July 14, 2024

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WHO members pass resolution against Russia

GENEVA (Reuters) – Members of the World Health Organization’s European region passed a resolution on Tuesday that could lead to the closure of Russia’s regional office and the suspension of meetings in the country in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

The resolution was adopted by the special session of the European region, and Ukraine and the European Union supported it, with 43 votes in favour, 3 against (Russia, Belarus and Tajikistan) with 2 abstentions.

Supporters consider Moscow’s isolation an important political step, and say they find it difficult to avoid any major impact on Russia’s health system. The resolution referred to a “health emergency” in Ukraine, referring to the mass casualties as well as the risks of chronic and contagious diseases that resulted from Russia’s military operations.

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Russian envoy Andrei Plotnitsky opposed the decision, saying it was “very disappointing”.

“We believe this is a huge moment of damage to the global health care system,” he told a meeting of WHO members and senior officials.

Some criticized the WHO’s decision, saying it was not enough. Diplomats told Reuters they have abandoned their efforts to suspend Russia’s membership of the World Health Organization’s executive board for technical-legal reasons, although members may seek to freeze Russia’s voting rights at a later date. main meeting later this month.

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Moscow describes its actions since February 24 as a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of what it calls anti-Russian nationalism, fueled by the West. Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unjustified war of aggression.

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(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Paul Carell and William MacLean

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