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28 Apr, 2021 12:36

Bolshoi Theater cancels international tours until March 2022, blames foreign states for not accepting Russia's Covid-19 vaccine

Bolshoi Theater cancels international tours until March 2022, blames foreign states for not accepting Russia's Covid-19 vaccine

Moscow's world-famous Bolshoi Theater has canceled all its scheduled foreign tours until March 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and foreign countries refusing to accept Russia's domestically-made coronavirus vaccines.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, the Bolshoi's General Director Vladimir Urin revealed that the prestigious ballet troop would not be going abroad for the entirety of this year, and for the first three months of 2022. The theater had already canceled a tour of Argentina, scheduled for May-June 2021.

The next trip the Bolshoi will plan won’t be until March next year, although Urin says he is not confident that it will even happen then.

Also on rt.com Russian arts sector warns of financial trouble as world-famous Bolshoi Theatre reports record losses during coronavirus pandemic

“We don't know yet if it will take place, because there are more and more voices saying that foreign countries will not be very receptive to our vaccines, and will not allow those who have received these vaccines into their country,” Urin explained.

Russia has three Covid-19 vaccines, with the most well-known being Sputnik V. Created by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, the world's first registered coronavirus jab has now been approved in 61 countries. However, many regulators are still yet to register the shot, including the EU's drug watchdog, the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Earlier this week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen revealed that the EU would accept visitors inoculated with vaccines approved by the EMA. This would exclude many Russians, including ballet dancers, from entering the 27-member bloc.

The Covid-19 crisis has been a challenge for the Bolshoi, and it was forced to cancel many of its performances. Last March, the theater announced it would be temporarily closed due to the pandemic. It re-opened later, in September, but with limits on seating.

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Earlier this year, it was revealed that the theater lost an estimated 1.3 billion rubles ($17,500,000) due to unsold tickets in 2020.

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