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MOSCOW, September 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia plans to expand healthcare cooperation with its fellow members in the BRICS assembly, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.
“After interaction in the G8 format was curbed - and for this we are not to blame - the Foreign Ministry has paid considerable attention to wider cooperation in healthcare within the BRICS format (of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)," Ryabkov said in opening remarks at an international medical media forum in Moscow.
Recalling that Russia would take the chair in BRICS - its summit is scheduled for Bashkortostan’s capital Ufa (about 1,400km west of Moscow) next July - Ryabkov said he wanted "a sizeable chapter" devoted to cooperation in health protection included in the gathering's final document.
The concept of Russia chairing the body already included agreements on partnership in fighting infectious and non-infectious disease, biomedicine, improving quality in medical assistance and ensuring unlimited access, Ryabkov said, noting that Russia had transformed from being a recipient of international assistance in healthcare into one of the largest donors.
“The amount of aid, firstly to countries of Central and East Asia, has climbed to $300 million,” he said, adding that in recent years more than 900 specialists from countries of the regional Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Asia and Latin America had undergone training in sectors of medicine on Russia-sponsored programs.