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Eastern Europe

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  • BUCHAREST, Romania— Romanian prosecutors investigating an alleged bribery scheme have questioned the former finance minister about the origins of 100 paintings, including three works by Pablo Picasso. Among the paintings are works by Romanian painters Corneliu Baba and Nicolae Grigorescu as well as sketches by Picasso and works by Renoir and Andy Warhol.

  • LJUBLJANA, March 27- U.S. investment firm Apollo is in advanced talks to buy Slovenia's second-largest bank Nova KBM, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. Daily newspaper Delo earlier reported that Apollo was buying NKBM for about 200 million euros. Delo said the state and the buyer would share the risk in the event a court ruled NKBM had to...

  • MOSCOW, March 27- Visa still needs one or two months to transfer processing of transactions made on its credit cards in Russia to a local payment system, but Mastercard will make an obligatory April 1 deadline, the head of the payment system said. The new rules were introduced after Visa and Mastercard stopped providing services for some Russian banks that were...

  • European air authority recommends 2 crew in cockpit Friday, 27 Mar 2015 | 7:37 AM ET

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark— The European Union's aviation safety agency recommended Friday that airlines always have two people in the cockpit of a flying aircraft after it emerged that the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 had apparently locked himself in alone to crash the plane. Before the recommendation, Lufthansa said it would move to the two-person rule "as...

  • *Ukraine wants bondholders to accept debt writedown. *Entire IMF-led bailout for Ukraine at risk. Moscow bought the bonds from Kiev before a pro-Russian president was forced from power early last year, opening a rift which widened with the annexation of Crimea and a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

  • MOSCOW— Russia hasn't held negotiations on leasing a dozen supersonic bombers to Argentina, but would be willing to consider such a deal, a senior government official said Friday. Alexander Fomin, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, a government agency tasked with coordinating arms trade, denied media reports claiming that...

  • Ukraine seeks resumption of Turkmen gas supplies Friday, 27 Mar 2015 | 5:51 AM ET

    KIEV, Ukraine— Ukraine has said it wants to restore natural gas deliveries from energy-rich Turkmenistan as it tries to reduce reliance on Russia for the fuel. Until 2006, Turkmenistan supplied Ukraine with 36 billion cubic meters of gas annually in exchange for cash and goods. Turkmenistan wishes to widen its client base, while Ukraine wants to wean itself off...

  • MOSCOW— A television station owned by the Russian defense ministry is offering a job to former "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson. The BBC announced Wednesday that it wouldn't renew Clarkson's contract after a fracas with a producer, ending his connection to the immensely popular program. The Zvezda TV channel published a letter to Clarkson on its website late...

  • LJUBLJANA, March 27- Slovenia has sold its second largest bank Nova KBM to investment fund Apollo for about 200 million euros, daily newspaper Delo said on Friday, citing unofficial sources close to the bank. The bank received a state capital injection of 870 million euros in 2013 as a part of a broader rescue package to prevent Slovenia's banks from collapsing...

  • MOSCOW, March 27- PCMA Rus, a Russian venture owned by France's PSA Peugeot Citroen and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, will temporarily suspend production of Peugeot, Citroen and Mitsubishi models, it said on Friday. Production of the Citroen C4 Sedan and Peugeot 408 will be halted from April 27 to July 10. Peugeot holds a 70- percent stake in the venture and...

  • WASHINGTON, March 26- The International Monetary Fund has not decided whether Russia's $3 billion holding of Ukrainian debt should be classified as "official" debt, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday, taking back an earlier statement. Ukraine, which recently received a $17.5 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund, must come up with at least $15.3...

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to April 9 Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 8:02 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO, United States- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks on "Monetary Policy" before the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Conference: The New Normal for Monetary Policy- 1945 GMT. PRISHTINA- European Central Bank's Deputy Director General International& European Relations, Gilles Noblet, speaks at an event to celebrate the conclusion of a...

  • NEW YORK— Airline pilots are supposed to be the ones we trust. "In the near term, pilots will be looked at with a bit more suspicion," said former US Airways pilot John M. Cox, now CEO of the consulting firm Safety Operating Systems. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, aviation security has focused on protecting pilots from passengers— not the other way around.

  • *Ukraine wants bondholders to accept debt writedown. LONDON, March 26- A legal conundrum is threatening plans to ease Ukraine's debt burden and possibly its entire $40 billion IMF-led bailout: should a $3 billion Eurobond held by Russia be classed as commercial paper, or as bilateral sovereign debt? Moscow bought the bonds from Kiev before a pro-Russian...

  • EU to resume Galileo satellite launch programme Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 2:04 PM ET

    BRUSSELS, March 26- The European Union is set to send two navigation satellites into orbit on Friday aboard a Russian rocket, in its first launch since a botched deployment in August that cost several million euros to fix. Global Positioning System is obliged to use the Russian Soyuz system until a development of Arianespace's European Ariane 5 rocket is ready...

  • EU to resume Galileo satellite launch program Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 2:04 PM ET

    BRUSSELS, March 26- The European Union is set to send two navigation satellites into orbit on Friday aboard a Russian rocket, in its first launch since a botched deployment in August that cost several million euros to fix. Global Positioning System is obliged to use the Russian Soyuz system until a development of Arianespace's European Ariane 5 rocket is ready...

  • DUBAI, March 26- Warplanes from Saudi Arabia and Arab allies struck Shi'ite Muslim rebels fighting to oust Yemen's president on Thursday, in a push by the world's top oil exporter to check Iranian influence in its backyard. Most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq-- together with nearly all the liquefied natural...

  • Russian minister predicts new interest rate cut Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 | 12:33 PM ET

    MOSCOW— Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukaev says that the country's central bank could cut interest rates next month as the economy stabilizes. The Bank of Russia raised its key interest rate sharply to 17 percent in December when the ruble crashed to record lows against the dollar, but has since cut it for two months in succession as the...

  • WASHINGTON, March 26- Russia's $3 billion holding of Ukrainian debt should be classified as' official' debt, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday, weighing in on what has become a contentious issue in Kiev's economic situation. But Russia, which holds a $3 billion Eurobond from Ukraine, has so far refused to participate in the restructuring. Russia, which Western...

  • BRUSSELS, March 26- International lenders are delaying plans to offer Ukraine billions of dollars on concerns Kiev cannot yet prove the cash will not vanish into a corrupt economy which EU officials fear could remain a "bottomless pit." Ukrainian authorities are still preparing a much-anticipated donor conference for April 28 but EU officials told Reuters...