MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. The issue of lifting unilateral sanctions becomes especially topical amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus infection, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday.
"Russia has always been against the use of unilateral restrictions which run counter to the norms of international law and do serious damage to the socio-economic development of states. We insist that in conditions of the rapid spread of the infection the issue of removing such barriers becomes especially topical. Countries falling under such restrictions should be provided with necessary medical products," the ministry said.
The ministry stressed that international restrictions imposed by the United Nations Security Council must not be an obstacle in fighting the pandemic either. "The UNCS’ sanction regimes provide for humanitarian exemptions," the ministry recalled. "These preventive mechanisms should work smoothly, without failures due to the politicized approaches of individual states. This is the only way to exclude harmful impacts of the restrictions on people."
"Generally, it is high time to revise the Security Council sanctions to ensure their really targeted nature and look at including certain types of assistance into the category od humanitarian exemptions automatically," it said.
The ministry recalled Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative voiced during the Group of Twenty summit on Thursday about a solidarity moratorium on restrictions applicable to goods of prime necessity, as well as financial transactions for their procurement.
On Wednesday, Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, and Venezuela addressed a joint letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calling on him to demand a number of countries lift their unilateral sanctions hindering national efforts to fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus.