Igor Korotchenko, military expert, editor-in-chief of National Defense Magazine, and Inna Novikova, Pravda.Ru editor-in-chief, reflected on the prospects and risks in the new year 2021. The biggest problem of 2020 - the coronavirus pandemic - is not going away in 2021, bringing the same and new problems along. What is the pandemic going to be like in 2021? What is going to happen in the world as a result of mass vaccination? Are borders going to reopen or are we all going to live in our countries under the conditions of high security without being able to travel abroad?
"What do you think the new year 2021 is going to bring to all of us in the first place?" How do you see 2021?"
"The main challenge remains the same - the COVID pandemic. This is a global disaster that has affected each and everyone of us. Of course, this global and all-pertaining challenge is not going anywhere in 2021.
"Some perceives the risk of a nuclear war as a real threat, while others do not think so. Some people see NATO as an aggressor, and some others do not. Yet, when the coronavirus comes to you, you are left to deal with it alone.
"The healthcare system is working with its last bit of strength. God help us vaccination goes successfully. Many people believe the situation in the world will improve only because of vaccination.
COVID-19 remains the main threat to our health, safety and economy.
"COVID has turned our life upside down. A new countdown has started since last spring. Now not only vaccination has begun, but we can also witness the war of the vaccines. Many lethal cases have been reported because of the Pfizer vaccine, while the West continues criticizing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, although everyone in Russia says that Sputnik V is the safest and most effective vaccine. It was then reported that people would be allowed to travel to Europe only if they have European vaccination certificates. Of course, such certificates won't be issued to Russian citizens, who take the Russian vaccine. Therefore, a new war begins between the vaccines."
"I heard about it too. I do not think that Spain, Italy and Finland, for example, will be happy to lose Russian tourists for good. It is only elite groups of Russian citizens who will be able to have Western vaccines - the rest will be injected with the Russian-made Sputnik V, before two other Russian vaccines are released after the completion of clinical trials.
"Of course, this information is extremely unpleasant, but I still believe that it will not come to the point that one will not be able to get the Schengen visa without the European certificate of vaccination.
At the same time, under certain circumstances, at least during the third or fourth wave of COVID, Europe may indeed implement a number of certain restrictions that would prohibit Russian citizens from traveling Europe just because they have Russia, rather than European certificate of vaccination.
On the one hand, all this sounds like total nonsense. On the other hand, given how the world is changing before our eyes, one does not have to exclude such a possibility. However, this will strike a colossal blow to the European tourist industry, including catering, entertainment, hotel sectors.
In the next year or two, COVID restrictions will affect citizens of not only Russia, but of many other countries.
In any case, I personally have confidence that our vaccine is a good one. I have already taken the first shot of Sputnik V, and a few weeks later I am having my second shot. I believe that Russia is among the leaders in the segment of the production of vaccines against coronavirus. I had no side effects from this vaccination, except I was very lazy for a few days.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated