Macedonia’s prime minister Zoram Zaev:  his government secured the 80 seats it needed after persuading deputies to break ranks with the right-wing VMRO-DPMNE. Photograph: Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty

Nationalist deputies switch sides to pass controversial western-backed accord

Teenagers mourn victims of the gun and nail-bomb attack at a vocational school in Kerch, Crimea. Photograph: Stringer/EPA

Killer Vladislav Roslyakov’s past and connections scrutinised as death toll climbs to 21

Emergency services carry an injured victim of a blast at at a college in the port city of Kerch, Crimea in this still image taken from a video on Kerch.FM.

Investigators say teenager carried out shooting and bomb attack before killing himself

Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of external relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate and permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church,  in Minsk, Belarus, on Monday. Photograph: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Orthodox schism looms over Ukraine's bid for church independence

Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev: require the support of at least nine opposition deputies. Photograph: Georgi Licovski/EPA

Zoran Zaev asks parliament to choose between ‘a European Macedonia or poverty’

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban: his nationalist government in Budapest has doled out more than one million passports – with voting rights – to ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring states.  Photograph: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo

Kiev decries ‘idiotic myths’ about supposed threats to minority’s safety

Bulgaria’s Central Bank  in Sofia. While on average the top one-fifth of people in EU states earn 5.2 times more than the bottom one-fifth, in Bulgaria the haves make more than eight times more than the have-nots. Photograph: Getty

Rich Land, Poor Land: The EU’s poorest state is rife with corruption and inequality

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko: creation of an independent church represents “a victory for good over evil, light over darkness”.  Photograph: Sergei Chuzavkov/AP

Warnings as Kiev set to form own Orthodox Church after centuries of Moscow rule

Patriarch Filaret has called for Ukraine’s churches to unite and choose one leader. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP

Moscow furious as Istanbul synod backs Kiev’s bid for national Orthodox church

A portrait of murdered Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova during a candlelit vigil in the city of Ruse. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

Country’s PM rejects fears over press freedom after death of Viktoria Marinova

Bosnian-Serb leader Milorad Dodik: “I am going there, to this presidency, to work above all and only for the interests of Serbs.” Photograph:  Milan Radulovic/AFP/Getty Images

Elections boost Kremlin ally Milorad Dodik and put Bosnian Croats at odds

 Protestors hold pictures of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. Photograph:  Ozan Kose/AFP

Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance overshadows Budapest talks with Viktor Orban

Busts of Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and Habsburg nobleman Miklos Zrinyi, whose forces clashed here in 1566. Courtesy of Norbert Pap. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Erdogan to visit Orban as both leaders brush off allegations of autocratic tendencies

Former prime minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski accompanied by his bodyguard arrives in the court in Skopje where he was appealing his two-year sentence for corruption.  Photograph: Georgi Licovski/EPA

Gruevski loses court appeal against corruption conviction as state debates Greece agreement

Romanian elderly women  marching during a support rally for the family redefinition referendum planned for this weekend, southeast of Bucharest, on Thursday. Photograph:  Robert Ghement/EPA

Government rallies its rural base amid street protests and EU criticism

Demonstrators hold Greek flags as they protest against a referendum to re-name Macedonia, in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, last Sunday. Photograph:  Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images

Sunday’s referendum in Skopje declared a success despite only 37% voter turnout

Liviu Dragnea, who controls the Romanian government from behind the scenes. Photograph: Liviu Florin Albein/Iquam Photos via Reuters

The EU and US fear Bucharest is backsliding on corruption and rule of law

Protesters in Skopje boycott a referendum on changing Macedonia’s name to pave way for it to join Nato and the EU. Photograph: Marko Djurica

Skopje threatens snap elections if nationalists block pact and steps towards EU and Nato

Woman attends a debate on voting Yes on a pact that would see Macedonia renamed North Macedonia in exchange for Greece lifting its 27-year opposition to EU and Nato accession for its Balkan neighbour. Photograph: Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty

Skopje government still likely to seek parliamentary vote on pact with Greece

A billboard reading in Albanian “The future depends on your vote!” in the town of Gostivar, on Friday. Photograph:  Armend Nimani/AFP

