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Britain and the USA: “The door is open for Russia”
Britain and the United States are ready to improve relations with Russia if it changes its behavior on the world stage, foreign ministers of the two countries Dominic Raab and Anthony Blinken, who are attending a meeting with their G7 counterparts in London, said on Monday.
“The door for positive relations and diplomacy is always open on our part, and I think that many NATO countries share this. But what needs to change is Russia’s behavior as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, contrary to the basic norms of international law – whether it is balancing on the brink of war and saber rattling on the border with Ukraine, be it cyberattacks and disinformation or the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, which was not just a violation of human rights, but the use of chemical weapons on Russian soil, “said Dominic Raab after a meeting with the US Secretary of State.
The US administration would prefer to establish stable relations with Russia and will do so if Moscow also takes such a course, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in turn.
“We do not seek escalation. On the contrary, we would prefer more stable and predictable relations. And if Russia starts moving in this direction, then we will do the same,” he assured.
Blinken stressed that Washington makes decisions not because of some anti-Russian policy, but in response to Moscow’s actions. “Everything will depend on what Moscow decides to do or not to do,” he said, recalling President Biden’s readiness to toughly confront Russia if necessary.
Pandemic in India: army called for help
The authorities in the epidemic-stricken Indian capital of Delhi have asked the army for help. The city cannot on its own cope with the second wave of Covid-19, which is acquiring catastrophic proportions in India.
Hospitals in Delhi are overcrowded and there is an acute shortage of oxygen for medical purposes. The city authorities want the military to take control of the organization of the work of patient care centers, medical centers and intensive care units.
Final exams at Indian medical schools have been postponed, students are being sent to fight the epidemic.
The total number of people infected with coronavirus in India is approaching 20 million. In recent weeks, about 300 thousand people are infected every day. The death toll has reached 220 thousand.
Experts say that all this is official statistics, the real figures can be much higher, since there are few tests for covid, and many patients die at home without waiting for a doctor.
Bill and Melinda Gates are getting divorced
Gates reported on Twitterthat they do not see further growth as a married couple, but will continue to do charity work together. They get divorced after 27 years of marriage.
They met at a business dinner in 1987 when Melinda came to work as a manager at Microsoft. Colleagues began to meet, and, as Bill said, after a while the question came up squarely – to disperse or marry.
Melinda recalled that methodical Bill had written on the blackboard the pros and cons of getting married. They ended up getting married in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. Bill rented all the local helicopters to prevent unwelcome guests from arriving at the wedding.
Bill Gates’ fortune exceeds $ 130 billion. In 2000, he and Melinda set up a foundation that has already donated nearly $ 40 billion to charities. They have three children.
Europe prepares to open to tourists
On Monday, the European Commission recommended easing restrictions on international travel, including outside the EU.
It is proposed that travel should be allowed for anyone who received a second vaccination of the EU-approved vaccine no earlier than two weeks ago. Russians travel to Europe is complicated by the fact that “Sputnik V” is not yet certified in the EU.
So far, the EU allows entry to tourists from only seven countries. A detailed discussion of the plans to open the borders begins on Tuesday.
It is expected that these plans will also include the ability to quickly close communications with countries in which the epidemiological situation has deteriorated sharply.
The UK government is expected to lift the travel ban overseas after 17 May.
Currently, you can only leave the country for a valid reason by providing confirmation. After the restrictions are lifted, the so-called traffic light system will be introduced, in which countries will be included in the green, yellow and red lists, depending on their epidemiological situation.
Authorities are preparing to submit a green list this week. There is only one small thing to do: for these countries to lift restrictions on entry.
The situation is expected to change significantly by July, when school holidays begin around the world and governments begin to make further concessions.
NYT: Side Effects of Russian Vaccine Diplomacy
New York Times writes about the consequences of “Russian vaccine diplomacy” and considers as an example the government crisis that broke out in Slovakia in March, to which Moscow supplied 200,000 doses of Sputnik V.
In Slovakia, deaths from covid were among the highest in the world at that time, and the Russian vaccine was a rare ray of hope for many. However, the country’s government, torn between the need to curb the epidemic and follow EU rules, was paralyzed by a long crisis as a result.
It is unclear if the Russian vaccine is a medical breakthrough, as Putin claimed last summer, but it has proven extremely effective in spreading confusion and vacillation across Europe, the NYT notes.
Skepticism about Russian intentions, the newspaper notes, is deeply rooted in the minds of Eastern European politicians. The Lithuanian prime minister in February called the Russian vaccine a weapon designed to divide and rule, and Poland said it would buy the Chinese vaccine (despite such fears), but would never agree to the Russian one.
In France, President Macron recently discussed with Putin a possible supply of the Sputnik V vaccine, which the French foreign minister has described as a propaganda weapon.
Austrian Chancellor Kurz, outraged that European regulators are in no hurry to certify Sputnik, quarreled with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over a vaccination program that only provides Western vaccines.
But Slovakia, writes the NYT, has become the clearest example of the side effects of toxic vaccine diplomacy.
Prime Minister Igor Matovich’s decision to buy Sputnik V brought the most pro-Western government in Eastern Europe to the brink of collapse, and the prime minister himself was forced to resign. Ministers accused Matovic of making a deal with Russia behind their backs. The head of the Slovak Foreign Ministry said that the prime minister had succumbed to the Russian “weapon of hybrid war” and questioned Slovakia’s work with the EU.
But what is the quality of the vaccine? The newspaper quotes the head of the Slovak Biomedical Research Center, Sylvia Pastorekova.
The Center carried out a series of tests of Sputnik V. According to Pastorekova, the Russian vaccine passed all the necessary tests, but did not receive the approval of the state regulator, because two-thirds of the documentation required in the EU was either incomplete or not provided.
“The potential side effects of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been documented publicly and in detail,” says Pastorekova. “But we know nothing about the side effects of Sputnik.
“We are part of the European family,” concludes Pastorekova, “and we must accept the rules of the family.”
Times: how the West denigrated Russia even under Ivan the Terrible
British Times drew attention to part of a recent interview with the head of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev “Arguments and Facts”, where he claims that the West tried to denigrate Russia back in the 16th century and continues the same “Russophobic practices” to this day.
Patrushev’s statements, according to the newspaper, are an example of how the current Russian leadership is trying to rewrite history in order to justify its own policies.
In an interview, Patrushev reflects on the “historical roots of Western Russophobia” and cites as an example Ivan the Terrible “who is for some reason called Terrible in the West.”
Patrushev is convinced that the “black legend” about Ivan the Terrible as a cruel tyrant began to come into circulation during the tsar’s lifetime at the suggestion of “Western chroniclers”. And they denigrated the king-father in order to divert the attention of Europeans from the outrages that were happening in their countries.
“Because even in those distant times, Moscow carefully looked at the West and saw what was going on there,” says the head of the Security Council. “Massacre for religious reasons, the Inquisition, the witch hunt, the monstrous colonial enslavement of peoples, and other deeds, which are now in the West they prefer not to remember. ”
The Times notes that in the 16th century, when Ivan the Terrible lived, in Europe there was not even such a concept as a political bloc, and recalls that Ivan the Terrible, who ruled for 37 years, became famous, in particular, for the massacre in Novgorod (the Novgorod pogrom, the victims of which were thousands man) and the murder of his own son.
Covid is still raging, but the money is gone. Who will return them to us?
The coronavirus pandemic in the West has not yet ended, and the money has already run out. Lockdowns cost taxpayers trillions of dollars. Who will pay this bill? Our business correspondent Alexey Kalmykov is looking for the answer to this question:
Digest prepared by Alexander baranov