The Kremlin said Wednesday that any improvement in Moscow's tense relationship with Washington would depend on Joe Biden when he enters the White House.

Russia says better ties with US up to Biden

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The Kremlin said Wednesday that any improvement in Moscow’s tense relationship with Washington would depend on Joe Biden when he enters the White House.

The United States recently blamed Kremlin-backed hackers for a massive cyberattack that breached government institutions, adding to a long list of grievances plaguing ties between the former Cold War rivals.

“Russia will live as it has lived for hundreds of years: seeking good relations with the United States,” the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

Whether or not Washington works towards achieving the same goal “will depend on Mr Biden and his team,” Peskov added.

Despite disagreements surrounding conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as US election meddling and hacking allegations against Russia, the countries will be in a race to extend a landmark nuclear weapons accord shortly after Biden is sworn in.

The 2010 New START treaty — the last remaining nuclear pact between the countries — limits both sides to 1,500 nuclear warheads each and is set to expire February 5.

Peskov said Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin has “consistently” advocated for the preservation of the treaty and that it was now up to Washington to preserve the pact.

Negotiations under the administration of President Donald Trump stalled as Washington pushed for China to join the agreement even though Beijing said it had no intention of joining.

Biden’s aides have indicated that the incoming US leader will work towards extending the treaty, but he also vowed to take a tougher stance on Russia during the campaign.

Peskov said Wednesday that the change in the US presidency will make no difference to Russia and that the Kremlin was not making any preparations for Biden’s inauguration. Agence France-Presse

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Duterte explains why he prefers Sinopharm over Western vaccines

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he will take China’s Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease.

“Ang akin is Sinopharm [from] China. Hindi masyado ako maano diyan sa mga produkto ng puti,” Duterte said in a speech at the inauguration of school buildings at the Canumay East National High School and Lawang Bato National High School in Valenzuela City.

Prior to this, Duterte said he does not mind some doctors’ decision to wait for other vaccine brands.

“I have to fly to Villamor because the AstraZeneca, about 478,000 darating. For those of you… who would opt to take that vaccine, fine with me,” the Chief Executive said.

“Wala sa akin yan. Others might prefer other brands. The doctors are very discriminating. They are waiting for Pfizer,” he added.

China to donate 400,000 more Covid-19 vaccine doses to Philippines – Duterte

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said China will donate 400,000 more doses of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines.

Duterte made the announcement in his speech during the inauguration of school buildings at the Canumay East National High School and Lawang Bato National High School in Valenzuela City.

“China would give us another [400,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses], making their donation to this country [at] 1 million [doses],” according to him.

The East Asian country previously donated 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac that arrived in Manila last Sunday.

Meanwhile, Duterte reiterated that he will lift the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions once the country achieve widespread vaccination.

“If I see most of the citizens can avail of the vaccine in any of the health centers [or] hospitals, that is the standard, then I will reopen everything sa ating ekonomiya. For now, pigil ako sa, lalo na mga bata,” he said.

Duterte says gov’t going ‘full-throttle’ on vaccine drive to ensure student safety

By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday vowed that the government will go “full- throttle” in its mass coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccination program to ensure safe return to schools.

Duterte made the statement during the simultaneous inauguration of school buildings at the Gen. Gregorio H. Del Pilar Integrated School and Virginia Ramirez-Cruz High School in Bulakan, Bulacan.

“I assure you that the government is exerting all efforts to go full-throttle in this Covid-19 vaccination program to ensure the safety of students before the resumption of the face-to face-learning,” the Chief Executive said.

In his speech, Duterte also underscored the need for timely completion of government structures and projects and directed all concerned agencies to ensure the least inconvenience to the public during construction and maintain the highest ethical standards.

“Our investment in education infrastructure affirms our continuing commitment to promote the right of the people to quality and accessible education at all levels,” according to him.

“A good education is a valuable gift we can proudly pass on to succeeding generations of Filipinos. Let us join hands in developing the full potential of your youth as bearers of our nation’s sustainable future,” he concluded.

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