23 April 2020 — South Front
On April 22nd, the draft UN “Declaration of solidarity of the United Nations in the face of the challenges posed by the coronavirus disease 2019”, proposed by Russia, and co-sponsored by 34 member countries was blocked.
In relation to that, Russia’s permanent mission to the UN issued a statement.
It said that a group of Western and adjoining states blocked it.
“Before resubmitting the draft to the UNGA, we adjusted the text taking into account the approaches and priorities of interested delegations and supplemented it with a number of significant provisions previously approved in various international formats.”
According to the statement, the main objective of the Russian project was to call for solidarity of the world community in the face of a pandemic, especially in relation to the support of developing countries.
In that context, Russia added a link to the statement of the “Group of 77” and China on the topic of coronavirus – an official document of the UN General Assembly on the position of more than 130 states on this issue.
Among other things, the document calls for the rejection of unilateral economic sanctions against developing countries.
In that regard, Russia primarily reacted to the appeals of these countries themselves, which are experiencing serious problems in confronting the disease due to coercive measures being employed against them.
“Our updated text also emphasized the importance of universal coverage of health services, increasing the production of medicines and their availability, providing international financial institutions support to countries in need, and sending urgent humanitarian assistance. The manifestations of racism and xenophobia in the context of the fight against infection were condemned, and the need to respect human rights was emphasized.”
Thus, the Russian mission said that those who blocked the declaration in the UN General Assembly moved towards the promotion, in a way, of politicized approaches, phobias and narrow group interests.
“They clearly demonstrated that their calls for solidarity and assistance to countries with limited resources to combat the coronavirus are nothing more than a propaganda trick. You can’t help with one hand, and squeeze the noose on the neck of those you help with the other.
Unfortunately, these “compassionate” states did not heed the corresponding appeal of the UN Secretary-General, for whose support they did not cease to trumpet, but in words only.”
In conclusion, it vowed to continue working with the like-minded states to provide a constructive dialogue, which would then lead to a results-oriented contribution by the UN General Assembly to counter COVID-19.
“In this regard, we welcome the decision of the President of the General Assembly to appoint the Permanent Representatives of Afghanistan and Croatia to the Organization as coordinators of the negotiation process within the framework of the UN General Assembly on initiatives related to coronavirus.”
This is the second time that Russia proposed the draft declaration.
On April 22nd, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba said that Ukraine blocked this resolution at the UN, which said that the sanctions regime should be weakened.
He said that Russia put to the vote a new document, which essentially coincided with the previous one, blocked by the UN on April 3rd.
“The text behind this noble name has many right things and one manipulation that could entail strategic destructive consequences for the international security system – the launch of the process of lifting international sanctions. Nothing prevents cooperation of states in their fight against coronavirus and overcoming its consequences. Against this background, attempts to abuse humanitarian goals to plant a mine under international sanctions applied in response to gross violations of international law, including sanctions over Russian aggression against Ukraine, is an obvious manipulation by Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said regarding the April 3rd declaration.
“So, silent procedure has been interrupted. The Russian resolution shall not be adopted. We will continue blocking Russia’s efforts to destroy the sanctions regime,” Kuleba added.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov indicated that the spread of coronavirus intensified the struggle between large countries. According to him, this could lead to global international conflicts.
Essentially, Ukraine, through its own interest or forwarding the agenda of others, is blocking the UN declaration against COVID-19 simply so that “Russian aggression” does not go unpunished, to simply spite Moscow and nothing else.