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Brussels demands € 200 million a day from AstraZeneca due to vaccine delays

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The European Commission has assessed the damage caused by the delay in shipping vaccines from AstraZeneca. Brussels will charge € 10 for every dose received after June 30, a figure that the bloc estimates at roughly € 200 million a day. A fine of EUR 10 million is added to this amount, according to elEconomista.

At best, the EU should receive 100 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine by June 30, but Brussels wants 120 million. It is this 20 million delay that forces the Commission to claim 200 million euros for each day of delay. However, the amount may vary depending on the delivery.

The 120 million vaccines required by the Commission are far fewer than the contract signed in 2020. The document said that the British pharmaceutical company should send 120 million by March 31, 2021 and 180 million between April and June. Fewer than 60 million vaccines have been delivered to date.

“AstraZeneca has sold the same vaccine to different customers several times,” said a European Commission lawyer who accused the pharmaceutical company of diverting the Commission’s purchased vaccines to other countries.

Other pharmaceutical companies whose vaccines have been approved have also experienced delays in the supply of their vaccines, but the Commission is satisfied with the rationale to date. This did not happen with AstraZeneca because they believe they acted in bad faith.

“AstraZeneca is not interested in prioritizing one country over another,” said pharmaceutical lawyer Hakim Bularbach, who denied the lab had committed “flagrant breach” of contract.

The pharmaceutical company also claims that meeting this “tentative” schedule was not possible due to the difficulty of producing the vaccine, despite doing “every effort”.

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“Victory will be ours!” Putin assured on Red Square

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“Victory will be ours!” shouted the President of Russia to the applause of a crowd of thousands.

“Welcome home!” – Putin said, addressing the residents of the annexed Ukrainian territories, believing that they “returned to their historical homeland.”

“Russia does not just open the doors of its home to people, it opens its heart,” he said from a stage specially installed on the symbolic square near the Kremlin wall (the residence of the President of Russia).

Many Russian flags fluttered among the crowd in attendance, and some people also wore black and orange striped St. George ribbons, an old tsarist military award that became a symbol of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany.

Several giant screens and a powerful sound system were also installed so that people could follow the speech of the President of Russia and the performance of various Russian pop stars who performed on stage.

The Russian head of state, in power for 22 years, referred to a “special, historic day of truth and justice” at a time when Russian soldiers are “heroically defending the people’s choice” in Ukraine, he said.

“We will do everything to support our brothers and sisters in Zaporozhye, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk, improve their security, restart the economy, restore,” he also said, hours after signing the annexation of these four Ukrainian regions, in a ceremony in the Kremlin.

After this symbolic act in the Kremlin, which was a new step in his war against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a neighboring country, Putin defended his mantra with a raised microphone that Russia created modern Ukraine.

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“I can’t help but remember how the Soviet Union was formed. It was Russia that created modern Ukraine, transferring significant territories there, the historical territories of Russia itself along with the population,” Putin said.

“We are stronger because we are together. The truth is with us, and there is strength,” Putin said, adding once again: “Then victory will be ours!”

Kyiv and its Western allies have widely condemned such an annexation, with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a Western defense bloc) classifying it as “illegitimate” and the countries of the European Union (EU) and the G7 (a group of the most industrialized countries in the world : Germany, Canada, USA, France, Italy, Japan and the UK) declared that they would “never recognize [tais] alleged annexations.

Putin has no intention of visiting the four Ukrainian regions now annexed by Moscow in the midst of a military conflict with Kyiv, a Kremlin spokesman said.

“Not yet, because at the moment there is a lot of work ahead, but this will definitely happen after some time,” said Dmitry Peskov, who was quoted by Russian news agencies and asked about the possibility of such a visit.

The four occupied regions of Ukraine, whose annexation treaties Putin signed today, make up about 15% of Ukraine’s territory – Donetsk and Lugansk (which he had already recognized as independent republics shortly before the invasion of Ukraine), Kherson and Zaporozhye (which hosts the largest nuclear power plant in Europe). ).

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine has already caused the flight of more than 13 million people – more than six million internally displaced people and more than 7.5 million to European countries – according to the latest UN figures, which rank this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).

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The Russian invasion, justified by Putin as the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community as a whole, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions against Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed since the beginning of the war, which entered its 219th day today, 5,996 civilians killed and 8,848 wounded, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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EU Agreement on Excess Profit Tax and Energy Savings

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This Friday in Brussels, European Union energy ministers reached an agreement on emergency intervention in the face of rising energy prices, which includes a solidarity contribution to the exceptional profits of companies in the energy sector.

The regulation, proposed this month by the Commission and given political approval this Friday 27, provides for a 33 percent tax on excessive profits from fossil fuel companies, to be converted into a “solidarity contribution” to be redistributed to the most vulnerable, a profit ceiling companies producing low-cost (renewable) electricity, and plans to reduce electricity consumption, voluntary (10% for total demand) and mandatory (5% during “peak hours”).

“Agreement! The ministers reached a political agreement on measures to reduce high electricity prices: a mandatory reduction in electricity demand, limiting the market revenues of over-marginal electricity producers and solidarity contributions from fossil fuel producers,” announced the current Czech Presidency of the Council. EU.

At the meeting, represented by Portugal’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Duarte Cordeiro, 27 countries will discuss policy options to reduce high gas prices, but no decision is expected today despite a large group of 15 member states. , including Portugal, demanded a “ceiling” on gas prices.

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Milhazes commented on Putin’s decision: “For one night Kherson and Zaporozhye will become independent”

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President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the independence of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of Ukraine, which are under Russian rule. This decision is made the day before the celebration of joining the territory of Russia. José Milhazes, SIC commentator, explains why.

“Why is it being done today [quinta-feira] in the evening? Because tomorrow [sexta-feira] these republics will ask Russia to integrate them into the Russian Federation. That is, Kherson and Zaporozhye will become independent for one night. They are no longer part of Ukraine, as Donetsk and Luhansk have already done,” the commentator says.

Ukraine’s independence will only last one night, as four regions are already scheduled to join this Friday. Moscow prepares a holiday to welcome these regions to Russia

“We will have an orgy of patriotism in Russia. Putin will insist on the reception of patriotism, will make a solemn speech in the Kremlin, both houses of parliament will immediately support the president. He will make a very patriotic speech about Russia being attacked by the West and NATO,” he says, adding that it is possible that Putin “makes a peace proposal that is a priori known, that Ukraine cannot accept.”

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