19 Dec, 2020

News digest for 12/18/2020

Christopher Robinson, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, spoke about the introduction of new sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

We would not like to impose sanctions, but we will have to do so. We will continue to use the Nord Stream 2 sanctions regime. I would say that the sanctions are working and we will continue to impose them until the project stops, ”Christopher Robinson said during an Internet conference of the Washington Atlantic Council.

The State Department spokesman is confident that the shutdown of Nord Stream 2 will be the key to improving relations between the United States and Russia in the future.

Today Moscow is trying to expand its influence in Europe with the help of this pipeline. To improve relations with Washington, it is necessary to prevent the launch of Nord Stream 2, added Christopher Robinson.

Russia has increased investments in US government bonds

In October 2020, the Russian Federation increased its investments in US government bonds by $ 192 million, to $ 6.2 billion, according to data from the US Treasury Department. Japan remained the largest US creditor, but its investments in government bonds decreased by $ 6.7 billion, to $ 1 trillion 269.5 billion

A quantum computer helped Swedish physicists solve a practical problem

For the first time, physicists from Sweden were able to use a prototype of a quantum computer to solve a practical problem – the researchers made the calculations necessary to optimize the logistics of air travel. About this, with reference to the publication in the publication Physical Review Applied, writes the TASS news agency.

Siluanov urged regions to speed up spending of budget funds

The head of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov, referring to the regions, urged not to delay the spending of budget funds and “let money into the economy.” He said this on December 18 during a joint board meeting of the Ministry of Finance of Tatarstan, the Federal Tax Service and the Federal Treasury for the republic.

Finnish Nordea Group closes Nordea Bank in Russia

The bank will fulfill all obligations to customers and provide comfortable conditions for closing accounts, according to its official website.

In accordance with the approved strategy, the Nordea group will concentrate its activities in the Scandinavian region, therefore it was decided to partially close the international network, including business in Russia, – the message says.

New procedure for the formation of the minimum wage

The State Duma in the second, main reading considered a bill on a new procedure for the formation of the minimum wage (minimum wage) and the living wage. Recall that the new methodology is not tied to the consumer basket, but to the median income and median salary.

The minimum wage is set at 42% of the median salary and will amount to 12,792 rubles in 2021. The living wage will amount to 11,653 rubles in 2021. (average Russian indicator). The percentage should be revised at least once every five years. The minimum wage cannot decrease in relation to last year – this is spelled out in the Constitution.

The State Duma did not support the amendment to bring the minimum wage to 50% of the median salary. The document is expected to be adopted in the third, final reading tomorrow, December 16

Sberbank will finance the construction of a bridge across the Lena in Yakutia

PJSC Sberbank will finance the construction of a bridge across the Lena River near the village of Staraya Tabaga in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The corresponding loan agreement was signed between the VIS Group and the bank. This was reported by the VIS press service on Thursday, December 17

Coca-Cola will cut employees around the world

2,200 Coca-Cola employees worldwide will be laid off to save money. Of these, 1,200 will lose their jobs in the United States. According to the estimates of the top management of this corporation, this way, from 350 to 550 million dollars will be saved in a year.

Transfer data about e-wallets to the tax authorities

In Russia, banks from January 6 will transmit information to the Federal Tax Service about the money of citizens in electronic wallets, RBC reported on Thursday, December 17. We are talking about such services as “YuMoney” (formerly “Yandex.Money”), QIWI, WebMoney and some others

Airlines without Superjet will cut subsidies for transportation in regions by half

In 2021, the government will reduce subsidies to airlines that do not have Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ) in their fleet, but will increase the amount of subsidies for enterprises with these aircraft. This follows from the list of subsidized regional routes for 2021 (routes bypassing Moscow), which was approved by the head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Alexander Neradko at the end of November, and the rules for the distribution of subsidies.

Subsidies for regional transportation of airlines that do not fly on the Superjet will be halved in 2021 – by 5.1 billion rubles. Almost 70% of all subsidies, both federal and regional, will go to companies with this aircraft in the fleet. The largest recipients of subsidies for regional transportation in 2021 will include the following airlines flying on the Superjet: Yamal, IrAero, Azimut and Red Wings, as well as four without SSJs in the fleet – S7, RusLine, ” UVT Aero “and Utair.

Sovcombank to provide a loan to Turkey for the construction of Akkuyu NPP

Sovcombank will provide Akkuyu Nuclear JSC with a loan of up to $ 300 million for a period of 7 years for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Turkey. This was reported in a press release from the credit institution.

Komi intends to maintain coal production until 2030

The government of the Komi Republic is seeking to maintain coal production in the amount of 12-15 million tons per year by modernizing existing mines and building new production facilities. This is provided for in the development strategy of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and in terms of the development of single-industry towns in Vorkuta and Inta, the regional government told TASS.

Analysts estimated the net outflow of funds of Russians from banks

The Russians withdrew 1.5 trillion rubles from their ruble and foreign currency bank accounts and deposits from January to October this year. Analysts of the National Rating Agency (NRA) believe that by the end of the year the volume may increase by another 200-300 billion rubles, reports RBC.

The amount of taxes for the year that will be transferred to the Russian budget

The receipt of taxes in the federal budget of Russia this year will amount to 20.6 trillion rubles, writes TASS with reference to the deputy head of the Federal Tax Service (FTS) of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Volvach. The indicated amount is 9.4% less than in 2019.

