The Times has praised Russia’s success in controlling the pandemic and criticised the US government for failing to respond to the crisis
As News Front reported earlier, at the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic the Western countries preferred nationalistic policies, ignoring the problems even of the allies. In the EU, the victim of commonwealth partners’ indifference was Italy. Its neighbours abandoned the virus-stricken country to its fate. It was only possible to stabilise the situation thanks to the help of Russia, which sent equipment, specialists and medical equipment to Italy.
This is just one of many similar cases, and even a year later Western governments have not learned the lessons of vaccine diplomacy, writes the US newspaper The New York Times. Both Russia and China, two key rivals of the US, saw just in time an opportunity to capitalise politically on the pandemic, the editorial said.
“Poor countries will remember who came to their rescue and when,” the NYT writes. – “Now, as low- and middle-income countries demand vaccines, countries from Serbia and Algeria to Brazil and Egypt are getting doses from China and Russia.”
As a result, even Serbia, which has established a supply of Russian and Chinese vaccines, is ahead of most European Union countries in terms of the percentage of its population vaccinated.
Chinese authorities have started distributing locally produced vaccines as part of the One Belt, One Road project.
“China’s vaccine diplomacy has had its shortcomings, primarily due to a lack of verified information on vaccine effectiveness”, – the publication notes. – “But for many poor countries, China’s vaccines are far better than nothing.”
The Russian Sputnik V vaccine is becoming one of the most popular in the world. Dozens of countries are willing to purchase the drug. Even Mexico, a neighbour of the United States, has contracted Russia to supply 7.4 million doses between February and April.
This practice contrasts with the policies of Joe Biden, who did not stray far from his predecessor. Yes, in the States at least one dose of the vaccine has been given to nearly 14% of the population. On the other hand, on average, only 7% of citizens in poor countries have received the vaccine at all, according to Think Global Health. And it’s not just that it’s in the interests of the US to take over from Russia and China, the New York Times writes.
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“The pandemic will not be defeated anywhere until it is defeated everywhere”, – the publication states