Ambassador Antonov Affirms Aid Is ‘Expression of Russia’s Historic Friendship for America’
April 2, 2020 (EIRNS)—“We are sure that America, if necessary, will also assist us and we will gladly accept it. Without any politicization,” Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov told media yesterday, which was posted on the embassy’s Facebook page, shortly before a Russian military cargo plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York with 60 tons of medical supplies.
After detailing the history of Russia and the U.S. strategic friendship, dating from the 18th-century League of Armed Neutrality and Russian naval aid to the Union during the 1861-65 Civil War, and the U.S. aid to Russia during the Crimean War and two World Wars, Antonov resumed: “My country is reaching out to the American people. This is a historical moment and a continuation of a centuries-old tradition.... The Russian humanitarian mission will already be successful if at least one life is saved as a result.”
Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy later indicated that Russia could send more medical supplies to the U.S. “I do not know about it yet, but I think this cannot be excluded,” Polyanskiy replied when asked whether there would be more aid deliveries amid the health emergency. “This is a great gesture of solidarity with New Yorkers who found themselves in a challenging position, and I think they would appreciate this help,” Polyanskiy said.
Antonov also countered harshly to those who “criticized” Russia’s assistance to Italy, alleging it was aimed at “splitting the unity of the West”:
“Groundless criticism and lack of trust for the assistance that Russia provides to Italy are cynical, immoral, and cruel to those who are fighting for their lives. Our military medics—doctors and nurses—risk a lot every day, unlike those who dare to calculate the percentage of effectiveness of their work,” Antonov said. Russian military doctors in Italy are fighting against the global threat, Antonov continued. “Russian specialists in Bergamo fight against the global threat. They are saving not only Italians, but their own compatriots, and decrease the scale of the threat,” he explained.
“Those who politicize our readiness to provide assistance to people in the Apennines, don’t know history very well,” Antonov said. “They should be reminded about Russian sailors who landed in Sicily in 1908 after the devastating earthquake there (NATO or EU did not exist back then) and about Russia’s rescue and restoration mission in Aquila after the 2009 tragedy” of the earthquake there.