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Russia

Russia And Iran: A Joint Shield Against Western Sanctions

A five-year economic agreement in the works between Russia and Iran signals efforts by both countries to protect themselves from global isolation. Of course, it's mostly about oil.

Presidents Rouhani and Putin
Presidents Rouhani and Putin
Yuri Barsukov, Kirill Melnikov, Egor Polov and Elena Chernenko

MOSCOW — Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced last week that he and Iran's oil minister have signed a memo of understanding and are hammering out a five-year, multi-billion-dollar trade deal between Tehran and Moscow.

The agreement includes expansion of cooperation and business in construction, electrical infrastructure, as well as the delivery of cars and equipment and goods for everyday use, the Russian Ministry of Energy's spokesperson said.

The agency said that the specific contracts would be officially negotiated between the two countries in September.

Russian government sources say President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani discussed an economic partnership during their first meeting last September in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The two presidents then ironed out the details during a meeting in China last May.

Above all, the agreement is about oil, though it also proposes growing the economic partnership in a number of other areas. The first draft of the document suggested that Russia would buy 25 million tons of Iranian oil per year, about one-fourth of total Iranian production. The final version lowered that sum to a maximum of three million tons per year, which would be purchased by government-controlled traders created specifically for this purpose.

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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