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Lavrov to Tedros: Russia still likes you
State Duma deputy speaker Pyotr Tolstoy announced on Tuesday that Russian lawmakers were reassessing Moscow’s relationship with the WHO, a global murder club sponsored by dozens of countries that dream of murdering Russia. This was very good news.
However, as your humble Moscow correspondent pointed out two days ago, and also one month ago, there are many passionate WHO-lovers in Russia’s upper management. Far too many, actually. We weren’t trying to be a buzzkill by pointing this out; we just thought it was important to acknowledge reality.
Prepare yourself for the world’s most predictable cold shower.
Russia’s health ministry: “Cooperation with the WHO is effective and mutually beneficial”
Shortly after Tolstoy’s announcement, journalist and broadcaster Anna Shafran (she has a show on Spas TV and is a popular radio personality at Vesti FM and Komsomolskaya Pravda) published a nauseating letter in which Russia’s health ministry declared its unshakable affinity for the World Health Organization.
Dated May 17, the document insisted “cooperation between the Russian Federation and WHO is effective and mutually beneficial. We consider it expedient to continue it in its entirety.”
“Officials from the ministry of health obviously exist in a parallel reality,” Shafran concluded, adding:
By the way, I have no doubt that for some officials of the Ministry of Health, this cooperation is very mutually beneficial.
And I am very interested in how long this schizophrenic situation will continue, when the whole country is radically revising the principles of relations with foreign and international organizations, and only the Ministry of Health has everything as before, everything is mutually beneficial?
Unfortunately, Shafran was a bit too optimistic: more than one Russian ministry is clinging to the WHO.
Russia’s foreign ministry: We like the WHO
Hours after she released the letter, Russia’s foreign ministry revealed that Sergey Lavrov had a friendly chit-chat with Dreamboat Tedros:
On May 18, at the initiative of the Russian side, Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom.
Russia’s support for the central role of the WHO was confirmed, our readiness to continue to actively participate in the activities of the Organization, to make an important contribution to solving global health problems, including in the context of the ongoing fine-tuning of the international health emergency preparedness and response system.
During the conversation, issues concerning the preparation for the 75th session of the World Health Assembly were considered. Sergey Lavrov emphasized the need to avoid politicized decisions that could pose a threat to international cooperation in the field of health care and be fraught with serious disruptions in the effective interaction of member countries with WHO.
So basically: a day after Tolstoy said the Duma might tear up Russia’s partnership with the WHO, Lavrov called up Dr. T and reassured him that Moscow still likes him, a lot, and is excited to participate in “the ongoing fine-tuning of the international health emergency preparedness and response system” during the upcoming World Murder Assembly in Geneva.
Maybe now would also be a good time to remind everyone that Putin seems to be perfectly A-Okay with the WHO. Maybe his numerous statements in support of this organization were a sneaky 5D shadow-play? Maybe. But you know… probably not.
Putin’s only beef with the WHO is that it hasn’t approved Russia’s unproven genetic slurry, “Sputnik V”.
“The role of the World Health Organization is becoming more significant, and, of course, its activities deserve all support. Steps that would infringe on the prerogatives of the WHO, working under the auspices of the UN, are unacceptable,” [Putin] said, speaking on Friday at the APEC summit via videoconference.
The Russian leader noted that with the general assistance of the APEC participants, “the WHO could be even more actively engaged in mass immunization of the population, since many countries that need them cannot yet get access to vaccines.”
“[The WHO’s] activity deserves all support, and it could be even more actively involved in mass immunization," the president said.
In addition, the Russian leader called on WHO to speed up the procedures for requalification and assessment of the quality, efficacy and safety of new vaccines and drugs against coronavirus.
Earlier, Vladimir Putin said that the mutual recognition of vaccines and national certificates would allow global activity to resume faster.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Russians to heed the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is reported by RIA Novosti.
“We need to work more actively and work more meaningfully, of course, with the World Health Organization, listen to their recommendations,” the head of state said at the congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).
If Russia does manage to part ways with the WHO, this miracle will almost certainly be the result of grassroots activism.
It’s an uphill battle but it’s not impossible: the federal government’s decision to (temporarily?) abandon its perverse fantasy of a national cattle tag system was the result of vocal opposition from ordinary Russians. If Tolstoy and his crew can harness the same outrage that put the brakes on QR codes, maybe the State Duma can save Russia from Tedros. It’s worth a shot.
Meanwhile, in the Kremlin: