Staunton, Sept. 6 – The pandemic has seriously reduced the activities of embassies and consulates. Diplomats no longer can perform as they did, and so contacts between the representatives of different countries are contracting. According to Yury Sigov, this situation will continue indefinitely.
In a NG-Dipkurkyer commentary, the journalist who specializes on international affairs says that countries are unlikely to change how their diplomats function until all restrictions are lifted everywhere, and this may prompt new questions about how useful embassies and consulates are (ng.ru/dipkurer/2021-09-06/10_8243_pause.html).
And he suggests there is likely to be rising unhappiness among diplomats because many of the avenues for advancement, such as impressing delegations of officials from their home countries or organizing meetings of all kinds between their country and their host nation, are now closed.
To the extent that governments decide they don’t need as many people in embassies abroad and currently employed diplomats see no future for themselves in their current line of work, Sigov concludes, that is likely to depress not only the numbers but the skill levels of those representing Russia and other countries as well.
Today, Russian officials reported registering 17,856 new cases of infection and 790 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued its irregular development across the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/3517 and regnum.ru/news/society/3361504.html).
Evaluating progress is difficult because there are so many metrics. For example, in St. Petersburg, infections are down and deaths are stable but the coefficient of distribution – the number of people who are likely to be infected by anyone who has the disease -- has jumped to 1.34, far above any figure earlier and one that points to disaster in the future (regnum.ru/news/3362582.html and regnum.ru/news/3362345.html).
A major reason that dissemination rates appear to be on the rise is that contacts are increasing as schools reopen and as people refuse to follow masking and distancing restrictions. In some places, for example, parents are pulling their children out of school lest they get sick (regnum.ru/news/3362305.html).
Two legal problems have arisen in the city of Moscow. Those vaccinated early on are finding that officials won’t renew them and thus they are excluded from bonuses and other benefits (kommersant.ru/doc/4975418). And those denied the possibility of getting ordinary surgeries and medical treatment because of the pandemic have gone to court to seek to force the city officials to change their approach (kommersant.ru/doc/4975417).
Because infections and deaths have risen among the Orthodox religious, Patriarch Kirill this week went back to the distance arrangements he maintained at the start of the pandemic. His decision to isolate himself during services has attracted widespread and in some places critical comment (credo.press/238828/).
And finally, the Russian Central Bank released a study of economic activity in Russia’s regions over the summer. It found that most but not all regions were seeing improvements from their pandemic lows (iarex.ru/articles/82422.html).