Video summit of UNSC permanent members to discuss pandemic’s impact

Preparations underway for talks between UNSC permanent members — Kremlin

The leaders of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council will discuss ways to tackle the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Wednesday.

"The virtual meeting is expected to discuss a specific issue, that is, the impact that the pandemic will have on cooperation in various areas. It means that the leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council will focus on what they can do together to respond to this new challenge," he said.

When asked when such a meeting could take place, the senior Russian diplomat noted that no date had been set yet for a video conference. "Work on the meeting’s contents continues, including its agenda and date," Ryabkov said. "Preparations are not over yet so it is too early to speak about a specific date," he added.

"We believe that the upcoming meeting will provide the leaders with the best opportunity to discuss the pandemic’s consequences in relation to specific situations, conflicts and regions," the Russian deputy foreign minister emphasized.

-Cooperation with US-

Russia believes that cooperation with the United States to counter the coronavirus will carry on, according to Sergei Ryabkov.

"The Russian president [Vladimir Putin] mentioned this topic a few days ago. We are cooperating with the US side on this issue as well. We believe that this cooperation will continue," he noted.

Responding to the question on upcoming contacts with the US side, the diplomat underlined that Moscow continues talking to Washington through embassies, with phone calls also being held if necessary.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that a contract was signed with the US to supply ventilator assembly parts to Russia.

On April 1, John F. Kennedy International Airport welcomed a plane transporting medical protective gear from Russia.

The agreement to send the jet was reached on March 30 during a phone call between Putin and US President Donald Trump.

As preparations are underway for a summit of the permanent members of the U N Security Council French President Emmanuel Macron in a telephone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin put forward an initiative to hold a video conference of the five countries’ leaders.

"Diplomats are working on a video conference, work is also underway on a possible joint document," Peskov said. According to him, "once things are clear," an announcement will be made.

The joint document for a summit of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members is being worked out via diplomatic channels and may be agreed in the coming days, Dmitry Peskov went on.

"This will be in the coming days. This will [happen] rather swiftly," Peskov said. "Yes, there is such a possibility."

According to the Kremlin spokesman, the document was "being prepared and coordinated." Peskov declined to reveal its content, advising journalists to wait until the diplomats completed their work.

"I don’t want to forecast anything now and speak about the document’s provisions. It still has to be endorsed by the heads of state."

Putin and Macron held a telephone conversation on April 17. The call was initiated by Paris.

Five Permanent members of the UN Security Council are Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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