The decree came into effect on March 15. The use of medical masks in Moscow is now only allowed in medical institutions if their management allows it. “The use of masks on subways, buses, streets or any other location is equated with intent to hide one’s identity from surveillance cameras or law enforcement,” the authorities said. Anyone who still puts a mask on their face must expect a fine of 5000 to 75 000 rubles (42 to 630 euros).
Various corona measures were still in force in Moscow until recently. For example, companies were obliged to measure the body temperature of their employees and to set up partition walls at workplaces.
The main reason for the end of the mask regulations is likely to be a concern about terrorism. Russia is conducting a special operation in Ukraine, and currently has more pressing issues than worrying about face masks.
The Austrian columnist and former chairman of the FPÖ spin-off BZÖ (Bündnis Zukunft Österreich), Gerald Grosz, has meanwhile sent an open letter to the Stockholm Nobel Committee, in which he nominated the Kremlin boss for the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Putin “single-handedly managed within a few days” to defeat Corona worldwide, he explained.
The EU has also developed not only a new view on the importance of Covid transmissibility, but quite a unique understanding of the notion of “peace”. At a meeting of foreign and defense ministers, it agreed to double the volume for arms deliveries to Ukraine to one billion euros. The funds are to be made available from the so-called “peace” fund. Many security analysts have warned that such weapons could end up in the EU through smugglers.
Because military operations cannot be financed from the EU budget, in March 2021 the EU approved a fund with a budget of 5 billion euros, which can be used to finance foreign operations and military aid for partner countries. This also makes weapon deliveries possible.
These missions were previously primarily intended to secure peace, prevent conflicts, ensure the rule of law and stop pirates and people smugglers. But this is no longer the aim of the “European Peace Facility”.