Russia demands stronger WHO for effective COVID-19 response

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Vladimir Putin
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At his UN General Assembly address yesterday Vladimir Putin, President of Russia opined for a stronger World Health Organization which can organize the global response against the pandemic better.

President Putin also elaborated on his proposal for a high-level conference on vaccine cooperation.

“We are proposing to hold an online high-level conference shortly for countries interested in cooperation in the development of anti-coronavirus vaccines,” Mr. Putin stated while adding that “We are ready to share experience and continue cooperating with all states and international entities, including in supplying the Russian vaccine which has proven reliable, safe, and effective, to other countries.

In a first, Russia has previously provided regulatory clearance for its COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V even before the Phase 3 trials were planned, inviting severe criticism from scientists and doctors across the globe about the safety and efficacy of the cure.

As the pandemic continues to cause havoc, many nations are now following Russia in considering emergency use of “still in-trial” vaccines which has not yet been able to produce the desired efficacy during the tests.

Taking a swipe at the United States for its recent current foreign policy, President Putin remarked that eliminating “illegitimate sanctions” would help the world recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“In general, freeing the world trade from barriers, bans, restrictions and illegitimate sanctions would be of great help in revitalizing global growth and reducing unemployment,” Mr. Putin stated.

He also used the opportunity to propose a binding agreement among global superpowers to ban “the placement of weapons in outer space, threat or use of force against outer space objects.”