World Health Organization needs ‘hardheaded analysis’ to move ahead, says Lavrov

World Health Organization needs ‘hardheaded analysis’ to move ahead, says Lavrov
# 19 May 2020 22:12 (UTC +04:00)

A further development of the World Health Organization (WHO) must be based on ‘the hardheaded analysis of the situation and facts’ as the fight against the novel coronavirus cannot be used as a tool for achieving geopolitical interests, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, APA reports.

Russia’s top diplomat made this statement at a press conference after a ministerial video conference of the Council of the Baltic Sea States on Tuesday.

"I am sure that the WHO, just like any other organization, needs to be developed further," Lavrov said. "This cannot be achieved in a one-step move, which will solve all problems within a 30-day period or will predict all problems, which may emerge during this 30-day period," Lavrov said.

"We need to resort to hardheaded analysis of the current situation and facts, first of all, the facts," he continued.

"It’s undesirable to see the fight against the coronavirus turning into a victim of geopolitical games and ambitions," Lavrov said.

The Russian top diplomat reminded that the World Health Organization approved earlier a declaration aimed against any attempt of politicizing the fight against the novel coronavirus and stipulating steps to overcome the pandemic.

"This declaration stipulated the need to establish professional and unbiased facts with an exclusive aim to understand how this pandemic emerged and what measures had to be resorted to on behalf of the World Health Organization to preserve this experience and to prevent a possible appearance of such pandemics in the future, which, according to experts, are highly likely to occur again," Lavrov stated.

The Russian foreign minister also said that the WHO declaration particularly urged the creation of a vaccine against the coronavirus and the accessibility of all countries to this vaccine.

Lavrov stressed that Russia speaks for an open and transparent global cooperation on this issue as well as for the unification of international efforts to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, while Moscow urges not to be guided by financial aspects of this matter.

"Russia’s corresponding enterprises have established strong contacts with the United States, European countries, China and countries of other regions of the world and we keep promoting all other possible forms of cooperation with the main focus on recommendations provided by the World Health Organization," the Russian foreign minister added.

In his letter to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, President of the United States Donald Trump gave the organization 30 days to guarantee reforms Washington insists on. Otherwise, Trump warned, the United States would ultimately stop financing of this international organization and revise its membership.

On April 14, Trump said the United States had suspended payment its contribution to the WHO until the organization’s role in covering up the coronavirus spread data was investigated and analyzed.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the WHO, accusing it of focusing only on China although being sponsored by the United States. He claimed the WHO’s anti-coronavirus measures were wrong.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials 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. According to the latest statistics, over 4,933,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 321,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 1,931,600 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, a total of 299,941 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 76,130 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 2,837 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.