Country’s nationalist president calls the pact with Greece ‘historical suicide’

 Slovak investigative reporter Jan Kuciak (27) and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova (27) were shot dead in February. Photograph:  Reuters/Radovan Stoklasa

Jan Kuciak shot dead in February after finding alleged government-mafia links

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban arrives at the informal EU summit in Salzburg. Photograph: Kerstin Joensson/AP Photo

Use of EU funds, attacks on the media and Orban’s lavish lifestyle under fire

A refugee couple reach the Croatian border near Velika Kladusa in  Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 13th, 2018. Photograph: Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Velika Kladusa Letter: Political mudslinging over migrants contrasts with public goodwill

Russian minister of foreign affairs Sergei Lavrov receives a medal from the president of the Republic of Serbian entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik (right). Photograph: Vladimir Stojakovic

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik to visit Moscow ahead of October 7th vote

Liviu Dragnea guides the government from behind the scenes. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

Legal travails and street protests sparked challenge to Social Democrat boss

Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó: Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin said he would discuss the citizenship issue with Mr Szijjártó in New York next week at the UN General Assembly. Photograph: Reuters/ Denis Balibouse

Budapest is already blocking some Kiev-Nato co-operation over language row

Russian president Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban during a joint news conference following their talks at the Kremlin. Photograph: Reuters

‘Illiberal’ leaders of Hungary and Russia stay close despite east-west chill

US defence secretary James Mattis and Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev. Photograph: Tomislav Georgiev/AFP/Getty Images

Deal with Greece would help Macedonia join Nato despite Kremlin opposition

Pope Benedict XVI and Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew light candles  at a Greek Orthodox  cathedral in Istanbul, 2006. Photograph: Ecumenical Patriarchate/Reuters

Moscow freezes ties with Constantinople patriarch over Kiev's independence bid

Ripped poster of  Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Mitrovica. Photograph: Armend Nimani

Eight months after Oliver Ivanovic was shot dead, many people suspect a cover-up

  A protester   gestures at a placard with combo portrait picturing faces of the President Poroshenko and former president Yanukovich with a slogan ‘No to elections with Yanukovich law’ during their rally near the Parliament building in Kiev, Ukraine. Photograph: EPA

Ukraine and Russia locked in dispute over whether borrowings should be repaid

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban: many supposed allies in the European People’s Party voted to condemn his hard-line policies. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

Viktor Orban to visit Russia next week after bruising European Parliament defeat

Prime minister of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko: was killed on August 31st. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/ AFP/AFP/Getty

Allegations between Moscow and Kiev over warlord’s murder, religion and water supply

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic addressing people in Mitrovica, Kosovo on Sunday. Photograph:  Laura Hasani/Reuters

Aleksandar Vucic vows to defend Kosovo Serbs as roadblocks disrupt visit

A protest against  Macedonia in Thessaloniki in Greece. Photograph: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nationalists reject ‘North Macedonia’ name change that would open Nato and EU paths

Serbia’s president Aleksandar Vucic listens at a forum in Alpbach, Austria, in August. File photograph: Herbert Neubauer/AFP/Getty Images

Critics fear a proposal to change borders could have violent consequences

Alexander Zakharchenko, left, the leader of pro-Russian rebels in Donetsk, was killed in a bomb attack last Friday. Photograph: Darko Vojinovic/AP Photo

Germany and France urge calm amid fears Moscow could abandon diplomacy

Pall bearers walk with the coffin of Alexander Zakharchenko in Donetsk. Photograph: Aleksey Filippov/AFP/Getty Images

Russian foreign minister calls bombing of Donetsk restaurant ‘provocation by Ukraine’

Young people fishing reading sunbathing on dock at Piran Slovenia on the Adriatic Sea coast with Church of St Clement at Punta Lighthouse. Photograph: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Slovenia and Croatia mostly get along, but can’t agree on beautiful Bay of Piran

A mural in the Serb district of Mitrovica, an ethnically divided town in northern Kosovo, reads: “There’s no going back from here. Kosovska Mitrovica.”

