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The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, through on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.


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In today’s news from the Capitals:

CENTRAL EUROPE

Slovakia is entirely dependent on Russian nuclear fuel developed by TVEL, but after Russia invaded Ukraine, the discussion started on changing suppliers. The only viable alternative is American Westinghouse, which Economy minister Richard Sulík considers expensive. Read more.

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BERLIN

German ports traded most with Russia in 2021. Russia was the biggest trading partner of German ports in 2021, mainly driven by fossil fuel trade, newly published data shows, as EU countries mull whether to close seaports to Russian ships. Read more.

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PARIS

Far-right candidate Zemmour accused of sexual assault, again. New allegations of sexual assault against presidential candidate Éric Zemmour have been criticised by the far-right polemicist’s entourage, which accuses investigative site Médiapart of trying to “make the blow on the women’s [rights] day”. Read more.


UK AND IRELAND

DUBLIN

Russia summons Irish ambassador after truck driven into Dublin’s Russian embassy. Ireland’s ambassador to Russia has been summoned by the government in Moscow after a truck rammed into the gates of the Russian embassy in Dublin on Monday. Read more.


NORDICS AND BALTICS

HELSINKI

Helsinki Stock Exchange takes biggest hit amid Russia war on Ukraine. Stocks in Helsinki are falling more sharply than in the rest of Europe as interest rises and Finland’s position as an investment target is questioned. In the eyes of investors and analysts, the country’s proximity to Russia creates a psychological barrier. Read more.


EUROPE’S SOUTH

ATHENS

EPP chief pushes to suspend Greek MEP critical of pharma scandal. The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) in the EU Parliament will vote today (9 March) on a proposal of its leader Manfred Weber to suspend a lawmaker who criticised the Greek government for the way it handled a scandal related to Novartis pharmaceutical company as well as the prosecution of judges and journalists who unveiled it. Read more.

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ROME

Italian justice minister requests UAE extradite dangerous mafia fugitive. Justice Minister Marta Cartabia went to Dubai on Tuesday to request for the third time, the extradition of Camorra drug trafficker Raffaele Imperiale, number two on Italy’s most wanted fugitive list. Read more.

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MADRID

Spanish PM asks former King Juan Carlos I to explain tax fraud scandal. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Tuesday asked former King Juan Carlos I to shed full light on an alleged tax fraud scandal affecting the Spanish monarch. Read more.

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LISBON

Portuguese schools preparing to receive Ukrainian pupils. Children and young people from Ukraine will be integrated into Portuguese schools “as soon as possible”, with the strengthening of Portuguese language teaching and social support, the ministry of education has announced. Read more.


VISEGRAD 

PRAGUE

Cyberattacks are intensifying amid war, Czech experts warn. War in Ukraine has increased the intensity of cyberattacks, Czech security experts have warned. The humanitarian crisis can also be an opportunity for fraudsters posing as charities or NGOs assisting Ukrainian refugees. Read more.

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WARSAW

Poland calls ‘historical’ parliament sitting to express support for Ukraine. Poland is calling an extraordinary sitting of both parliamentary chambers, to discuss ways to support Ukraine on the occasion of the country’s 23rd anniversary of NATO accession on Friday. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and US President Joe Biden are to attend as special guests. Read more.


NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

SARAJEVO | LONDON

Truss: New UK bill will also help target secessionists in BiH. The new economic crime bill that on Monday was fast-tracked by MPs in the House of Commons to clamp down on oligarchs and kleptocrats will also help the UK target secessionists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said. Read more.

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SOFIA

Bulgaria offers to help Moldova with Ukrainian refugees. Bulgaria has offered to help Moldova with the influx of Ukrainian refugees entering the country as over 250,000 Ukrainians have entered Moldova since Russia’s attack on Ukraine on 24 February. Read more.

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ZAGREB

Croatian opposition opposes ministerial pick for being close to Russian oligarchs. The opposition in parliament on Tuesday criticised the ruling majority’s proposal to appoint Ivan Paladina as the new Construction Minister, saying he is close to Russian oligarchs, making him vulnerable to blackmail. Read more.

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WESTERN BALKANS

Berlin Process best chance for Western Balkans to join EU. The Berlin Process must continue because it is the best chance for regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, solving bilateral disputes and EU membership, Zoran Nečev and Anamarija Velinovska from the Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis Skopje (IDSCS) said on Tuesday. Read more.

Commission ‘monitoring’ removal of Albanians from voter lists ahead of Serbian elections. The European Commission is aware of the reports of removing ethnic Albanians from the voter registration lists in the Presevo Valley in Serbia and is monitoring the situation in light of Belgrade’s commitments to the EU accession process. Read more. 

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ZAGREB | SARAJEVO 

Croatian president: No possibility of armed conflict in BiH. There is no possibility of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) escalating into armed conflict, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday, adding that the increased presence of the EU peacekeeping force (EUFOR) there should not be given special attention. Read more.

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BUCHAREST

Romania lifts all COVID restrictions. Masks are no longer mandatory as of Wednesday, while the green pass is not required to enter a restaurant, shopping centre, or the airport. Read more.

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SKOPJE

North Macedonia FM says we should not be worried by conflict in Balkans. There are currently no threats to the Balkans, said Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani regarding the ongoing war waged by Russia against Ukraine. Read more.

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TIRANA

Albanian PM establishes war economy committee. Prime Minister Edi Rama announced the establishment of a Special Committee to manage the economic and security consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine during a press conference Tuesday morning. Read more.


AGENDA:

  • EU: Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas joins European Parliament for debate on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine / European Commissioners Paolo Gentiloni, Valdis Dombrovskis and Nicolas Schmit address European Parliament on the European semester.
  • France: EU telecommunications ministers hold informal meeting in Nevers / President Emmanuel Macron hosts Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz hosts Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen  in Berlin.
  • Austria: Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki visits Vienna.
  • Denmark: Government holds ceremony to officially apologise for children taken away from their families in Greenland in the 1950s.
  • Croatia: Parliament is supposed to appoint Ivan Paladina as the country’s new construction minister, following his nomination by the government.

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]



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