Russia will not participate in US-convened COVID-19 ministerial meeting

According to Maria Zakharova, the invitation for Minister Sergei Lavrov came at the end of October, but at that time the Foreign Minister's schedule had already been drawn up. The meeting is held online on November 10

Maria Zakharova

Russia will not be able to take part in the US-organized meeting of foreign ministers on the coronavirus pandemic, as Washington sent an invitation too late, the spokesperson said. Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.

The meeting takes place on November 10 in a virtual format. “ We received information about the upcoming event only at the very end of October. By that time, the working schedule of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S.V. Lavrov had been formed and did not allow him to take part in the said meeting. Since the American side announced that it was not ready to include other persons other than foreign ministers in the number of participants, it was not possible to send another representative of the Russian side, '' & mdash; clarified Zakharova.

At the same time, she noted that Russia is actively preparing for a special session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, which will be held from November 29 to December 1. “ We proceed from the premise that it is on this main international platform on global health that the issues of combating the current pandemic and future challenges to humanity in the field of health emergencies should be resolved. '', & mdash; stressed the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced his intention to organize a meeting of foreign ministers at the end of September. He explained that he would convene ministers to fulfill the commitments made during the COVID-19 summit of the UN General Assembly, as well as the upcoming G20 summit at that time.

“ To make progress, we need constant involvement, constant responsibility. '' ;, & mdash; he stated.

In early November, Blinken made a statement about the upcoming meeting, in which he called on states to work together to defeat the pandemic and restore the economy. He noted that foreign ministers have a key role to play in this.

“ Together with my colleagues and leaders of regional and international organizations, we will assess the current response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of this virus and the threat of future pandemics … We will discuss efforts to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. We will discuss the need for sustainable funding for global health security. We will also assess the role of enhanced regional cooperation and coordinated political leadership in the current and future response to the pandemic, & raquo;, & mdash; said the Secretary of State.

The State Department's Coordinator for the Global Response to the Spread of COVID-19 Gail Smith, ahead of the meeting, said that its participants would discuss the current response to the spread of the virus, especially vaccinations. Another important topic will be the issue of preparing the world for future similar global threats and their prevention.

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