VIF News Digest: International Developments (US, Europe and Russia), 16-31 March 2020
Domestic – Covid 19:
Fauci says Covid-19 could kill 200,000 Americans. 30 March 2020

Senior US scientist Dr Anthony Fauci issued a cautious prediction Sunday that the novel coronavirus could claim as many as 200,000 lives in the United States, as state and local officials described increasingly desperate shortages in hard-pressed hospitals.

And with stress, uncertainty and exhaustion rising across the country, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi squarely blamed President Donald Trump for unnecessary loss of life by initially playing down the pandemic.

“His denial at the beginning was deadly,” she told CNN’s State of the Union. She added, “Don’t fiddle while people die, Mr President.”Dr Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, played down worst-case predictions of one million or more deaths, instead offering a rough estimate of 100,000 to 200,000 deaths and “millions of cases.” Click here to read....

Trump ditches hopes of quick bounce-back for US, 30 March 2020

President Donald Trump on Sunday abandoned his timetable for life returning to normal in the United States, extending emergency coronavirus restrictions for another month, while Spain suffered its deadliest day.

Trump, who had hoped to shortly re-open much of the US, said the death rate in the country was likely to increase for two weeks and announced “social distancing” guidelines would be in place until at least the end of April.

More than 40% of the world’s population has been asked to stay at home to halt the deadly march of a disease that has claimed some 33,880 lives. Hospitals are rapidly filling with patients in Europe and the United States – now the focal points of a pandemic that began in Asia but has upended the global economy and upset everyday life in unprecedented ways. Click here to read....

Senate passes $2 trillion bill for 'strange and evil' coronavirus crisis, 25 March 2020

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously backed a $2 trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hurt by the coronavirus epidemic, as well as providing billions of dollars to buy urgently needed medical equipment.

After bitter negotiations, the deeply divided Senate came together and passed the bill by a 96-0 vote, which sent the massive stimulus package to the House of Representatives for a vote on Friday.

President Donald Trump, whose top aides helped negotiate the bipartisan measure, promised to sign it into law as soon as it reaches his desk. “I will sign it immediately,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. Click here to read....

As Pandemic Grows, U.S. Warns Americans Not to Travel Abroad, 19 March 2020

The State Department announced on Thursday that Americans should not travel outside the country, and that citizens abroad should either return home or stay in place as the coronavirus pandemic grows.

The department raised its global health advisory to Level 4, or “do not travel,” which is the highest warning, usually reserved for nations that are war zones or facing serious disruptions such as political unrest or natural disasters.

The announcement is a recommendation, not a requirement. Millions of Americans are still overseas, and many are likely to opt to remain in place. “If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite time frame,” the advisory said. Click here to read....

Donald Trump Bashes Media Coverage of Coronavirus, Agrees With One America News Reporter That News Outlets “Siding With China”, 19 March 2020

President Donald Trump’s press briefing had a flurry of newsworthy statements, updates and some startling moments.
Days after saying that a lot of the media “actually has been really fair” in its coverage of the coronavirus crisis, on Thursday he was back to calling a number of news outlets “dishonest.”

Near the end of the briefing, Chanel Rion, chief White House correspondent for One America News Network, the right-wing outlet, asked him, “Do you consider the term Chinese food racist, because it is food that originated in China or has Chinese origin?”

“No, I don’t think it is racist,” Trump responded.

Rion continued, “On that note, the major left-wing news media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese communist party narratives, and they claim you are racist for making these claims about the Chinese virus. Is it alarming that major media players, just to oppose you, are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals and Latin gangs and cartels, and they work right here in the White House with direct access to you and your team?” Click here to read....

Coronavirus deals blow to NASA's 2024 return-to-moon plan, 20 March 2020

The coronavirus has dealt a blow to NASA’s plan to return Americans to the moon by 2024, as the space agency chief on Thursday ordered the temporary closure of two rocket production facilities after an employee tested positive for the illness.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement he was shutting down the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and the Stennis Space Center in nearby Hancock County, Mississippi, due to a rise in coronavirus cases in the region.

