Reuters learned about the possible closure of the WHO European office in Russia
According to the agency, representatives of the EU countries will discuss this initiative at a meeting on May 10. We are talking about the WHO European Office for Noncommunicable Diseases, the closure of the country office in Moscow is not discussed now
Diplomats of the EU countries, at the request of Kyiv, prepared a resolution on the transfer of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases located in Moscow, as well as the suspension of meetings in Russia, Reuters reports citing a document available to the agency. This proposal will be considered on May 10, a representative of the WHO regional office confirmed to the agency, expressing the hope that Russia will be represented in the discussion. The document, in addition to Ukraine, was signed by at least 38 countries, including Turkey, France and Germany.
At the same time, diplomats refrained from the proposal to exclude Russia from the WHO or limit its voting rights in the organization. There are no plans to close the WHO country office, which is also located in Moscow. A diplomat familiar with the discussions on this issue explained that the organization avoids tougher sanctions because it fears a threat to the health of the country's population.
According to the agency, the step proposed in the resolution is more of a political isolation of Russia— it will not affect the country's healthcare system.
The document notes the emergency situation in Ukraine in the healthcare sector and condemns Russia's military actions in the country, Reuters writes.
At the end of February, shortly after the start of the Russian military operation, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine asked WHO to stop cooperation with Russia.
In March, WHO postponed the inspection of the production of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. indefinitely, citing “limited flight opportunities”; to the country and the “finance and credit card” situation. The organization promised to set new dates for the visit as soon as possible. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus subsequently explained that the inspection team was supposed to go to Russia a few days before the start of the military operation in Ukraine, but now “there is no way for action” and “everything is on pause.”
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