Statement by Mr Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the International Public Foundation “Russian Peace Foundation”, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs
Humanity faces an unprecedented challenge – COVID-19. The pandemic, which has spread to virtually every country and continent, continues to claim human lives. Its extremely negative “side effect” is the impending global economic crisis.
I believe that the virus can only be defeated by joint effort. In this context,
I would like to express my regret that no consensus has been reached on the UN General Assembly platform on the draft Declaration on Solidarity in Countering the Coronavirus Pandemic, which was intended to reaffirm the commitment of international community to the principle of the UN Charter on cooperation among states. The document stressed the need to provide assistance to affected countries, as well as proclaimed the abandonment of trade wars and unilateral sanctions adopted bypassing the UN Security Council in order to ensure the urgent access of the population to food and medical supplies. However, the project was blocked by the United States, the European Union, Great Britain, as well as Ukraine and Georgia, which joined them solely for political reasons, despite the call of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed to the G20 countries to abandon restrictions.
Western countries, which call themselves “democracies”, have imposed various kinds of sanctions on almost a third of the global population and do not intend to reduce them amid the fight against the coronavirus. Such a dehumanized course of action makes it difficult to obtain quality healthcare for citizens of countries such as Iran and Venezuela, and does not contribute to the effective recovery of national economies, including those of the European continent.
As head of the Russian Peace Foundation and Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs, I appeal to all sensible policy makers in the leadership of the European Union, the United States, Great Britain, leading international, inter-parliamentary and public organizations to abandon the destructive sanction policy. In the face of the global epidemic threat, it is time to stop thinking in the paradigm of deterrence that currently puts ordinary people on the brink of survival.
For its part, the Russian Peace Foundation will continue to provide assistance to states affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by all possible means.