MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. Dutch journalists in their articles have been trying to demean Russian aid to countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic and to drive a wedge between Moscow and Beijing by pitting their respective efforts against each other to promote vaccines to foreign markets, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a news release on Tuesday.
The Foreign Ministry drew attention to publications on the website of the Dutch television broadcaster NOS and the newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
"Dutch journalists are trying to belittle the importance of Russian assistance to the pandemic-affected countries. If they are to be believed, Moscow has been using the vaccine Sputnik V for self-advertising and for expanding political clout in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East," the Foreign Ministry said. "Also, our country’s efforts are wrongly contrasted to those China undertakes to promote its vaccine CoronaVac to foreign markets. How can this not be called a scheme to drive a wedge between Russia and China?"
Also, the aforesaid mass media "categorically" claim that in Russia the vaccine is in short supply and the vaccination-related statistics are distorted.
"Such allegations are backed up by references to doubtful experts and little-known ‘research centers’. It is obviously clear that the emergence of such publications, based on various far-fetched conclusions, are expected to distract the Dutch public from the real problems the Netherlands has encountered during the pandemic: mass vaccination is stalled and people’s reaction to the measures being taken by the authorities is getting more acute," the news release runs.
"Those who order the publication of such articles should have long realized that by fanning mass media hysteria it will be impossible to overcome the pandemic in the Netherlands or any other place. Only concerted action will be able to eliminate the disease," the Foreign Ministry said, adding that the world community should present a common front and by no means politicize the struggle against the infection.