MOSCOW, April 3. /TASS/. The chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, has described the United States’ and European Union’s refusal to accept proposals for easing unilateral sanctions as "political coronaegoism." His comment followed the blocking of Russia’s draft resolution on this score at the UN General Assembly session by the United States, the European Union and also Ukraine, Georgia and Great Britain.
"The West has ignored the UN secretary-general’s call for dropping sanctions for the sake of struggle against the COVID-19 by blocking Russia’s draft resolution of the UN General Assembly. Political coronaegoism is the real face of the United States and the European Union. Hegemonistic ambitions upset common efforts against the pandemic," Slutsky said on Twitter on Friday.
Earlier, the UN General Assembly adopted an alternative, more general draft resolution containing a call for solidarity in the struggle against the pandemic, which ignored the UN secretary-general’s proposal for cancelling sanctions. The Russian draft that proposed more specific measures was rejected.
The UN secretary-general had urged all countries to ease the current sanctions against a number of states for the sake of struggle against the pandemic and also to cease hostilities.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. To date, more than 1,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 53,000 deaths have been reported. That said, over 213,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
So far, a total of 4,149 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 281 patients having recovered from the virus. The country’s latest data indicates 34 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.