“We realize there will be impacts to NASA missions, but as our teams work to analyze the full picture and reduce risks we understand that our top priority is the health and safety of the NASA workforce,” Bridenstine said.

The closures marked the latest in a series of setbacks NASA has faced in the development of its next-generation rocket, dubbed the Space Launch System, or SLS, and its Orion crew vehicle, envisioned for human missions to the moon and Mars. Click here to read....

Analysis: Coronavirus erodes Trump's re-election prospects, 20 March 2020

Only a month ago, United StatesPresident Donald Trump was on top of the world.

Democratic efforts to impeach him in the US Congress had failed and backfired. Public support for the president had actually increased among some independent voters, and support from his Republican base remained steady. Stock markets were at an all-time high, and unemployment hovered at all-time lows. While perhaps not the "roaring geyser of opportunity" that Trump said it was, the economy was humming along nicely, and the president was not shy about taking credit.

Six weeks ago, the US election was Trump's to lose. A key pillar of Trumpism - that the real estate magnate and businessman was the best steward of the US economy - seemed plausible. Then everything changed.

Almost overnight, the US has been plunged into an unprecedented economic crisis. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is warning of the possibility of 20 percent unemployment. Businesses are clamouring for bailouts, and factories are closing temporarily and laying off workers. The 11-year bull run in the stock markets has come to a screeching halt, and more and more forecasters see a recession on the doorstep. Click here to read....

Biden's wins in U.S. states that matter most set stage for duel with Trump, 18 March 2020

With Bernie Sanders on the ropes in the race for the Democratic Party nomination, Joe Biden can turn his attention now to a November matchup against Republican Donald Trump, backed by momentum in states that decide U.S. presidential elections.

Biden dominated Sanders in Tuesday’s contests in three states, including Florida and Arizona, both known as political battlegrounds because their voters can swing to either party and so decide who takes the White House.
Defying the coronavirus that has upended life in America as in the rest of the world, turnout was robust in both states - many people voted early - suggesting that enthusiasm to defeat Trump remains high among Democrats. Click here to read....

Biden calls Trump's Easter back-to-business goal 'catastrophic', 26 March 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Wednesday that potential efforts by President Donald Trump to re-open American businesses in time for the Easter holiday could be “catastrophic.”
The governors of at least 18 states, including New York and California, have issued stay-at-home directives affecting about half the U.S. population, and shuttering many businesses, in a costly effort to slow the deadly pathogen’s spread.

Trump on Tuesday told reporters he would like to see businesses opening their doors again by Easter, which will be celebrated on April 12. “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” he said on Fox News Channel.

Biden, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the November election, said a quick return to normalcy could backfire.
“Now he’s suggesting he wants to get the country back opened by Easter,” Biden told reporters on a video conference, warning that it was an arbitrary or symbolic timeline. Click here to read....

Trump Campaign’s Threat on TV Licenses May Be Mostly Bluster, 27 March 2020

The Trump re-election campaign told TV stations they could lose their operating licenses for airing an ad criticizing the president’s actions in the coronavirus crisis -- a challenge that may be more bluster than actual threat.

President Donald Trump’s campaign, in a letter on Wednesday, told stations in five battleground states to stop showing the ad from Priorities USA, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

Failure to remove the ad “could put your station’s license in jeopardy” before the Federal Communications Commission, the campaign said in the letter. “Your station has an obligation to cease and desist from airing it immediately to comply with FCC licensing requirements.” Click here to read....

Sanders to 'assess his campaign' after another round of bruising losses: statement, 18 March 2020

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders plans to talk with supporters to “assess his campaign” after bruising losses to Joe Biden in the most recent round of voting, his campaign said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The next primary contest is at least three weeks away. Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign,” campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in the statement. “In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.” Click here to read....

