News of the Day: 7 February 2021

The Moscow Times: The European Union’s top diplomat Sunday said Russia was rejecting constructive dialogue with the EU and that Europe must draw the consequences, including the possibility of new sanctions. In a blog post, Josep Borrell said the shock expulsion of three EU diplomats during his two-day visit to Moscow, showed that Russia “did not want to seize this opportunity to have a more constructive dialogue with the EU.” The bloc “will have to draw the consequences” he wrote, insisting that “it will be for member states to decide the next steps, and yes, these could include sanctions.” Borrell’s trip, which ended on Saturday, had been a controversial journey that divided the EU’s 27 member states, with France and Germany backing dialogue with the Kremlin.

The Moscow Times: Russia confirmed 16,048 new coronavirus cases and 432 deaths. All university students in Moscow will return to in-person classes starting Feb. 8, according to Moscow Mayor’s decree cited by the state-run Interfax news agency Friday.  Nicaragua has registered Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced Wednesday. A total of six Latin American states have approved the use of Russia’s jab.  Russia will resume flights with Armenia and Azerbaijan starting Feb. 15, according to a government decree issued Wednesday. Train connections to and from Belarussian capital Minsk will resume from Feb. 8.  Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is 91.6% effective against symptomatic Covid-19, according to final-stage clinical trials results published in the medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday.

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