13 Янв, 2022

Passport strength rating

Published data of the World Passport Index for the first quarter of 2022 from Henley & Partners.

Passports of Singapore and Japan share the first place in the index, which means that the borders of 192 countries of the world are open to the citizens of these countries. Germany and South Korea share the second place with visa-free access to 190 countries.

Analysts have noticed the growing inequality between the countries of the global North and the global South. For example, Swedish and US citizens can travel to over 180 destinations without a visa, while passport holders of Angola, Cameroon and Laos can only travel to 50 destinations without a visa.

Russia and the CIS countries changed their positions insignificantly during the quarter of observations. Russia acquired visa-free access to Pakistan and moved from 51st to 46th place in the ranking. Holders of a Russian passport can, in theory, travel to 119 destinations without a visa.

Ukraine has risen from 37th to 35th place, having concluded an agreement on visa-free access with the French overseas territories and Oman. Holders of a Ukrainian passport can travel without a visa or with a visa upon arrival in 141 countries of the world.

 

<<< News Feed January 13, 2022 >>>

 

Speaking in the House of Commons, the British Prime Minister admitted that he was at a garden party in Downing Street on 20 May 2020 and said he regretted it. According to Johnson, he came to the party because he wanted to thank government employees, and after 25 minutes he returned to work, according to Sky News. At the same time, the prime minister was sure that he had attended a working event.

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Freight train without drivers rolled away from Slovakia to Hungary. The incident occurred at night after a switchboard at a railway station in Slovakia went out. The unmanaged train drove along the sloping terrain past the city of Kosice. The railroad was unable to stop the train and it crossed the border, according to Iho.

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In the US, the owners of EthereumMax tokens sued celebrities who advertised this cryptocurrency. The lawsuit alleges that celebrities, including Floyd Mayweather and Kim Kardashian, promoted a «speculative token.» The crypt, which grew by leaps and bounds in a couple of months, then collapsed six times.

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Until the end of this month, testing of the digital ruble will start — the third form of money in Russia along with paper and non-cash funds. The experimental launch group included 12 banks: Sberbank, VTB, Alfa, Gazprombank, Rosbank, Tinkoff, PSB, DOM.RF, Ak Bars, SKB Bank, Soyuz Bank and TKB.

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In the United States, senators officially introduced a bill on new sanctions against the Russian Federation in the event of a further aggravation of the crisis in Ukraine

— The document obliges to impose sanctions on high-ranking officials: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Valery Gerasimov; as well as against «the commanders of the various branches of the armed forces, including the air force and the navy»;

— The document obliges the President to impose restrictions on at least three banks and financial institutions listed: Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Moscow Credit Bank, Alfa-Bank, Otkritie Bank, PSB, Sovcombank, Transcapitalbank, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund ( RDIF) and VEB. RF «;

— Gives the right to impose sanctions on financial means of messaging such as SWIFT; requires reporting on measures to terminate the provision of services to banks under sanctions;

— Prohibits operations with primary and secondary public debt of Russia.

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The Polish government has announced a temporary reduction in the VAT rate on energy and products. For fuel, natural gas and heat, VAT will be reduced from 23 to 8%, for electricity — from 23 to 5%, for some products — to 0%

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The Russians before the New Year scored a record amount of loans. Compared to November, the figure increased by 10% and amounted to almost 1.4 trillion rubles.

And in just a year, Russians collected loans from banks for 14.1 trillion rubles (+ 33.5% by 2020), which is also a historical maximum

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The Armenian airline Flyone Armenia has received permission from the Turkish authorities to operate flights to Istanbul, the Chairman of the Board of Directors reports. The first flight Yerevan — Istanbul — Yerevan is scheduled for February 2

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Saudi Aramco, the state oil company of the kingdom, has signed a long-term contract to supply Poland’s PKN Orlen with up to 337,000 barrels per day, Bloomberg reports. Saudi supplies, which will be delivered by tankers to the ports of the Baltic Sea, will more than triple and cover almost half of the oil consumption in Poland, which is 650-700 thousand barrels per day. Saudi barrels will replace supplies from Rosneft via the Druzhba pipeline.

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Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia asked NATO to increase its military presence on their territory. Such a measure would be seen as a deterrent and could be discussed at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in February. Now there are about a thousand NATO soldiers in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia

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The State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine did not give permission to the Ukrainian importer to import three children’s books from Russia because of the illustrations that use the symbols of the Russian Federation, its law enforcement and military structures.

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The US Treasury imposed sanctions against Parsek LLC registered in Moscow, as well as against Russian citizen Roman Anatolyevich Alar due to ties with the DPRK. In addition, six North Korean citizens living in Moscow, Vladivostok and China were included in the sanctions list.

The Russian company Parsec is a key source of goods and technology for North Korea’s missile program, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a statement.

