Donald Trump (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Russia on Tuesday denounced President Donald Trump's threat to pull the United States out of the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. "Yes, there are opportunities to improve it... and we are ready -- as before -- to play an active role in this work," deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by news agency Interfax.
"But we are against breaking everything that is there for the sake of one state's political or geopolitical preferences, I mean the United States or even a group of states with the United States at its helm," Ryabkov told reporters after a meeting with lawmakers of the ruling United Russia party.
"We are against politicising everything that is linked to the COVID-19 spread," Ryabkov was quoted as saying by state news agency RIA Novosti. "The WHO cannot become a puck that is passed back and forth." Trump has accused the WHO of botching the global coronavirus response and of being a "puppet of China".
He has been locked in a bitter spat with Beijing, alleging it covered up the initial outbreak in central China late last year before the disease spread across the planet. On Tuesday, WHO member states at the agency's annual assembly agreed to launch an investigation into its coronavirus response. They adopted a resolution calling for an "impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation" of the international response and the measures taken by the agency.