18 Янв, 2022

The end of the era of «golden» passports

The European Union decided for the first time to punish an entire country for trading in passports that give the right to visa-free entry into the EU.

The European Commission is proposing a partial suspension of an agreement with Vanuatu that allows Vanuatu citizens to enter the EU without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-period.

The suspension will not affect everyone — they will ban visa-free entry into the EU for those who received a passport after May 25, 2015, when the Vanuatu authorities began a massive sale of citizenship.

Europe does not like that Vanuatu issues passports to literally everyone (in 2020, only one person was refused), and many of these dubious individuals are listed in the Interpol databases.

While the EU sanctions are not yet in effect, this is just a suggestion. But with a high degree of probability, the ban will become a reality and will be introduced within a year. And then the Vanuatu passport will lose its charm. In the future, the same fate may befall the passports of other island states.

 

<<< News Feed January 18, 2022 >>>

 

In 11 months of 2021, 11 million Russians lost the right to travel abroad due to debts. Debtors restricted to travel abroad became three million, or 37.5% more than a year earlier.

In total, during this period, the bailiffs recovered more than 800 billion rubles, of which 125 billion were due to restrictions on the right to leave.

It’s easy to get blacklisted. The amount of the debt must exceed 30 thousand rubles, or more than 10 thousand rubles for alimony

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American scientists have found that although we cannot taste the difference between sugar and a sweetener, the intestines do an excellent job of this task. Moreover, it informs the brain about the sweetener eaten and it again requires sweets.

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Apple posted on its website an electronic form for Russians to apply, as required by the new Russian law

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On the eve of the New Year, the Russians opened a record number of credit cards in banks, analysts of the United Credit Bureau calculated. Consumers had 2.1 million new credit cards in December, 200,000 or 11% more than in November. Compared to December 2020, the scale increased by 58%, and in total last year, banks issued 17.1 million cards to individuals against 11.7 million a year earlier.

According to Rosstat and the Central Bank, two-thirds of the additional spending of the population last year was paid in debt: consumer spending increased by 6.7 trillion rubles, and loans from the banking system — by 4.635 trillion rubles. As of December 1, individuals owed credit institutions a record 24.679 trillion rubles.

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Serik Suleimenov, special envoy of the President of Kazakhstan to Baikonur, has been relieved of his post, according to the website of the head of state.

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In Moscow, the President of Iran will hold talks with Vladimir Putin, and at the same time will address the deputies of the State Duma. Ebrahim Raisi is a conservative, a supporter of increased control of the Internet and the fight against Western values.

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The revenue of the American Meta Platforms Inc., the owner of the social networks Facebook and Instagram, as well as the non-monetized messenger WhatsApp, in 2020 in Russia could amount to 39.8 billion rubles. This follows from the full text of the decision of the justice of the peace of the Tagansky district of Moscow, available to RBC, according to which on December 24, 2021, a turnover fine of 1.99 billion rubles was imposed on the company. The revenue of the Russian network «VKontakte» in that year amounted to ₽25.4 billion

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The head of Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, believes that 20 ships were blocked in the ice of the Arctic at the end of 2021 due to inconsistency with the Ministry of Transport. He believes that the administration of the NSR should go to Rosatom

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The Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia announced the start of the bombing of the Yemeni capital Sanaa in response to the Houthis strikes on the territory of the UAE. Civilians were urged to stay away from military camps and rebel gatherings.

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Canada sent a small contingent of special forces soldiers to Ukraine, Global News reports, citing sources. According to them, this is «part of the efforts that NATO allies are undertaking to deter Russian aggression and identify ways to support the Ukrainian government.»

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The Pechersk Court of Kiev has postponed the election of a measure of restraint for ex-president Petro Poroshenko to January 19. The leader of the European Solidarity party is suspected of high treason and financing of terrorism. The prosecutor’s office demands to arrest the politician with an alternative bail of 1 billion hryvnia (2.7 billion rubles).

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President Vladimir Putin signed a decree amending the Regulations on the Ministry of Defense and the Regulations on the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces, according to which the powers of the Ministry of Defense and the functions of the General Staff will be expanded. The document was published on the official Internet portal of legal information.

Another one is added to the number of powers of the Ministry of Defense — the ministry, within its competence, participates in the development and implementation of the main directions of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of international information security.