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Hungary introduced state regulation of food prices: for sugar, flour, vegetable oil, milk, pork hams and chicken breasts, shops were ordered to return their prices to the level of October 15.

Prime Minister Orban explained that the rise in prices for basic products was caused by a huge rise in gas prices. Earlier, Hungary, to support citizens, limited the rise in gasoline prices and launched a policy of reducing utility bills.

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Former deputy head of the Department of Capital Construction of the Engineering and Technical Support Service of the FSO, Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Golokhvostov, is accused of taking a bribe of 20 million rubles for concealing violations during the construction and reconstruction of facilities on the territory of the residence of the President of Russia in Novo-Ogaryovo

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Police officers will be fired from service if they do not adhere to neutral political views. The department said that employees must adhere to neutral views, in accordance with the federal law «On Service in the Internal Affairs Bodies.» The same is stated in the article “Impartiality” of the Law on Police.

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Over the year, the number of workers under 30 in Russia has decreased by almost 460 thousand people, follows from Rosstat data

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Iran, Venezuela, Sudan, Antigua and Barbuda, Congo, Guinea, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu will lose their right to vote in the UN General Assembly due to debt to the organization.

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Access to socially significant information resources in Russia has become free. Such norms are contained in the resolution of the Cabinet, which comes into force on January 13. The list includes, for example, official websites of state and local governments, state off-budget funds of Russia, portals of state and municipal services. By decision of the government commission, other information resources of social significance may be included in the list. In particular, these are sites that influence the spiritual and moral education of young people.

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35 thousand fake news on the Internet were identified in 2020 by the working group of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, including on official media websites

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The Swedish government plans to offer residents compensation for December, January and February electricity bills, which hit record highs this winter. Compensation will be calculated on a scale based on household energy consumption, writes The Local.

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During the New Year holidays, Moscow restaurateurs were able to increase their revenue by 10-22%. Moreover, this was facilitated not by an increase in the number of visitors, who are still less likely than before the pandemic to eat out, but by a rise in the price of products and raw materials against the backdrop of general inflation.

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In the Lebanese capital, Beirut, clashes erupted between protesters and soldiers near the Central Bank during a demonstration against a further drop in living standards in the country. Protesters blocked the street, threw and set fire to garbage cans, painted on the walls and destroyed the bank fence.

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China has another boycott, this time of KFC and toy retailer Pop Mart, as they encourage over-buying and fuel food waste. So one customer bought 106 dishes, spending nearly 10,500 yuan ($1,650) to get a complete toy collection, throwing away most of the food.

«As a food retailer, KFC encouraged the unsustainable purchase of excessive amounts of food,» said the China Consumers Association. «This is contrary to morals and norms, as well as the spirit of the law.»

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The European Court of Human Rights awarded seven Russians 26,400 euros in compensation for illegal detentions at protests in 2017. According to the ECtHR, the authorities violated the applicants’ rights to a fair trial, liberty and security of person

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The number of tourists who visited the Maldives in 2021 exceeded the record of 2019 by 2.7 times, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia reported, citing data from local authorities. In total, 222.4 thousand Russian tourists visited the Maldives in 2021. In 2019, their number was 83.3 thousand.

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The subsidiary of Sberbank in Kazakhstan allocated 550 million tenge (almost 95 million rubles) for the restoration of Alma-Ata, Informburo.kz reports.

The funds were used to purchase ten new ambulances, as several ambulances were destroyed in the recent riots. In addition, the allocated money will be used to repair the building of the National Library and the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan.

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Thanks to Rosnano, a new industry, the nanoindustry, has been created in the country, and the volume of production of nanoproducts has been growing in recent years, Anatoly Chubais, the ex-head of the company, special representative of the President of Russia for relations with international organizations on sustainable development, told reporters.

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In 2022, the Russian Ministry of Finance will submit to the State Duma a draft of the next reform, which is designed to restore the funded part of pensions, frozen in 2014, to life, Izvestia reports, citing a federal official and market sources.

The new system, which the participants in the discussion called «Plan B», will allow citizens to independently save for their old age in addition to state pensions paid by the FIU.

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In Belarus, the widow of TUT.BY founder Yury Zisser, Yulia Chernyavskaya, was released from house arrest. At the same time, Chernyavskaya is still being accused in a criminal case of tax evasion.

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Gorbachev was sued by relatives of those killed in Vilnius. Court hearings in the case of the January events of 1991, when 14 people were killed during protests near the Vilnius Tower, have been ongoing in Lithuania since 2016. The prosecutor’s office claims that they were killed by Soviet soldiers.

As the son of one of the victims, Robertas Povilaitis, stated, the criminal process would be incomplete without bringing Mikhail Gorbachev to justice, who at that time was the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the USSR and «did not stop the bloodshed.»

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CSTO — the anti-terrorist operation in Kazakhstan is over. The withdrawal of collective peacekeeping forces from Kazakhstan began today, January 13, and will continue for 10 days

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