Broad multi-ethnic opposition in Kosovo to talk of border changes with Serbia

Italy’s interior minister and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, right, with Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban,  in Milan, Italy, this week. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP

Budapest summons Swedish ambassador after criticism from Stockholm

Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj warned against any land swap with Serbia. Photograph: Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images

Ramush Haradinaj says land swap would help Russia destabilise the Balkans

Muhammad Shakeel (33), a tailor from Sialkot, Pakistan, cooks  lamb stew for migrants staying at a derelict dormitory in Bihac, northwest Bosnia. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Croatian police violence and looming Bosnian elections add to migrants’ woes

Kosovo’s president Hashim Thaci:  “We have decided to explore every possible option.” Photograph:  Herbert Neubauer/APA/AFP

Move has long been ruled out as dangerous and destabilising for the Balkans

US national security adviser John Bolton with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko at a military parade marking Ukraine’s independence day in Kiev on Friday. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

US national security adviser John Bolton attends multinational military parade in Kiev

Milos Matousek (78), who served in the Czechoslovak army, attends a ceremony outside the studios of Czech Radio to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Premier’s communist-era ‘agent’ past and president’s pro-Russian views stir anger

Protesters and residents standing on and around a Russian tank  on a Prague  street, August 1968. Photograph: Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Pro-Kremlin president will not make a speech in memory of the Prague Spring

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik: accused of ramping up nationalist rhetoric. Photograph: Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images

US condemns Republika Srpska’s annulment of report on 1995 genocide

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, says he is leading the country into a new era of deep political and cultural change. Photograph: Akos Stiller/New York Times

Hungary’s government is to end funding for course it sees as ‘liberal ideology’

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik has refused to accept migrants in his region and called their arrival part of a conspiracy to boost the country’s Muslim population. Photograph: Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images

Croatian police say rock fall killed two migrants found dead in forest

People protesting in Bucharest: President Klaus Iohannis said “brutal intervention” of riot police was “strongly disproportionate”. Photograph:  Octav Dragan/via Reuters

Police and officials defend actions after 450 people hurt at Bucharest rally

Jailed Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov: his health is reported to be deteriorating rapidly. Photograph: Russian High Commissioner for Human Rights Press Centre

Fears grow for Crimean native Oleh Sentsov after 89-day hunger strike in Arctic jail

Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko: critics accuse Mr Lukashenko of launching his latest attack on those who challenge him in the media or political arena. Photograph: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Raids target press that criticise veteran autocrat Alexander Lukashenko

Former Slovak interior minister Robert Kalinak called the story about Trinh Xuan Thanh’s abduction “science fiction”. Photograph: Tomas Benedikovic/AFP/Getty Images

Trinh Xuan Thanh jailed for life after being snatched in Berlin

Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili, Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz, Lithuania’s foreign minister Linas Linkevicius, Latvia’s foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics  and other officials meet in Tbilisi on Tuesday. Photograph: Vano Shlamov/AFP/Getty Images

Moscow says Georgian accession to Nato could spark ‘terrible conflict’

Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj: “No one wants a change of borders, but Russian president Vladimir Putin.” Photograph:  Dan McLaughlin

Belgrade vows to defend Kosovo Serbs amid tension over long-awaited pact

Migrants take a shower in a makeshift tent camp in Velika Kladusa at the Bosnia-Croatia border. Photograph: Dado Ruvic

Health issues and violence spiral as refugees gather at tightening Bosnia-Croatia border

Riders attend a rally for Russia’s motorcycle club Night Wolves in front of Russia’s embassy in Bratislava on July 27th, 2018. The pro-Kremlin motorcycle club opened its European base in Dolna Krupa, Slovakia. Photograph: Vladimir Simicek/AFP/Getty

President calls Kremlin-backed Night Wolves a security risk and restates stance on Crimea

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said he wanted an agreement with Kosovo that would “end this cycle of conflicts forever”. Photograph: Koca Sulejmanovic/EPA

Some Belgrade officials eye chance of reclaiming northern Kosovo

Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev (L) inspects a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony in front of government buildings in Skopje. Photograph: Georgi Licovski/EPA