Two additional functions are added to the Regulations on the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for the formation and implementation of state policy in the field of defense: planning measures to ensure international information security, as well as coordinating the activities of military command and control bodies in this area, and developing proposals for the implementation of the main directions of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of international information security.

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China has set itself the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, which is associated with moving away from fossil fuel-based energy production methods.

China Huadian Corporation, one of the country’s three largest energy companies, has announced the construction of the largest photovoltaic farm in the world, which will have a target capacity of 3.3 GW. According to PV Magazine’s website, the construction of the facility will cost 16 billion yuan, or about 191.2 billion rubles. The power plant is planned to be built in Sichuan province in southwest China.

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To mitigate the increase in electricity prices in Estonia, several measures have been developed. All consumers are entitled to partial reimbursement of gas and electricity bills. Families with incomes below the average level receive additional assistance.

There is a calculator on the Internet that can be used to find out if a family is eligible for additional compensation. The relative poverty line for a family with two children under 14 is 2365 euros…

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French presidential candidate fined for inciting racial hatred Erik Zemmour must pay 10,000 euros for harsh criticism of migrant children, Politico reports.

The court dealt with the words of the politician, spoken on the air of the CNews TV channel in November 2020. During a discussion about isolated underage migrants, he said that «they are all thieves, murderers and rapists» and offered to send young visitors back to their homeland.

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Associations representing 700,000 passengers in Italy complained about the Trenord railway company, which is responsible for the railway service in Lombardy, where one-sixth of Italy’s population lives.

In a letter to the governor of the region, Attilio Fontana, the passenger committees report that the number of daily trips over the past four years has decreased from 2.3 thousand to 1.8 thousand, writes corriere.it. In addition, in recent days the number of canceled trains has reached 25%. The authors of the letter call the current situation a catastrophe and demand the resignation of the adviser for infrastructure, transport and sustainable mobility of Lombardy, Claudia Terzi.

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About 37% of all payments in the world in 2021 were made in euros — against 40% in US dollars. At the beginning of 2020, these figures were about 32% and 42% respectively

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The Ministry of Digital Transformation signed a contract with Rostelecom to integrate the public services website with the state biometric system. As a result of the modernization, it will be possible to enter the portal using biometric data, and through a mobile application, citizens will be able to take face and voice samples.

To speed up the collection of biometrics, the Ministry of Digital Development plans to limit the remote receipt of some public services for those who have not submitted biometric casts to the system, Kommersant sources say.

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In 2021, Russian citizens bought almost 5.4 thousand apartments and houses in Turkey. This is 75% more than a year earlier, according to the data of the Turkish Institute of Statistics, which RBC got acquainted with. This is a record sales volume since at least 2015, when Russians bought 2,000 lots of residential property in Turkey.

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The Ministry of Digital Development of Russia is negotiating with Acer, HP and Lenovo on the release of laptops on Russian CPUs. Most likely, they will be equipped with a 28-nanometer Baikal-M. The companies are now sharing a batch of 50,000 Russian processors among themselves. By the end of 2022, about 10 thousand of them should go to the American HP, the remaining 40 thousand in yet unknown proportions will be divided between Acer and Lenovo. Industrial production is scheduled for 2023.

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The new Russian ambassador to Belarus, Boris Gryzlov, will retain the post of Russian plenipotentiary in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) to resolve the situation in Donbass. He told TASS about this. He has held this post since 2015.

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Units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation began to arrive in Belarus as part of an inspection of the reaction forces of the Union State, the Ministry of Defense of the republic said.

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China opened the ports of Dalian and Qingdao for the export of Russian fish

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A court in Kirov sentenced ex-Minister of Forestry Shurgin to 4.5 years in prison in the case of bribery for concluding timber purchase and sale agreements

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Denmark is allocating 22 billion euros to Ukraine to support the security sector, sending «a clear signal of its solidarity with the Ukrainian people.»

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Chief executives of major U.S. passenger and cargo airlines warned on Monday that the new C-Band 5G service, due to begin on Wednesday, could take out a significant number of wide-body aircraft.

Executives from American Airlines (AAL.O), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), United Airlines, Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) sent a letter to the White House stating that potential interference could affect sensitive aircraft instruments such as altimeters. , and significantly complicate work in conditions of poor visibility.

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Following Apple, the Viber messenger, owned by the Japanese holding Rakuten, opened a representative office in Russia to comply with the “landing” law, which came into force in January this year. The social network TikTok also launched the law enforcement process.

