WASHINGTON, April 4. /TASS/. Over 2,000 Russian citizens who are currently in the United States have expressed desire to return home to the Russian Embassy in Washington, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said in his answers to reporters that were published on the official Facebook.account of the Russian Embassy.
"According to our data, over 2,000 Russian citizens who want to return home, remain on the territory of the United States. In the new conditions, we are promptly rerouting our work from making lists to providing targeted assistance to those compatriots who need it the most," Antonov said.
It was earlier expected that around 250 Russian citizens will return to Moscow from New York on Friday on an evacuation flight. However, the coronavirus taskforce headquarters said that international flights that are evacuating Russian citizens will be suspended starting from April 4. Thus, the flight from New York was cancelled as well.
"Many Russian citizens truly found themselves in a very difficult situation beacuse of the coronavirus pandemic. I'm not talking only about those who couldn't fly today. Many people had tickets for April and March," the diplomat added. "We know about the problems of our compatriots from them - by calls on our 24-hour hotlines, messages in social networks and emails," he noted.
"The taskforce on preventing import and spread of the novel coronaviarus infection on the territory of the Russian Federation with the aim of maximum protection of the health of our citizens and of restricting the new wave of imported cases, temporarily suspended international flights evacuating Russian citizens home," Antonov said.
The ambassador expressed hope that "the trying time will not be too long." "However, it is obvious that solidarity, mutual assistance, support and any kind deeds will be welcome now," he concluded.
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities 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.