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BRICS Foreign Ministers mull development of COVID-19 Vaccine

05.06.2020

Botswana Guardian

BRICS ministers of foreign affairs have reiterated their interest in creating, “as soon as possible”, a mechanism for developing and using a vaccine against coronavirus.

At an extraordinary meeting initiated by the Russian Federation, who holds the BRICS Chairmanship this year, and held through video conference, the ministers agreed that the decision must be in accordance with the decision of the Ufa and Johannesburg BRICS summits.

The main focus of the discussion of the conference was on the efficiency increase of the countries’ efforts in fighting the COVID-19 threat. According to a release from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Botswana, the BRICS Ministers covered the mechanisms for improving the exchange of experience and information as well as providing mutual aid and deploying multilateral mechanisms.

The ministers analysed the impact of the current crisis on international relations and summed up that there is no other alternative but to seek collective responses to any related challenges and no other alternative but to take a multilateral approach and to pursue equal, non-politicised cooperation of sovereign states in addressing all topical issues on todays agenda. They emphasised that the collective efforts to cope with the current spread of the corona virus are being obstructed by “illegitimate unilateral sanctions” that are being imposed in contravention of the UN Charter, the UN Security Council and contrary to international law. The ministers found that these unilateral restrictions are holding back the measures against the corona virus outbreak and are significantly damaging the socioeconomic development of the respective states.

The proposal to discuss how the five countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – can contribute to the global efforts against the spread of the coronavirus had been made since a number of international events had to be postponed.

According to Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, BRICS foreign ministers discussed additional steps taken by BRICS to deepen the five-way partnership at international organisations, including the UN, the G20, the

World Health Organisation (WHO), the WorldTrade Organisation (WTO), the InternationalMonetary Fund the World Bank and others."

Russia has stated its specific joint crisis responsemeasures to fight coronavirus infection. 'Ihis is afairly large package of measures relating not only to the healthcare sector, but also to the economy, trade, financial stability and employment support. KSgawiffi It was agreed that Russia would submit them for substantive discussion at the upcoming meetingsof the relevant departments of the five countries.