MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov, who attended a video conference of G20 ministers of trade on Monday, called upon states to reduce their sanctions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"It seems that an important joint step would be to reduce restrictive measures, primarily those that block or severely complicate access to medicines, equipment and technologies," he said.
The minister said the present-day global situation is further complicated by numerous trade conflicts, baseless restrictions and sanctions.
In his words, the current novel coronavirus pandemic has dealt a serious blow to the global economy and trade.
"The entire framework of trade and investment ties, global production chains created during decades of globalization is now under threat. We need to reverse this dangerous trend," Reshetnikov said.
"Under the severe conditions of the present day, it becomes as important as never before to limit factors that add more unpredictability and instability to the multilateral trade system," he continued. "That is why we urge to do everything possible to restore normal operations and improve the WTO [World Trade Organizaiton], one of the most important institutions in global management."
He added that G20 should be at the forefront of this effort.
"We also call upon all G20 members to ensure the transparency of their anti-crisis policies in good faith," the Russian minister said.
The G20 ministers earlier adopted a joint statement about collective action to counter the pandemic’s devastating consequences for trade.
"We agree that emergency measures designed to tackle COVID-19, if deemed necessary, must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary, and that they do not create unnecessary barriers to trade or disruption to global supply chains, and are consistent with WTO rules," the statement reads.
The ministers also declared their commitment to countering profiteering and unjustified price increases.
"We will support the availability and accessibility of essential medical supplies and pharmaceuticals at affordable prices, on an equitable basis, where they are most needed, and as quickly as possible, including by encouraging additional production through incentives and targeted investment, according to national circumstances," the G20 ministers said.
They said they would continue working with international organizations to establish coordinated approaches and collect and share good practices to facilitate flows of essential goods and services.