in the atmosphere with...

  • KIEV, Ukraine— A Russian rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned Saturday shortly after its launch— the latest mishap to hit Russia's troubled space industry, whose Soviet-era glory has been tarnished by a series of launch failures. The rocket, a Proton-M, was launched from the Russia- leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan. A search for possible...

  • ALMATY, May 16- A Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a Mexican satellite malfunctioned and crashed in Siberia soon after launch on Saturday, the latest in a series of mishaps for Russia's space industry. The final stage of the Proton could still have contained a few tonnes of heptyl, a highly toxic rocket propellant, when it came down in the Chita region of Siberia,...

  • ALMATY, May 16- The final stage of a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket failed to deliver a Mexican communications satellite to the designated orbit and crashed in the Chita region of Siberia on Saturday soon after launch, Interfax news agency reported. The agency, quoting a source in Russia's space industry, gave no other details. Other Russian news agencies...

  • MOSCOW— The annulment of a contract for France to deliver a warship to Russia wouldn't strain ties between the countries, the Kremlin said Friday. The Russian business daily Kommersant reported that France has offered a refund of 785 million euros, while Russia wants France to pay nearly 1.2 billion euros. Asked about the report, Peskov wouldn't comment on how...

  • EBRD head throws hat into ring for second term Friday, 15 May 2015 | 11:55 AM ET

    TBILISI, May 15- The head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Suma Chakrabarti, fired the starting gun on Friday for what is likely to be a year-long race to become the bank's next chief, signaling he would like a second term. The EBRD was set up in 1991 originally to invest in the former Soviet bloc countries of eastern Europe.

  • EBRD eyes cooperation with Chinese-led Asian bank AIIB Friday, 15 May 2015 | 10:19 AM ET

    TBILISI, May 15- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Friday it was ready to cooperate on projects with China and its newly launched Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The EBRD, set up after the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe, has in recent years expanded its area of operations to include other countries...

  • *Ukraine hopes for second $2.5 bln tranche of IMF aid. KIEV, May 15- Foreign creditors must agree to the "legitimate" deal offered by Ukraine in talks on restructuring some $23 billion worth of its debt, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Friday. "We ask, appeal and insist that external creditors appreciate the current situation and accept Ukraine's offer, which...

  • BELGRADE, Serbia— Russia's foreign minister has urged the European Union to support the idea of a Moscow- backed pipeline that would bring natural gas across the Black Sea to Turkey and the rest of Europe. Sergei Lavrov said Friday the pipeline— which could include Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary— would bring "energy stability" to Europe.

  • KIEV, Ukraine— Ukraine's economy contracted by a stunning 17.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from a year earlier as the country struggles to cope with the impact of unrest in the industrial heartland of the east. The State Statistics Agency said Friday that the rate of economic slowdown worsened in every quarter last year. Eastern Ukraine, where many major...