PM Zoran Zaev calls for opponents to back renaming the country North Macedonia

Dragoslav Ognjanovic (wearing shades) back in 2001: was shot dead on Saturday night outside his apartment block in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and his son (26) was injured. Photograph: Darko Vojinovic

Dragoslav Ognjanovic defended Slobodan Milosevic and alleged mafia figures

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is welcomed by Romanian president Klaus Iohannis during their official meeting at Cotroceni Presidential Palace in Bucharest, last week.  Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

Eurosceptics bullish but no deep desire in central Europe to leave EU

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban: “We need a new commission . . . with a new approach,” he said. Photograph: Boris Pejovic/EPA

Hungary’s leader seeks ‘new approach’ after 2019 European elections

Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko: has welcomed US administration for its “uncompromising position”.  Photograph: Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Strong declaration from Washington follows Trump obfuscation on annexation of region

Macedonia’s prime minister Zoran Zaev: says the nationalists are holding the nation’s future hostage to party interests. Photograph:  Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

Government accuses nationalists of seeking amnesty for ex-officials

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the Presidential Palace in Bucharest. Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

Varadkar also seeks to soothe fears that no-deal Brexit could spark chaos

Protesters take part in a rally against the use of the name Macedonia in Pella, northern Greece on June 6th. Photograph: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images

Athens expects Moscow to respond to expulsion of its diplomats

President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump: idea that eastern Ukraine could hold a referendum on its status has been rejected. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

Vladimir Putin reportedly proposed vote in war-ravaged region to Trump in Helsinki

US president Donald Trump: reportedly told fellow G7 leaders last month Crimea was part of Russia “because everyone there speaks Russian”. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Trump queries Nato’s role in Balkans, where Russia seeks influence

A monument for victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 downing over Donetsk in Ukraine. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

Investigators say missile that downed aircraft in 2014 came from Russian military

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko: “I wish Mr Trump well in his efforts to bring Mr Putin back into line.” Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump vague on Ukraine despite strong line from other US officials

US defence secretary James Mattis briefs reporters on the plane from Zagreb to Olso on July 13th. Photograph: Afp/pool

Moscow irked by Macedonia’s Nato invitation and expulsions from Greece

 Czech Republic prime minister Andrej Babis  arrives for a parliamentary session on a confidence vote in the  Prague parliament on Thursday. Photograph:  Martin Divisek/EPA

Andrej Babis finally breaks nine months of post-election deadlock

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras shakes hands with Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg during the Nato summit in Brussels. Photograph: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

Athens claims officials tried to undermine agreement over name as Skopje seeks Nato accession

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau: “We are absolutely committed to the protection of our allies and global peace and security.” Photograph: Ilmars Znotins/AFP/Getty Images

Justin Trudeau also criticises Russia ahead of Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki

Laura Codruta Kovesi, Romania’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor,  after the president  sacked her on Monday in Bucharest.  Photograph:  Adrian Catu/AFP/Getty Images

Government succeeds in forcing president to fire Laura Codruta Kovesi

Chinese premier Li Keqiang  speaking at a joint news conference with Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borisov during the seventh summit of China and central and eastern European countries in Sophia. Photograph: Getty Images

Beijing's premier meets leaders from central and eastern Europe

 Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev (right) with Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna last month. Photograph: Florian Wieser/EPA

US and EU hail the pact and Nato membership talks beckon for Skopje

People protest in front of the Romanian Government headquarters in Bucharest on Wednesday. Photograph: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images

Council of Europe calls for a halt to sweeping criminal justice reforms

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban  in Brussels, Belgium, last week.  Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Migration policy likely to dominate Orban-Merkel talks on Thursday

People sing the Ukrainian national anthem during a meeting at the NSC Olimpiysky stadium in Kiev on Monday to demand the release of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov in Russia. Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

World Cup spotlight raises pressure on Moscow to free political prisoners

 Anti-corruption campaigner Andrei Nastase,  whose victory in the Chisinau mayoral election has been  annulled, and head of the Action and Solidarity party Maia Sandu: travelled to Strasbourg on Monday to meet EU officials. Photograph: Dumitru Doru/EPA

