US strongly rejected proposal on humanitarian pause amid pandemic, says Lavrov

TEHRAN, Apr. 21 (MNA) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Washington has strongly rejected a proposal on the exemption of humanitarian supplies from sanctions during the coronavirus pandemic.

He made the remarks in a video conference with the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund’s delegates on Tuesday.

According to Tass News Agency, 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 canceling or suspending sanctions amid the pandemic.

Hegemony and dominance policy

Coronavirus has posed a serious challenge to all countries, and under such circumstances, the policy of hegemony and dominance is particularly inappropriate, Sergey Lavrov stated. "The coronavirus infection, which has become a serious challenge for all states and many international organizations, of course, should encourage us to reflect on what is going on in the world and reflect on how we should live further to ensure a peaceful, safe and stable future for all of humanity," Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, it has long become clear that humanity lives in an interdependent and interconnected world, and the pandemic has exposed that.

"This being so, collective approaches to international relations are essential. The concepts and practices of hegemony and dominance are totally inappropriate in the 21st century," Lavrov stressed.

Development of multipolar world order

No one can stop a multipolar world order from emerging because it is a natural process and attempts to do so are bound to fail, the Russian foreign minister believes.

According to Lavrov, a polycentric world order is being formed as a number of economies grow and new financial centers emerge naturally. "Attempts to hinder this process are bound to fail from the standpoint of history. The countries that ruled the international stage for half a millennium now see their rivals getting stronger and they clearly seek to maintain their privileged position. Various methods are being employed to that end, including dirty ones," the Russian top diplomat said.

"However, I would like to reiterate that attempts to hinder the natural development of a multipolar world order are bound to fail. There are many facts proving that countries are coming to realize this, which include the formation of the G20 group. It involves G7 members and BRICS countries because cooperation and consensus between them are crucial for resolving pressing global economic, financial and political issues," Lavrov emphasized.

He added that other groups and organizations that involved Russia were also based on consensus. In this regard, he mentioned the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).


News Code 157866


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