International - South Asia:
US to provide $1m to Pakistan to combat COVID-19, 20 March 2020

The United States on Friday announced that it will provide Pakistan $1 million under the USAID programme to help improve monitoring and rapid response against the novel coronavirus.

Senior US diplomat Alice Wells made the announcement on the microblogging website Twitter.

“The US-Pakistan government partnership is helping fight Covid-19. The US government is responding to Covid-19 in Pakistan with initial $1 million funding to bolster monitoring and rapid response.”

She maintained that Pakistan and the United States are longstanding partners in tackling global health challenges.

The US diplomat further stated that there are over a hundred Pakistani graduates in the lab training of Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, investigating coronavirus cases in Punjab and Gilgit-Baltistan. Click here to read....

On the Political Impasse in Afghanistan, 23 March 2020

The United States is proud of our partnership with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Afghan people, and admires what Afghanistan has achieved since 2001. We have forged a deep bond, especially with Afghan security forces, through shared sacrifice in responding to threats to international peace and security since 2001. Underscoring the national priority the United States attaches to helping bring about a political settlement to forty years of devastating war, Secretary Pompeo came to Kabul today with an urgent message. He spoke directly to the nation’s leaders to impress upon them the need to compromise for the sake of the Afghan people.

The United States deeply regrets that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and former Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah have informed Secretary Pompeo that they have been unable to agree on an inclusive government that can meet the challenges of governance, peace, and security, and provide for the health and welfare of Afghan citizens. The United States is disappointed in them and what their conduct means for Afghanistan and our shared interests. Their failure has harmed U.S.-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonors those Afghan, Americans, and Coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country. Click here to read....

U.S. vows to cut $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan as political crisis threatens peace deal, 24 March 2020

In a sign of mounting frustration with Afghanistan's leaders, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced early Tuesday that the United States would cut $1 billion in aid to the country because of its inability to form a unity government to negotiate with the Taliban.

Pompeo said that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah, had failed to set aside their differences, just hours after meeting with the two men in a quickly arranged visit to Kabul.

"The United States is disappointed in them and what their conduct means for Afghanistan and our shared interests," Pompeo said in a statement. "Their failure has harmed U.S.-Afghan relations and, sadly, dishonors those Afghan, Americans, and Coalition partners who have sacrificed their lives and treasure in the struggle to build a new future for this country." Click here to read....

US Pushes for Sooner Release of Taliban Prisoners ,18 March 2020

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, on Wednesday said the United States would like to see the prisoner releases begin as soon as possible in line with the US-Taliban peace agreement.

“No prisoners have been released to date despite the commitment to do so expressed by both sides,” Khalilzad added in a series of tweets on Wednesday as the Taliban are trying to press Washington to facilitate the prisoners release to happen in the near future.

“Coronavirus makes prisoner releases urgent; time is of the essence. We are committed to do our part and after consultation with all relevant sides, the United States understands,” Khalilzad said.

The US envoy noted that technical teams from both sides can work together and focus on technical steps to begin prisoner releases as soon as possible, adding “I will participate in the initial meetings.”

“While preferable to meet face-to-face, coronavirus and the resulting travel restrictions likely requires virtual engagement for now; we call on all sides to avoid provocative media statements,” Khalilzad said. Click here to read....

Troop drawdown in Afghanistan will continue despite coronavirus, Pentagon says, 18 March 2020

Top Pentagon officials say the U.S. will continue executing its troop drawdown in Afghanistan despite the global coronavirus outbreak and stressed that new medical protocols are in place to screen and test service members.

The U.S. late last month struck a historic deal with the Taliban in the hopes of winding down the longest war in American history. A key piece of the agreement centers on the gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, where American troops have been a constant presence since the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The deal calls for a quick drawdown of U.S. forces from the current level of between 12,000 and 13,000 to about 8,600, with the remainder expected to leave within 14 months if the agreement holds. Click here to read....

East Asia:
Trump, China’s Xi to discuss coronavirus pandemic Thursday evening , 26 March 2020

President Trump said Thursday that he will speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking during the daily White House coronavirus briefing, Trump said that Xi had requested the call.