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Pupils of school No. 5 in Kurgan accused the new biology teacher of insulting the feelings of believers and complained about the quality of the presentation of educational material after the teacher said that people BELIEVE IN GOD in vain and all prayers do not work. A post about this was published in the Anonymous Kurgan group on the VKontakte social network.

The school management promised to have a serious talk with her, and the Russian Orthodox Church accused her of promoting atheism. The press service of the administration of Kurgan told URA.RU that the teacher did not want to offend anyone’s feelings, her words were misinterpreted.

“According to the information of the head of the educational institution, the children at the lesson studied the topic of the origin of man and considered various theories, including theocratic. According to the Department of Social Policy, in addition, educational organizations in Kurgan will carry out explanatory work with teachers that insulting the feelings of believers is unacceptable, ”the press service of the mayor’s office specified.

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The Russians named the most reliable currencies for savings, according to a survey by the Research Center of the SuperJob.ru portal,

  • 23% of Russians are convinced that the Russian ruble is the most reliable currency for storing personal savings — SuperJob
  • also 23% consider the US dollar to be the most reliable means of storing their savings.
  • 14% of Russians or one in seven give priority to the euro for saving savings,
  • 15% of Russians identify other currencies as the best tool for storing their savings,
  • 25% found it difficult to decide in which currency it is most reliable to keep their savings

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The auction house Sotheby’s will put up for sale the largest diamond in the history of auctions with a size of 555.55 carats. It has never been sold or exhibited publicly. Sotheby’s is selling the lot for cryptocurrency. The price of a diamond at the end may be about 7 million dollars

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The US has informed Greece, Cyprus and Israel that they are no longer supporting the East Mediterranean Gas Pipeline (EastMed) project for both environmental and financial reasons, and also… because the project is causing tension in the region.

The EastMed agreement provides for the transportation of hydrocarbons from Israeli and Cypriot fields to mainland Greece via Cyprus and Crete, and in the future to Italy.

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Two S-400 battalions, a Pantsir-S battalion and 12 Su-35 fighters will be transferred from Russia to Belarus for exercises

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At the end of December, the size of the National Welfare Fund, where since 2017 budget revenues from oil more than $40 per barrel have been stored, decreased by 320.9 billion rubles, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

Real expenditures from the fund, including on infrastructure projects, amounted to 0.3 billion rubles. This money was spent on the purchase of carriages for the Moscow metro and the construction of an airport in Saratov.

Almost the entire financial minus of the NWF was provided by a sharp drop in Sberbank shares, which were purchased from the Central Bank in 2020. The Ministry of Finance lost another 1 billion rubles on the securities of Aeroflot, which were bought as part of the operation to save the national carrier from the crisis

The cumulative total for December and 18 days of January, the National Welfare Fund lost 746 billion rubles on investments in state-owned companies that are rapidly falling in price.

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A person who took a wallet found on the street, but did not try to find its owner, is considered guilty of theft, RIA Novosti was told in the press service of the Second Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction.

The court came to this conclusion after considering the case of a Muscovite who found a wallet with money and documents at the entrance of her house. She spent the money, and kept the wallet at home until the police arrived. As a result, the court found her guilty of theft, fined her 25,000 rubles and ordered her to return the 40,000 spent to the victim.

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The Department of the Investigative Committee for Tatarstan opened a criminal case against the general director of the PSO «Kazan» Ravil Ziganshin, who during the 2018 FIFA World Cup was engaged in the construction of two stadiums, in Samara and Saransk. This was reported on the website of the department.

According to investigators, the suspect submitted declarations and other documents to the tax inspectorate, in which, among other things, he indicated fictitious information on transactions with seven counterparties. Thus, the damage from non-payment of taxes in the UK was estimated at 2.7 billion rubles.

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Rosnano will withdraw from the Wind Energy Development Fund, which is jointly with Fortum PJSC, which invests in wind generation projects, the state-owned company said in a statement received by RBC.

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The Ministry of Finance will not hold traditional federal loan bond (OFZ) auctions, which were scheduled for Wednesday, January 19. This is stated in the message of the Ministry of Finance.

The decision of the Ministry of Finance was made against the backdrop of another collapse of Russian stock indices, caused by the growth of geopolitical tensions. The RTS index fell by 5.6% to 1392 points, its ruble equivalent — the Moscow Exchange index — by 5.1% to 3376 points.

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