World Health Organization members pass resolution against Russia

i24NEWS - Reuters

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This file photograph taken on December 2, 2021, shows a sign of the World Health Organization  next to their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Fabrice COFFRINI / AFPThis file photograph taken on December 2, 2021, shows a sign of the World Health Organization next to their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Russia's envoy Andrey Plutnitsky opposed the resolution and says he is 'extremely disappointed'

The World Health Organization's European region passed a resolution on Tuesday, possibly resulting in the closure of Russia's regional office and the suspension of meetings in the country in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

The special session of the European region passed the resolution, supported by Ukraine and the European Union, with 43 in favor and three against (Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan) and two abstentions.

This is considered by backers to be an important political step to isolate Moscow, and they said they were at pains to avoid any significant impact on Russia's health system.

STRINGER / AFP
STRINGER / AFPA view shows the city of Mariupol and the Azovstal steel plant on May 10, 2022, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine.

The resolution referred to a "health emergency" in Ukraine, noting mass casualties as well as risks of chronic and infectious diseases that have resulted from Russia's military actions.

Russia's envoy Andrey Plutnitsky opposed the resolution and said he was "extremely disappointed."

"We believe this is a huge moment of harm for the system of global healthcare," he told the meeting of members and top WHO officials, Reuters reported. 

Some criticize the resolution, saying it does not go far enough. Diplomats told Reuters they had dropped efforts to suspend Russia from the WHO executive board due to legal technicalities. However, members could seek to freeze Russia's voting rights at a major meeting later this month.

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