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Russia's prime minister tells regional leaders that only the federal government can close internal boundaries

Source: Interfax

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has prohibited Russia’s regional leaders from closing their internal boundaries as the country fights the spread of coronavirus. “The government’s signals about the inadmissibility of such measures were heard and the situation was corrected over the weekend, though I want to reiterate for regional leaders: do not confuse regional powers with federal powers,” Mishustin said on Monday.

The prime minister also instructed regional leaders not to impose any obstacles to home-delivery services. “In several places, they’re hindering the work of freight carriers and retailers to the point that they’re stopping trucks and the entrance points into regions and even closing points of delivery, preventing couriers from delivering goods to people,” Mishustin complained. 

Last week, officials in Chechnya and the Chelyabinsk region started blocking all incoming traffic. (Chechen officials also began preventing local residents from leaving the republic.) The Kremlin says it has not issued such instructions.

As of April 6, Russia had confirmed 6,343 cases of coronavirus in 80 different regions across the country. So far, according to the official statistics, COVID-19 has killed 53 people in Russia. More than 400 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.