UKRAINE

State to Nationalize Big Private Lender

The government said it was nationalizing Privatbank, the country's largest private lender, a move it said was necessary to avert a financial meltdown.

The decision is the culmination of a two-year effort to overhaul the nation's banking system, which has been rocked by economic woes caused by a more-than-two-year conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the east.

The government said the move was undertaken in coordination with Ukraine's international lenders and with their support, and that it would ensure a smooth transition and the stable running of the bank. Ukraine has relied on billions of dollars of loans from the International Monetary Fund for the past two years.

--James Marson

POLAND

President Aims to Quell Political Crisis

President Andrzej Duda met with opposition politicians in an effort to defuse a burgeoning political crisis that has sparked three days of antigovernment protests in the European Union's largest former communist country.

Political tensions, which have simmered since the governing Law and Justice party came to power a year ago, boiled over on Friday after the government proposed restricting the media's access to Parliament. The move led opposition politicians to stage a sit-in on the floor of the lower house and demonstrators to take to the streets.

Opposition groups see the plan as the government's latest regressive step following moves to slow down the nation's top court and take over state broadcasters.

--Martin M. Sobczyk

TURKEY

Car Bombing Leaves 13 Soldiers Dead

A car bombing in Turkey killed 13 soldiers who were leaving their base for the weekend, less than a week after twin bomb blasts killed 44 people outside a soccer stadium in Istanbul.

The bomb in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri exploded Saturday morning, targeting a civilian bus carrying troops on leave from a nearby commando base, Turkish armed forces said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but officials said the attack bore the hallmarks of an attack in Istanbul this month that killed 37 policemen and seven civilians outside the stadium of Istanbul's Besiktas soccer team. Kurdish militants claimed responsibility for the those bombings.

--Emre Peker

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 19, 2016 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.