The president of Russia defends in the General Assembly the role of the WHO to provide responses and coordinate the pandemic
In general, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, does not usually attend the annual New York fall appointment with world diplomacy that is held at the United Nations headquarters. Instead, his foreign minister spoke to the world on behalf of Moscow. However, in 2020, when the institution born after World War II turns 75 years old and its fates have been reduced to nothing by the brutal pandemic that has already claimed almost a million deaths on the planet, Putin has done —virtual— presence. Because like the rest of world leaders, he has been forced to “appear” through a video recorded previously, away from the freshness of the live show.
His speech seemed a parallel reality to the actions and interference that the Kremlin exercises every day on the geopolitics board. Appealing to the UN bill of rights, the man who has held a referendum to stay in power until 2036 seemed unaware that his arch-enemy, Alexei Navalni, is recovering in Germany after emerging from a coma due to poisoning with an agent the lethal nerve that the Soviet Army developed in the 1970s and 1980s. With a substance from the same family, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked in 2018 in the United Kingdom.
In a clear contrast to the policy that the US administration of Donald Trump is following, Putin defended that the World Health Organization (WHO) has a central role in coordinating the response to the pandemic. At this point, the Russian president made two big headlines.
The first: organize a conference soon online at the highest level for all those countries that are interested in cooperating to develop as soon as possible a vaccine against the deadly virus. And the second: in a populism typical of a merchant, Putin assured that his government is ready to offer the United Nations the help that is necessary, which includes vaccinating “free” all the personnel of the institution that wishes. The president praised the Russian vaccine, called Sputnik 5, stating that his country is willing to supply it to other nations, emphasizing its safety and effectiveness.
“Russia is convinced that from now on it is necessary to use all the capabilities of the world pharmaceutical industry to guarantee free access to vaccination for citizens of all states in the short term,” added the Russian leader. “We are ready to share our experience and continue to interact with all states and international structures, including the provision for other countries of the Russian vaccine, which has proven its reliability, safety and efficacy,” Putin concluded.