The Western countries, namely the United States, have strongly rejected a proposal on the exemption of humanitarian supplies from sanctions during the coronavirus pandemic, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a video conference with the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund’s delegates.

Russia’s top diplomat emphasized that illegal unilateral sanctions amid the pandemic deal a heavy blow to citizens in a range of states, first of all Iran, Syria and North Korea. According to Lavrov, these countries cannot purchase equipment, medicines and special protection gear because “the Western states, first of all the US, have strongly rejected a proposal on declaring a humanitarian pause and exempting the supplies of goods needed to combat the pandemic from any sanctions.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier called on the G20 to lift sanctions against other countries in order to effectively combat the coronavirus spread. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also backed the idea of cancelling or suspending sanctions amid the pandemic.

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