“It’s his call, and think we will have a fruitful call tonight at 9:00. We will be talking about the virus,” the president said.
Trump also touted the trade deal he negotiated with China, but added that China has the “best dream in the world” of getting to negotiate with Joe Biden rather than him should the former veep win in November.

“We made a deal with China and we’re going to do another one, it looks like. They want to do it very badly. Maybe they’ll want to wait” until after November, he said. Click here to read....

U.S. increases support for Taiwan, China threatens to strike back, 27 March 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law an act that requires increased U.S. support for Taiwan internationally, prompting a denunciation by China, which said it would strike back if the law was implemented.

China claims democratic and separately ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and regularly describes Taiwan as the most sensitive issue in its ties with the United States.

While the United States, like most countries, has no official relations with Taiwan, the Trump administration has ramped up backing for the island, with arms sales and laws to help Taiwan deal with pressure from China.

The Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act, signed by Trump into law on Thursday with strong bipartisan support, requires the U.S. State Department to report to Congress on steps taken to strengthen Taiwan’s diplomatic relations. Click here to read....

U.S. attempt to sever global industrial chain "unrealistic and insensible:" spokesman, 17 March 2020

The U.S. attempt to sever global industrial and supply chains is "unrealistic and insensible," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing Tuesday.

A U.S. official said Monday that the White House is preparing a presidential executive order designed to bring medical supply chains from countries such as China back to the United States to cut its dependency on foreign medicines.

Geng said the era of globalization means deeply integrated interests and highly intertwined industrial and supply chains, adding that the formation and development of global industrial and supply chains are the result of market forces and companies' choices.

It is unrealistic and insensible to try to sever global industrial and supply chains or even trumpet "shifting" or "decoupling" theories, Geng said.
Instead of solving the United States' own problems, such words will only hurt the American people more, Geng said.
As the world's largest producer of protective suits and medical masks, China occupies an important position in the global supply chains of medical and epidemic prevention materials, Geng said. Click here to read....

Miscellaneous – International:
As oil tanks, Trump talks with Russia's Putin, Saudi Arabia's crown prince, 31 March 2020

Saudi Arabia and Russia are engaged in an oil price war that is decimating the U.S. energy industry as demand falls due to the coronavirus, and President Trump is getting involved.

During his coronavirus press briefing on Tuesday, Trump said he spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “We’re all going to get together and see what we can do, because you’re going to lose an industry over it, thousands and thousands of jobs,” said Trump.

U.S. crude registered a 66 percent drop in the first quarter, the largest one-quarter percentage drop on record with the per-barrel price sitting at the $20 level.

The price war has prompted energy leaders, including Harold Hamm, founder and executive chairman at Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc., to call the move a "direct attack" on the U.S. Click here to read....

Turkey says it sent 500,000 coronavirus test kits to United States, 19 March 2020

Turkey has sent 500,000 coronavirus test kits to the United States upon their request, Health Minister FahrettinKoca said on Thursday. In a speech to parliament, Koca said that Ankara aimed to increase rapidly its own testing within Turkey and had a target of carrying out 10,000 to 15,000 tests per day. He said more than 10,000 tests have so far been carried out in total. Click here to read....

Coronavirus and the EU: The nation versus the Union?, 19 March 2020

“To limit the spread of the virus, we need to work together and act swiftly”, the President of the European Council Charles Michel pointed while the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, insisted that “the sealing of borders should be agreed upon mutually”- after member states had already acted unilaterally. The EU is stuck playing catch-up, which is not the way the bloc was meant to function. Click here to read....

EU Governments reach breakthrough over Balkans Expansion Plan, North Macedonia, 23 March 2020

European Union governments revived the membership hopes of North Macedonia and Albania by overcoming a French roadblock after months of deliberations. The EU wants to keep alive the prospects of North Macedonia and Albania joining to avoid political instability in a region still scarred by the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The bloc also wants to prevent a political vacuum that could play into the hands of Russia and China. Click here to read....

