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21 May, 2022
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Russian Foreign Minister Arrives In India; To Meet PM Modi And EAM Today

Russian Foreign Minister Arrives In India; To Meet PM Modi And EAM Today

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in India for a two-day official visit. This visit will be Russia’s first-ever visit to the country after it launched an invasion against Ukraine. As informed by the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Mr Lavrov is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today. Sources close to the development said that India  is likely to press the issue of timely delivery of various military hardware of the S-400 missile systems by Russia. Prior to visiting India, Russian Foreign Minister has concluded a two-day visit to China. Unlike many other countries, India has abstained from voting against Russia’s action in Ukraine at the United  Nations Security Council voting. However, India is constantly pressing for the resolution of the Russia-Ukraine war through dialogue and diplomacy. There are also reports of Russia wanting to supply crude oil to India at pre-war prices. Last week, EAM S Jaishankar said in the Parliament that India’s response on Ukraine has been “steadfast and consistent” and that it has been wanting immediate cessation of violence.

Covid-Bulletin: India Records 1,335 New Cases; Recovery Rate At 98.76%

According to the latest data released by the union health ministry, India has registered 1,335 new covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The active caseload of the country currently stands at 13,672. Meanwhile, daily recoveries continue to outnumber active covid-19 cases with recording 1,918 recoveries in the previous 24 hours. The total recoveries have reached to 4,24,90,922. The daily and weekly positivity rates stand at 0.22% and 0.23% respectively. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, the country has conducted 78.97 crore covid-19 tests so far. On the vaccination front, India has administered 184.31 crore covid-19 vaccine doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.

Maharashtra Becomes The First “Mask-Free” State In India

On Thursday, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government approved the lifting of all covid-19 restrictions from the state including the wearing of masks at public places. Along with making masks optional at public places, the cabinet decision also included that all shopping complexes, cinema, halls, malls, restaurants, bars, gyms, spas, wellness centres, places of worship, tourist places will operate at 100% capacity. No restrictions will be there on inter and intra-state movement including railways and public transports. The Maharashtra government has also withdrawn the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act which were put in place during to the covid-19 pandemic. Speaking about the same, CM Thackeray said: “For the past two years, we have successfully battled the deadly coronavirus, and today, the scourge seems to be fading. To make a fresh start, the restrictions imposed during the corona period under the Disaster Management and the Epidemic Diseases Acts, are being completely lifted from Gudi Padwa (April 2),”

Pakistan Political Crisis: Pak PM Targets The USA During His Rally

On Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan accused the United States of interfering in Pakistan’s politics as a debate on no-confidence motion passed against him was postponed. Since being elected in 2018, Mr Khan has been facing the biggest challenge to his rule with his party losing majority in the Parliament and a no-confidence motion passed against him. Addressing the nation on late Thursday, Pak PM said: “America has — oh, not America but a foreign country I can’t name. I mean from a foreign country, we received a message,” “They say that ‘our anger will vanish if Imran Khan loses this no-confidence vote’,” he added. The claim by Pakistan PM was quickly denied by the Washington as State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters: “We are closely following developments in Pakistan. We respect (and) we support Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law,” During the rally, Pakistan PM Imran Khan pointed out that Pakistan was asked to sacrifice too much in Washington’s war on terror post 9/11 incident and in turn, got too little recognition or reward. Mr Khan said: “Has anyone said thank you Pakistan for what we did?” Meanwhile, the no-confidence motion was due to begin on Thursday but the Deputy Speaker from Khan’s party suspended the proceedings. The Pakistan Parliament will again sit on Sunday.

Sri Lanka Economic Crisis: Protests Erupt In Front of Sri Lanka President’s Residence

Sri Lanka is facing its worst-ever economic crisis with shortage of essential goods such as fuel, cooking gas and electricity. As the economic crisis deepened, protests erupted in front of the Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s residence with people demanding his resignation. Protestors were seen shouting slogans and saying that Rajapaksa’s gross mismanagement has led the island nation under the worst economic crisis in decades. Public was seen chanting: “No petrol, no gas, no milk powder, no electricity, Go home Gota” On Thursday, Sri Lanka turned off street lights in several parts to save electricity and power cuts were lasted for upto 13 hours. The Sri Lankan government does not have any foreign exchange left to pay for its fuel imports and several government-run hospitals have stopped conducting surgeries as they are running out of life-saving medicines. As per the country’s central bank, the inflation rate had reached to 17.5% in February 2022 and is expected to rise in the coming days as the Sri Lankan government has allowed free floating of the local currency. Meanwhile, Rajapaksa has been defending his government by saying that the current economic crisis is not a forex crisis and largely pandemic-driven.

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