Lavrov Says West Using Pandemic to Pressure Governments It Dislikes

A number of Western countries continue to ignore the harmful effects of unilateral restrictions on the observance of human rights amid the pandemic and keep using it for pressure on the governments it does not like, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a high-level segment meeting of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, TASS informed.

“The Western capitals continue to stubbornly ignore the harmful influence of unlawful restrictions on human rights. We regard this not only as politicization of humanitarian issues, but also as a wish to use the pandemic for punitive measures against undesirable governments,” Lavrov said.

He expressed regret over the fact that despite the pandemic and obvious need for consolidating efforts “some Western colleagues still show no intention of reconsidering their selfish policies” and giving up approaches from the position of strength and illegitimate methods of blackmail and pressure.

“Calls by the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for suspending unilateral sanctions on the supplies of food, medicines and equipment necessary for the struggle against the coronavirus and the corresponding financial transactions have been ignored. Let me remind you that Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for creating green corridors in international trade free from sanctions and other artificial barriers,” he added.

Lavrov recalled that Russia this year was participating in the HRC’s activities as a full-fledged member again.

“We regard the return to the main human rights body of the UN as a confirmation of the key role our country plays in multilateral cooperation in all fields,” the top diplomat stressed. “We are going to actively use our powers in the HRC for enhancing its potential and authority, and for promoting a unifying agenda.”