European Union headed for 2020 recession-EU's Breton, 16 March 2020.

The European Union will go through a recession this year due to the impact on its economy of the coronavirus health crisis, EU' internal market Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Monday. Click here to read....

TAP gas pipeline 93.5% completed, 17 March

Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project, a flagship project of the European Commission, worth 4.5 billion Euros, is the leg of the Southern Gas Corridor. It is aimed towards reducing European dependence on Russian gas. Click here to read....

Coronavirus forces EU leaders to weigh nationalization options, 19 March

Italy has recapitalized its airline Alitalia, and France is considering similar moves to rescue affected companies. Now even Germany seems ready to use the ultimate weapon in the coronavirus battle: nationalization. Click here to read....

EU auto industry faces unprecedented crisis, 20 March 2020

The effect of the coronavirus on society and the global economy is unprecedented, with grave consequences for the automobile industry. Indeed, most of the members of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) have already announced temporary closures of plants due to collapsing demand, supply shortages, and government measures, and are facing cases of corona infections and quarantines among their employees. Click here to read....

EU to suspend bloc's budget rules in order to fight coronavirus, 21 March 2020

The European Commission has proposed to activate the “general escape clause” in the rules to respond to the pandemic. A number of countries across the union are in lockdown and travel restrictions are in place throughout. “It will allow Member States to undertake measures to deal adequately with the crisis, while departing from the budgetary requirements that would normally apply under the European fiscal framework,” the Commission said. Click here to read....

Spanish PM calls on EU for a Marshall Plan and ‘coronabonds’, 23 March 2020

During his fourth public address in a week, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on called for coordinated action from the European Union in a bid to face the “war against the coronavirus.” The head of the government made Spain’s position clear, and called on Brussels to launch a “Marshall Plan” that would involve massive public investment in the whole of the 27-country bloc. He also defended the idea of “coronabonds,” European debt issues that would help to share out risk among all EU countries. Click here to read....

Statement from Commission President von der Leyen on proposals to fight the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis, 28 March 2020

To ensure recovery the Commission will propose changes in the MFF proposal that will allow to address the fallout of the coronavirus crisis. This will include a stimulus package that will ensure that cohesion within the Union is maintained through solidarity and responsibility. Click here to read....

Health and environment
European Union closes external borders to slow coronavirus pandemic, 17 March 2020

The travel restrictions at the border are temporary and aim to reduce most non-essential travel from other countries into the European Union. The new rules will apply to 26 members of the EU, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Click here to read....

Coronavirus is biggest challenge for Germany since WW2, says Angela Merkel, 19 March 2020

In a rare direct address to the nation, Merkel urged Germans to take the virus seriously and said that every citizen would need to play their part in preventing it from spreading. "Let me say that this is serious. Take it seriously. Since German unification- No, since the Second World War, there has not been a challenge for our country which was so dependent, on our joint, solidary action," she said. She called on everyone in the country of 83 million to stay home and to practice social distancing during the times they must go out, despite the natural instinct to want to come together during times of worry. Click here to read....

Croatia hit by earthquake while in coronavirus lockdown, 22 March 2020

A strong earthquake has shaken the Croatian capital, Zagreb, bringing much of the population on to the streets after social distancing regulations to prevent the spread of coronavirus had been put in place. ad-damage-zagreb " target="_blank">Click here to read....

Russia provides medical aid to Italy, 21 March 2020

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte at the initiative of the Russian side. The two leaders agreed on close interaction in fighting the coronavirus. The Russian side agreed to deliver protective equipment, KAMAZ truck-mounted units for disinfectant spraying of vehicles and territories, medical and other equipment, as well as to send teams of Russian specialists to render practical assistance in the worst-hit areas of the country. The deliveries will be carried out by the Defence Ministry using the Russian Federation Aerospace Forces aircraft. Click here to read....