Thousands protest and EU and US object after mayoral elections annulled

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and German chancellor Angela Merkel:  “Hungary will not become an immigrant country; Hungary will remain a Hungarian country,” said Mr Orban. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

Balkan states resist plan to create migrant ‘disembarkation platforms’

Czech prime minister Andrej Babis arrives for the cabinet’s inauguration at Prague Castle on Wednesday. Photograph: David W Cerny/Reuters

Eurosceptic tycoon Andrej Babis remains as premier despite fraud allegations

Citizens protest in Great National Assembly Square, in front of the Arch of Triumph, after the invalidation of the second round of mayoral elections in Chisinau, Moldova, on Monday. Photograph: Dumitru Doru/EPA

EU and US alarmed as anti-graft campaigner is barred from becoming capital's mayor

Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party leader Liviu Dragnea: sentenced last week for involvement in an abuse of office scandal. Photograph: Inquam Photos/Liviu Florin Albei

Liviu Dragnea urged to ‘just disappear’ from politics after second criminal conviction

The Hungarian National Opera in Budapest, which announced that it had to cancel 15 performances of the musical Billy Elliot following a homophobic press campaign. Photograph: Ferenc Isza/AFP/Getty Images

Opera chief in Hungary denies pressure from nationalist government prompted the move

Poland’s prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Slovakian prime minister Peter Pellegrini and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban in Budapest on Thursday. Photograph: Ferenc Isza/AFP/Getty Images

Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia to skip EU mini-summit on migration

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban before the vote on the “Stop Soros” package of Bills, at the Parliament in Budapest, on Wednesday. Photograph: Tamas Kaszas/Reuters

Deputies vote to bar refugees with ban on arrival of any ‘alien population’

Viktor Orban’s government enjoys a two-thirds majority and will easily pass the Bill. Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

Viktor Orban ready to defy critics with controversial vote on World Refugee Day

Migrants board a night bus at Sarajevo station,  on their way to the Bosnian town of Bihac on June 7th, 2018. Photograph:  Elvis  Barukcic/AFP/Getty

Growing fears as Bosnia threatens to follow Austria and Slovenia if they close borders

 Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras (left) and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s  prime minister Zoran Zaev  after their arrival on the Macedonian side of the Lake Prespa for a celebratory lunch.   Photograph: EPA/Nake Batev

Critics vow to scupper pact that unblocks Macedonia's path to EU and Nato

Ano  party leader Andrej Babis: Czech Republic’s new  prime minister. Photograph: Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty

Government likely to lean on communist support after eight months of limbo

The main defendant Samsoor Lahoo (31), an Afghan citizen,  during the trial of human traffickers in  Kecskemet, Hungary on Thursday. Photograph: Ferenc Isza/AFP/Getty Images

Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis suffocated in locked wagon in 2015

Macedonian president Gjorge Ivanov: there is a rift between him and Macedonia’s prime minister Zoran Zaev.  Photograph: Nake  Batev

Despite accord between PMs, Gjorge Ivanov claims too many concessions made to Athens

Karpatalja squad members celebrate with the trophy after winning the alternative Conifa World   Cup on Saturday in London. Photograph: Robin Millard/AFP/Getty Images

Kiev accuses Budapest of stoking tension among its Hungarian minority

Pro-government supporter holds cutouts of Romanian president Klaus Iohannis and head of anti-corruption agency Laura Codruta Kovesi dressed as prisoners at a meeting organised by the PSD  ruling party in Bucharest. Photograph: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty

Scandal-plagued ruling party PSD accuses ‘shadow state’ of persecuting officials

Bulgarian prime minister Boiko Borisov who halted the Danube power station project during a previous term in power. Photograph: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

Parliament votes to revive Belene atomic project on the Danube river

Protesters wave Greek flags in a demonstration to protest against the use of Macedonia in the name of the state on Greece’s northern border. Photograph: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images

Greeks protest push for a deal to end dispute over name of their neighbouring country

Protesters shouting anti-government slogans in front of the Romanian government headquarters in Bucharest on May 30th. Photograph:  Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images

Defiant ruling party plans major rally and wants top prosecutor fired

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