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Lavrov Affirms, International Relations Will Be Shaped by Our Actions in the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 16, 2020 (EIRNS)—“The outcome of the fight against the coronavirus will show which countries and multilateral structures have withstood the test of this horrible threat, this crisis,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with press on April 14. (He drily suggested that “perhaps we will have a better understanding, for example, of what Europeans think of the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance.”)

“At this point in time, we must not lose hope and must do everything to make sure that this crisis inoculates nations against egoism, messianism and the temptation to pursue their interests to the detriment of others,” he said. “This will not happen overnight. There is a growing body of evidence showing how difficult it is to fight these kinds of threats alone,”

referring to both the pandemic and economic crisis.

He slammed the campaign against China as “beyond the pale.” Here our Chinese friends, after overcoming the peak of the epidemic in their country, are “getting their economy back on track, and are not shutting themselves for the outside world,” but rather “using every avenue to help other countries and to share the expertise that they have gained in fighting this scourge in China.

“When we hear the argument that China will have to pay everyone for spreading this infection and allegedly someone failed to inform someone in good time, it is beyond the pale. I heard someone in London throw some numbers in the air and came up with 3.7 trillion dollars or euros that China allegedly owes to the EU for damages caused by the pandemic. Some are saying China’s foreign-based property should be seized if China fails to pay. There are officials who are saying this seriously and in public too. I think this is absolutely unacceptable.”

The complete text of Lavrov’s interview is posted on the Foreign Ministry website.

Asked the next day about Lavrov’s comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian replied that Russia and Chinese mutual support at the time of each’s need, shows that “as comprehensive strategic partners of coordination in the new era, China and Russia will stand firmly together to tackle the obstacles on the road of development ... and jointly respond to common threats and challenges to safeguard global public health security.”

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