Russia ready to regulate, not ban cryptocurrencies

UNTV News   •   January 25, 2018   •   3769

FILE PHOTO: A coin representing the bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen on computer circuit boards in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Finance Ministry said on Thursday it was working on legislation to regulate cryptocurrency transactions without fully banning them or legalising digital FX as a means of payment in Russia.

Russia had initially said it would ban crypto-currencies as they could be used to launder money and finance terrorism. But as such currencies and particularly Bitcoin grew popular worldwide, Russian authorities have changed tack.

The ministry said it had prepared a bill that would permit trade in cryptocurrencies through digital exchanges which met certain conditions and would also cover initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Doing this, the ministry said, would reduce the risk of fraud and make it possible to tax cryptocurrency transactions to support the state budget.

The ministry highlighted that digital currencies and tokens would not be allowed to replace the Russian rouble.

“It should be noted, that the use of cryptocurrencies in the territory of the Russian Federation as a means of payment is not being suggested,” the ministry said in a statement.

Authorities around the world, particularly in Asia, have attempted to rein in the global boom in trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – a form of digital money created and maintained by its users.

Chinese authorities have banned initial coin offerings and shut down local trading platforms, while South Korea – where speculation on cryptocurrencies is also rife – is working on plans to ban virtual coin exchanges.

The Russian ministry stopped short, however, of proposing a full ban.

“Trades with cryptocurrencies have become so widespread, a legal ban on such activity would lead to the creation of conditions for the use of cryptocurrencies as an instrument to service illegal businesses, launder criminal incomes, and finance terrorism,” the Russian ministry said.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Jack Stubbs; Editing by Toby Chopra

Philippines gets first batch of Sputnik light COVID jabs

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday received its first shipment of Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine doses made by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

The NTF said the shipment of 5,000 Sputnik Light jabs arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 at past 2 p.m. This batch was donated by Kremlin.

Sputnik Light is the single-shot version of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. It was approved for emergency use in the Philippines in August.

Aside from this, the Philippines also received additional 2,805,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine procured by the government.

The latest shipment brings the country’s vaccine arrivals to more than 130 million, the NTF said.

 

PH expects to receive 190K doses of Sputnik V vaccine this September – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Around 190,000 doses of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine (component 2) manufactured by Russian firm Gamaleya Research Institute are expected to arrive in the country this month, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Friday.

Galvez said the additional vaccine supply may be delivered by the weekend or early next week.

“This shipment of Sputnik V vaccines shall be used for the second dose. After this, we will be receiving the single-shot Sputnik V Light as we move forward with our vaccine rollout,” he said.

Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19, eased concerns among those who have already received their first dose of Sputnik V.

“As per our vaccine experts from the Department of Health, the gap between first and second doses of Sputnik V can be as long as six months, so no need to worry because the vaccines are arriving soon,” Galvez explained.

This month, the country expects to receive the first batch of government-procured Sputnik V Light vaccines consisting of 1 million doses.

“The Sputnik V Light is more efficient because we will be able to protect more people faster. This would eliminate the problem wherein people fail to return for their second dose,” Galvez noted.

As of September 15, the country has received a total of 57,547,610 vaccine doses from various manufacturers, of which over 36 million doses were procured by the national government.

The country has also breached the 40 million mark in terms of COVID-19 jabs administered, with 40,030,388 shots given as of September 15. Of this number, 17,675,959 were fully vaccinated and 22,354,429 received their first dose.

Delivery of 50K doses of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines moved to a later date — NTF

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The delivery of some 50,000 doses of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has been deferred, National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said Wednesday.

Galvez said the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has informed the Philippine government that the delivery of additional Sputnik V vaccine doses will be moved to a later date due to ongoing upgrades and latest developments on the vaccine.

The vaccine jabs were supposed to be delivered on June 20.

Galvez said no definite date has been set for the delivery of the vaccines.

These doses were intended as the second dose for those who were inoculated with the brand’s Component I vaccines earlier this month.

“We have already informed all local government units who have administered the first dose of Sputnik V to their constituents that the schedule for the second shot will likewise be pushed back and will be rescheduled,” Galvez said.

Malacañang, meanwhile, assured the public that the delay in the delivery of the brand’s Component II will not compromise the vaccine’s efficacy.

“So wala pong epekto yung kaunting delay, it will even be more ideal for efficacy na madelay yung second dose ng Sputnik V,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Nagkaroon na po ng communication yung EUA (emergency use authorization) ng Sputnik V ay papaamyendahan po, apparently mas mataas po ang efficacy kung mas matagal ang period ng first dose sa second dose,” he added.

The NTF said the country’s Food and Drug Administration is currently studying the request of Gamaleya Research Institute, developer of Sputnik V, to amend the interval period between the two doses of the vaccine.

Gamaleya wants to extend the interval period to 90 days from the current 21 days.

The Philippines has so far received 180,000 doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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