Putin warns of economic effects of coronavirus pandemic

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that millions of people may drop into poverty because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Alarming trends are observed in the economy and social sphere, due to the decline in industrial production and financial troubles, tens of millions of people are at risk of falling below the poverty line,” Putin said during a video conference of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

To help the most vulnerable nations, Putin once again suggested organizing “green corridors” free of restrictions and sanctions on food and medical supplies.

“We believe that the implementation of this initiative would contribute not only to the relief of the humanitarian situations in the world, but also to the development of global trade,” he said.

Putin also expects an escalation of economic contradictions between key global players because of the pandemic and stressed Russia is ready to work with everyone to prevent tensions.

He expressed a readiness to share Russia’s experience in fighting the virus and developing anti-virus vaccines.

“I would like to remind you that two vaccines have been created and registered in Russia: Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona. The third vaccine is in the final stage of testing. Together with our foreign partners, we are actively working on the possibilities of their supply and localization of production in third countries,” he said.

The APEC forum brings together 21 Pacific Rim countries, including China and the US, the world’s two biggest economies that account for 60% of global GDP.

This year’s virtual theme, “APEC Re-Imagined: Priorities in the Aftermath of COVID-19,” focuses on urgent issues in the region and the wider world in the wake of the pandemic.

A News