Russian resolution to lift sanctions preventing other countries from fighting the coronavirus pandemic was blocked at the UN General Assembly by the US, UK, EU countries, Georgia and Ukraine. Representatives of the Russian Federation expressed regret that this group of states “could not compromise with politicized interests”. Earlier UN General Secretary António Guterres called for the lifting of sanctions.
“We are sorry that a small group of states – apologists of the sanctions policy was not ready to respond to the call of the UN Secretary General and was not able to compromise its politicized approaches and interests” – said after the vote in the Russian Permanent Mission.
Russia and 28 other countries proposed to designate the leading role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in developing measures to combat the pandemic COVID-19, called on states to cooperate with each other and help the most affected countries. In addition, it was proposed to lift sanctions that undermine efforts to combat the coronavirus.
Moscow also called on the Western countries that had blocked the draft resolution to present their arguments and to justify why they were abandoning it. And Russian diplomats asked Ukraine and Georgia “not to bother themselves” as “their politicized explanations will give nothing”.
Sanctions of the West have a negative impact on Iran – over 2.8 thousand people have already died from coronavirus infection there. Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Javad Zarif accused the USA of medical terrorism. He underlined that the USA constantly makes attempts to toughen sanctions against Iran, refuses to supply devices and navigation software used by aviation companies of the country.
The U.S. authorities are also creating obstacles to Tehran’s use of information technology to fight the coronavirus, he added.
“U.S. economic and medical terrorism against Iran has taken various forms,” Zarif said.
In late March, UN Secretary General António Guterres called on the G20 to lift sanctions against other countries to fight the pandemic.