MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea and Venezuela have sent a joint letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urging him to request the lifting of unilateral sanctions that impede efforts to combat the coronavirus spread. The Russian mission to the UN posted the letter on Twitter.
"We respectfully urge you to request the complete and immediate lifting of such illegal, coercive and arbitrary measures of economic pressure - in line with the long-standing and principled position of the United Nations to reject unilateral coercive measures - in order to ensure the full, effective and efficient response of all members of the international community to the coronavirus, and to also reject the politicization of such a pandemic," the letter reads.
"We cannot allow for political calculations to get in the way of saving human lives. This is a time, as you have stated over and over again, not for fostering chaos but for global solidarity, cooperation and prudence, for joining efforts at the national, regional and international levels without any kind of discrimination, if we really want to overcome this complex human crisis and its economic impact," the eight countries added.
Read the address by,,,,,,, to #UNSG on negative impact of sanctions on national efforts aimed at fighting #COVID19.We can’t allow for political calculations to get in the way of saving human lives.This is a time not for fostering chaos, but for #GlobalSolidarity pic.twitter.com/olmrjHJ9hg— Russian Mission UN (@RussiaUN) March 26, 2020
The UN secretary general earlier called on G20 members to remove sanctions on other countries in order to boost efforts to combat the coronavirus.
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, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 150 countries, including Russia.
On March 11, the WHO declared the outbreak a global pandemic. As of now, over 450,000 people have been infected around the world and about 21,000 have died.