Russia will make its stance known regarding the global ceasefire in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic in the near future, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
“Obviously, we will make it [the stance] known in the near future,” Peskov said in response to a question on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to hold a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron to state his opinion on the global ceasefire initiative.
The spokesman noted that so far, this phone call is not planned neither for today nor for tomorrow. He added that currently, the leaders’ aides maintain working contacts. “They are discussing all the nuances of this initiative,” Peskov noted. “It is important to compare the stances of all five member states [permanent members of the UN Security Council — TASS], and the aides are currently working on that,” he added.
French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with Radio France Internationale on April 15 that he hopes for Putin’s support of his initiative. He noted that he had received a confirmation from the UK, the US and China that they would support the ceasefire. The French leader said that he expects to talk with the Russian president “in the next few hours” and if the latter endorses the initiative, the leaders, according to Macron, could hold a joint video conference, declaring a call for a ceasefire “in a solemn, decisive and effective manner.”
On March 23, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressed the sides of all regional armed conflicts across the world with a call for a global ceasefire amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. “I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world,” Guterres stressed. “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.” “To warring parties, I say: Pull back from hostilities. Put aside mistrust and animosity. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes,” the UN secretary general added.
According to Guterres, the ceasefire will “help create corridors for life-saving aid” and “bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.” “That is what our human family needs, now more than ever,” he concluded.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 134,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 516,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 27,938 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 2,304 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 232 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.