Russia will look into the recent decree of US President Donald Trump on possible sanctions against countries that fail to repatriate nationals from the United States over COVID-19, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Saturday, adding that any such sanctions amid the pandemic will be inappropriate.
“We need to make sense of the content of this signal. There is little specifics so far, but in any case, now is not the time to appeal to sanctions on any little occasion. We have spoken about this many times, we have done it nationally, and we will continue to do it. We did it and are doing it in cooperation with other countries, which are very many, and a number of international structures at the level of their leaders have spoken in a similar vein,” Ryabkov said.
The official said sanctions in current circumstances would only harm ordinary people rather than anyhow change governments’ behaviours, as the US counts on.
“With regard to this particular signal, we will look into it,” Ryabkov said.
On Friday, Trump issued a decree under which countries delaying or obstructing repatriation of nationals during the coronavirus pandemic can be confronted with visa-related sanctions.
Amid the spread of coronavirus, Russia proposed in early April a UN General Assembly resolution calling for solidarity and global sanctions relief. The US, the EU, Ukraine and Georgia, however, decided to block the resolution.