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17 Mar 2020

Belarus calls for joint efforts to effectively fight coronavirus

Belarus calls for joint efforts to effectively fight coronavirus
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MINSK, 17 March (BelTA) – The coronavirus epidemic can be effectively fought only through joint efforts, BelTA learned from Anatoly Glaz, Head of the Information and Digital Diplomacy Office, Press Secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The day before the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated they were looking forward to receiving complete official information from Russia regarding its decision to close the border for citizens of Belarus. After that the press service of the Russian government issued the relevant statement and an executive order of the Russian government was published. Today Russian reporters asked the spokesman of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs whether the Belarusian side still had any questions.

In response Anatoly Glaz noted: “We may have fewer questions now but there is still a bitter aftertaste. It is sad that decisions of our Russian friends are prompted by some abstract proportions instead of real data or interests of people, all the more so interests of citizens of the country that the Kremlin described yesterday as ‘our closest partner and ally’. I believe that the World Health Organization is genuinely surprised by Russian claims about Belarus’ failure to follow WHO recommendations. The World Health Organization calls for unity and has been persistently saying that travel restrictions during a public health emergency are ineffective.”

Belarus has been in touch with the World Health Organization since the epidemic started spreading. “There is not a single recommendation Belarus has not fulfilled. At least that’s what the World Health Organization says. Reading today’s statement of the WHO office in Belarus would suffice,” the diplomat continued.

Anatoly Glaz pointed out that so far two cases of importing coronavirus from Moscow to Belarus have been detected. The other ones also came from the outside. “Belarusians have yet to ‘export’ coronavirus to anyone. I don’t even want to speculate what we should do if we follow the logic of the Russian side,” he noted.

Anatoly Glaz stressed: “The situation is not simple and it is possible to effectively fight the epidemic only through joint efforts. It is a common challenge, a cause to get united for, a true test of the relations. Seventy-five years ago we stood together to protect our common border against an external threat. Unfortunately, today Russians and Belarusians are artificially placed on different sides.”

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