MOSCOW, February 24. /TASS/. A number of Western countries continue to ignore the harmful effects of unilateral restrictions on the observance of human rights amid the pandemic and keep using it for pressure on the governments it does not like, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a high-level segment meeting of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
"The Western capitals continue to stubbornly ignore the harmful influence of unlawful restrictions on human rights. We regard this not only as politicization of humanitarian issues, but also as a wish to use the pandemic for punitive measures against undesirable governments," Lavrov said.
He expressed regret over the fact that despite the pandemic and obvious need for consolidating efforts "some Western colleagues still show no intention of reconsidering their selfish policies" and giving up approaches from the position of strength and illegitimate methods of blackmail and pressure.
"Calls by the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for suspending unilateral sanctions on the supplies of food, medicines and equipment necessary for the struggle against the coronavirus and the corresponding financial transactions have been ignored. Let me remind you that Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for creating green corridors in international trade free from sanctions and other artificial barriers," he added.
For joint solutions of problems
Lavrov recalled that Russia this year was participating in the HRC’s activities as a full-fledged member again.
"We regard the return to the main human rights body of the UN as a confirmation of the key role our country plays in multilateral cooperation in all fields," the top diplomat stressed. "We are going to actively use our powers in the HRC for enhancing its potential and authority, and for promoting a unifying agenda."
Lavrov stressed that this was particularly important amid the continuing coronavirus pandemic. This infection, he said, has caused considerable damage to the social and economic basis of countries and corresponding human rights, including the main right - the right to life.
He recalled that the slump in the world economy as a result of the pandemic had brought about considerable growth of unemployment and worsened social vulnerability.
"Inequality in the development of individual countries and regions is on the rise, as is inequality inside individual countries, including those belonging to the so-called golden billion. We should focus on these problems and jointly seek ways of resolving them. The potential of the UN Human Rights Council is one of the tools to be employed to this end," Lavrov stressed.