Dear Partners,

As summer closes and Russian elections loom on the 19th of September, the Russian travel market is recovering, although total outbound numbers for the 1st half of 2021 are still lower than those of 2020, this is due to the high amount of travel in the first 3 months of 2020 when Russia was still open. Oil prices have finally reached the all-important price of 70$ which ensures the stability of the Russian economy and although inflation figures are high and causing discontent in the lower half of the population, the government has no fears that the current status quo will in anyway change, as the opposition has been largely silenced. Therefore, we can conclude more of the same.

The main worry is how to get the Russian economy back to normal while only 30% of the population is vaccinated against Covid. The current low number of vaccinated persons suggests that there might potentially be several more waves and substantially more deaths and economic disruption if the vaccination levels do not increase to 70-80%, as is the case in most European countries. However, an increasing number of countries are recognizing the Sputnik vaccine, and with the current collaboration between Sputnik and AstraZeneca to create a joint vaccine, we can assume that Sputnik will be soon recognized by the UK. It is essential that more EU countries recognize the Sputnik vaccine for Russians to travel more extensively.

Helene Lloyd

2 September 2021, Moscow

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