SUEK will create a new transport holding

Russia’s largest coal producer SUEK will create a new transport holding. Seven port terminals and a fleet of almost 55,000 railway open-top wagons, as well as the transport assets of another company of billionaire Andrei Melnichenko, a fertilizer supplier EuroChem, will pass under his management. This was told to RBC by two sources close to the businessman’s companies and familiar with his plans.

Samsung unveils 5G Galaxy Book Flex 2 convertible laptop

Samsung has announced the Galaxy Book Flex 2 hybrid laptop with an 11th Gen Intel Core processor. Acceptance of orders for the new product will open on December 21, and actual sales will begin on January 1.

Belarus proposes to raise taxes

Some taxes are proposed to temporarily increase in Belarus to compensate for the costs provoked by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, said First Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic Dmitry Kiyko.

As additional measures on a temporary basis in 2021-2022, it is proposed to increase the profit tax rate for mobile operators and the operator for the mandatory provision of universal telecommunication services from 18% to 30%. It is proposed to increase the income tax rate from 25% to 30% for pawnshops, the state agency Belta quotes Kiiko.

Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus and Rosgvardia signed a cooperation agreement

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus and the National Guard signed a cooperation agreement, the corresponding document was published by the Belarusian side. The agencies will cooperate on the protection of public order and security, the protection of important state facilities and special cargo, the fight against terrorism and extremism, state control in the field of arms circulation, the protection of especially important and sensitive facilities, as well as some other

In the new film adaptation of Shakespeare, Hamlet will become a woman

The actress has already been found – this is the Swedish Noomi Rapace. Stage director – “festival” Iranian, Swedish-Danish director Ali Abbasi. According to Deadline, Rapace assures that Hamlet is the role of her dreams, while Abbasi promises that Shakespeare, who “stole the story from them,” from a fresh reading of the original source “will turn over in his grave,” calls for “to make Hamlet great again” and promises a “crazy and bloody” picture.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation creates a cyber police in its structure

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia organizes a cyber police in its structure, the corresponding decision has already been made by the head of the department, Vladimir Kolokoltsev. According to TASS, he said this in an interview with the project “Personally for Children”, which is being implemented by the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights and the Children’s Public Council (DOS), Deputy Interior Minister of Russia Igor Zubov.

The ecological situation in Kamchatka is under control

The bloom of the flagellated algae Karenia (Karenia selliformis) caused the mass death of marine animals in the Avacha Bay off the coast of Kamchatka, said Tatyana Orlova, deputy director of the A. V. Zhirmunsky National Research Center for Marine Biology.

“In the midst of <…> blooming [of algae], up to three tons of organic matter per one square kilometer of the water area were daily entering the coastal waters of Kamchatka,” Orlova said.

Decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Russia

Restrictions were imposed on the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympics and World Championships in 2021 and 2022 (although initially WADA threatened to impose restrictions for 4 years)

Pure Russian athletes are allowed to participate in competitions on a general basis – under a neutral flag. However, they can use the colors of the Russian tricolor and the word “Russia” in its form.

Using the Russian anthem is also prohibited.

Russia is deprived of the right to host the Olympic, Paralympic Games or World Championships and to apply for them (except for those already approved).

The Russian president, prime minister, other members of the government and sports officials are prohibited from participating in official events, but can travel as guests of honor

Oil flies are insects whose larvae live in crude oil

Oil flies (Helaeomyia petrolei) are the only insects known to science that can live and feed on crude oil. This species was first discovered at La Brea Ranch in California, where there are several bituminous lakes.

As you know, oil is a very toxic substance for most animals. However, as larvae, oil flies swim close to the oil surface and breathe through special spiracles that protrude above the oil slick. Flies eat large amounts of oil, but mainly insects that enter it. Sometimes the intestines of flies are completely filled with oil.

Until now, scientists have not described the mating behavior of these flies, as well as where they lay their eggs. However, it is assumed that this is not happening inside the oil basin.

US launches investigation into Russian money laundering in the Baltics

According to Dagens Industri, Sweden’s Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) and Swedbank, as well as Denmark’s largest Danske Bank, are suspected of fraud and anti-money laundering violations in their subsidiaries in the Baltic States.

All three banks came under the gun in connection with their activities in Estonia, which served as a transit point on the way to Europe of hundreds of billions of dollars of shadow capital from the Russian Federation. A key link in the scheme, which began in the 1990s, was Danske Bank, which admitted in 2019 that most of the $ 230 billion in funds that passed through its Estonian subsidiary in 2007-15 could be of Russian origin.

Money went from Danske to Swedbank, where € 20 billion in transactions were discovered between 2008 and 2018. This flow included the money of ex-Minister for Open Government Affairs Mikhail Abyzov, who spent $ 860 million in offshore companies through Swedbank.

Russians have difficulty buying medicines

Over the past two months, more than a third of Russians, 35%, have encountered difficulties in buying medicines, – the Public Opinion Foundation reports. Among those who had difficulties, 17% complained about the lack of necessary drugs or a shortage of drugs in pharmacies. 10% noted an increase in prices for medicines, 9% said they did not have antibiotics and antiviral drugs

Do you believe in evolution?

As a recent survey shows, 24% of Russians believe that people and other living things have existed in their current form from the very beginning of time. And no evolution! This is above the world average of 21%. In Europe, the share of supporters of creationism is Poland (29%). In the USA – 32%. But Malaysia turned out to be the undisputed leader: 55% of the inhabitants of this country believe in the creation of life in its present form.

And most of the supporters of evolution turned out to be in Japan (88%), Spain (87%) and Sweden (85%).