India & Russia plan to open new trade route via Iran despite threat of US sanctions, 19 March 2020

India’s state-owned Container Corporation of India (Concor) and Russian Railways Logistics Joint Stock Company (RZD) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to transport cargo between India and Russia – based on a single invoice – via the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a 7,200-km multi-modal transportation network project cutting right across Central Asia, starting in Iran and ending in Astrakhan, Russia. The INSTC is a trilateral project jointly initiated by Russia, Iran and India in 2002. In order to operationalize a new strategic transit route bypassing Pakistan, India connected it to the Iranian port of Chabahar and built a new route connecting four major cities in Afghanistan by the end of 2016. Click here to read....

Russia claims to help without any strings attached -Kremlin, 23 March 2020

Russia’s help to Italy in struggling with the coronavirus does not imply any response measures of Rome, including the veto on extension of anti-Russian sanctions by the European Union, presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov Click here to read....told reporters.

Nationwide vote on constitutional amendments postponed, 25 March 2020

Putin signed Executive Order on Postponing the Date of the Nationwide Vote on Amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation to avoid health risks to citizens of the Russian Federation posed by the novel coronavirus. Click here to read....

Health and Environment
Alibaba founder Jack Ma gives Russian MoD over 1 million medical masks, 26 March 2020

The Russian Aerospace Forces plane delivered more than 1 million medical masks and 200,000 coronavirus test systems, handed over to the Ministry of Defence by Jack Ma, Alibaba founder, as a gift. Click here to read....

Epidemiologist of the Ministry of Health: Russia moves to the peak in coronavirus, 31 March 2020

Russia is approaching a peak in the incidence of COVID-19, Nikolai Briko, chief freelance epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health, noted. He believes that the numbers will increase for several more days, after which they will begin to decline. Click here to read....

Oil Gamble has upended Putin’s Promise of Economic Revival, 16 March 2020

As crude suffered its worst weekly collapse since 2008 following Russia’s bitter breakup with OPEC, economists slashed their growth forecasts. Alexey Kudrin, a former finance minister who now runs a government oversight agency, said that even if oil stays roughly where it is now, the economy might not grow at all this year. Click here to read....

Losses of Russian airlines from suspension of flights may exceed $1.35 bln, 17 March 2020

Losses of Russian airlines in the event of suspension of flights can exceed 100 billion rubles ($1.35 bln), First Deputy Minister of Transport, Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency, Alexander Neradko said. Click here to read....

Russia’s economy to contract by 1% in 2020, says BOFIT, 23 March 2020

Russia’s economy will contract by 1% in 2020, according to the latest forecast by the Bank of Finland Institute for Economies in Transition (BOFIT). Russia started this year with an official forecast for 1.9% growth. But the double whammy of an oil price shock following OPEC+ production cut deal collapsed on March 6 closely followed by an escalating coronavirus pandemic that has brought the global economy to a standstill will hurt the Russian economy. Click here to read....

Mishustin called to localize the production of electronic components, 25 March 2020

The Russian Prime Minister noted that Russia must learn to independently develop and produce electronic components. According to him, it is necessary to maximally localize the production chain of these products in order to reduce Russia's dependence on imports. Click here to read....

Russia’s economy is isolated from the global rout, 26 March 2020

The Russian economy ought to be in crisis, but it is not. Covid-19 is causing a global meltdown. The price of oil has slumped below $30 a barrel, half what it was two months ago. Oil and gas traditionally account for two-thirds of Russian exports. That has sent the rouble sliding. The currency has lost nearly a third of its value since early January. Yet even as the world’s richest countries are in turmoil, taking on vast sums of debt to cushion the blow, Russia’s economy shows few signs of panic. The Russian economy is less sensitive to the shock because it has already been self-isolating for the past six years.Click here to read....

EAEU countries will ban the export of a number of products due to coronavirus, 31 March 2020

The Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) decided to ban the export of a number of products from the EAEU until June 30. Because of the coronavirus, countries will stop exporting buckwheat, rice, onions, sunflower seeds and other important products. Click here to read....

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