EU imposes sanctions on Russia, Russia says “it’s illegal”

City of Simferopol, annexed by Russians, Crimea (Robin Koskas, CC BY-NC-ND)

20,000 Lithuanian civil servants to be laid off

Serbian airports get busier

EU and Russia

On August 4th, the European Union imposed new sanctions on Russia. It did so in response to the “delivery of Siemens’ gas turbines to Crimea, which violated existing sanctions”. Russian deputy Energy Minister Andrei Cherezov and two other Russians were blacklisted, as well as three Russian companies.

Russia has responded immediately, claiming the decision was “politically motivated and illegal”. The Express Tribune quotes Russian Energy Ministry’s statement: “The Russian Energy Ministry has no doubt that the EU took this decision based solely on political reasoning”. The Foreign Ministry added: “The responsibility for this decision, including possible expenses for Siemens and other German and European companies working in Russia, lies entirely with the EU’s side and the German government”.

At the end of July also the U.S. Congress passed a bill imposing sanctions on Russia which was signed by the US President Donald Trump on August 2nd.

The first EU sanctions were introduced after the 2014 Russian military annexation of Crimea. The blacklist already contains names of 150 people and 37 entities – all of them are subject to an asset freeze and a travel ban.

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Lithuania

Lithuania undergoes reforms of its public service – the Baltic Course reports. According to the portal, at current the public service includes approx. 52,600 employees, but the staff is to be soundly reduced in 2019. The portal informs that 20,000 jobs will be cut and the new salary system is to be introduced. As the Interior Ministry announced, the new system will envision motivational instruments.

An important issue is that the concept of civil servant will change. According to the new law public servants will be those who perform functions of a public administration. “All others, who perform service function, internal administration and so on, for example personnel specialists and accountants, will not be listed as public servants and will work by contact,” Interior Minister Eimutis Misiunas explained.

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Serbia

The number of passengers to be handled by Belgrade Nikola Tesla airport will exceed 5.5 million in 2017 – according to the data from Serbian Infrastructure Ministry. It means the traffic will grow 30 per cent y/y. Last year the traffic reached 4.9 million (up 3 per cent y/y).

Also the traffic at Nis airport, the second busiest Serbian airport, located 4 km north of the city of Nis, will increase. According to Zorana Mihajlovic, Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, it will handle 200,000 passengers in 2017, serving 11 routes. In the period January – July 2017 it already handled 183,000 passengers. To compare: in the whole 2014 it served 1,330, in 2015 it served 36,258 and in 2016 it served 124,917 passengers.

Nis is the former military base, reopened in 2003. The expansion of traffic began in 2015 – when Wizz Air and Ryanair launched their first flights. Now it operates flights of Germania Flug, Ryanair, Swiss International Air Lines and Wizz Air and also cargo line Turkish Airlines Cargo.

As of 2016 the most busiest airports in Europe were: Heathrow Airport (the United Kingdom), Charles de Gaulle Airport (France), Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (the Netherlands), Frankfurt Airport (Germany), Istanbul Ataturk Airport (Turkey), Adolfo Suarez Madrid- Barajas Airport (Spain), Barcelona El Prat Airport (Spain), London-Gatwick Airport (the United Kingdom), Munich Airport (Germany) and Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (Italy).

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What’s up in indexes

BET (of Bucharest) decreased from 8,351.90 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 8,326.29 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s down 0.17 per cent d/d and up 24.29 per cent y/y.

BUX (of Budapest) increased from 36,416.07 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 36,678.22 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s up 0.72 per cent d/d and up 33.02 per cent y/y.

CROBEX (of Zagreb) increased from 1,889.94 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 1,892.97 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s up 0.16 per cent and up 6.93 per cent y/y.

OMXR (of Riga) increased from 1,000.98 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 1,003.01 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s up 0.20 per cent d/d and up 58.97 per cent y/y.

OMXT (of Tallinn) increased from 1,230.40 index points Wednesday, August 2nd to 1,238.84 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s up 0.60 per cent d/d and up 22.53 per cent y/y.

OMXV (of Vilnius) increased from 629.63 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 632.50 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s up 0.46 per cent d/d and up 16.79 per cent y/y.

PX (of Prague) increased from 1,017.57 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 1,026.21 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s up 0.85 per cent d/d and up 19.87 per cent y/y.

SAX (of Bratislava) increased from 338.04 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 341.07 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s up 0.90 per cent d/d and up 10.64 per cent y/y.

SOFIX (of Sofia) decreased from 720.14 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 720.06 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s down 0.01 per cent d/d and up 57.17 per cent y/y.

UX (of Kyiv) decreased from 1,143.16 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 1,139.51 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s down 0.32 per cent d/d and up 63.64 per cent y/y.

WIG20 (of Warsaw) increased from 2,378.42 index points Thursday, August 3rd to 2,380.16 index points Friday, August 4th. It’s up 0.62 per cent d/d and up 30.76 per cent y/y.