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30 march

Press Release on the Initiatives of President of the Russian Federation V.Putin at the G20 Video-Conference on Countering Covid-19

30.03.2020

President of the Russian Federation V.Putin at the G20 Video-Conference on March 26, 2020

On March 26, 2020, Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, participated in the Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit of the Group-20 (G20) and suggested several initiatives on measures to counter Covid-19. The summery of his remarks is the following:

The current problems caused by the new coronavirus pandemic will result in far greater shocks than the financial crisis of 2008–2009, and the trade conflicts and sanctions are worsening the recession. The key risk lies in long-term unemployment which, regardless of the future scenario, will peak much higher than in 2009. Unemployment dynamics will also serve as a key efficiency indicator for our anti-crisis measures. The current crisis will inevitably take its toll on global development, and for the long term. Therefore, certainly, the G20 countries cannot afford to act with an every-man-for-himself approach.

It is necessary to continue a regular exchange of credible information about the pandemic’s progress in the G20 countries and about the actions being taken. It was also emphasized that it would be necessary to provide aid to the African countries especially for strengthening their health systems.

The World Health Organisation should channel its efforts to detecting hidden coronavirus epidemics in those countries that are not able to organise testing. A joint research by the G20 countries could also significantly expedite the development of vaccines and medications.

Concerning the economy the G20 needs a common action plan to stabilise the situation, supports their economies and restores trust across global markets. For these purposes, the national budgets should play a key role in increasing global demand. However, due to the high volatility of global markets, borrowing options are limited for many countries – and the G20 countries must also take this into account.

G 20 Extraordinary Summit on March 26, 2020

In this respect, it is very important now to ensure access to financing for countries that are suffering from resource shortages, particularly the ones affected by the crisis and pandemic. Moreover, the G20 should consider creating a special fund under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), financed primarily by the central banks. In conclusion, any IMF member would be able to borrow money from this fund in proportion to its share in the world economy at a zero rate for the long term.

Russian President V. Putin as well as UN Secretary General A. Guterres called for “solidarity not exclusion”. To this end, all trade wars sanctions should be postponed. Furthermore, now it is of paramount importance to create so-called green corridors, free from the mutual supply of food, medicines and aid in general. Ideally, the G20 countries should impose a joint moratorium on restrictions on essentials, as well as on financial transactions for their procurement. Finally, this is a question of life and death of people which should be separated from “political husks”.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana