EIR Daily Alert Service, Wednesday, March 25, 2020
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020
Volume 7, Number 60
EIR Daily Alert Service
P.O. Box 17390, Washington, DC 20041-0390
- World Going on Lockdown–Will Wall Street Be Locked Down?
- Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick Urges Stop Lockdown, Let Elderly ‘Sacrifice’ Themselves, So “We Can Get Back to Work”
- Ford and GM Join War on Coronavirus, Turn to Making Ventilators
- Russian Aid to Italy in Coronavirus Crisis Shows Uselessness of European Union and NATO
- Warmongers and Geopoliticians Blame Belt and Road Initiative for Pandemic Spread, Hope for BRI Demise
- Chinese Experts, Ibero-American and Caribbean Counterparts Hold Videoconference on COVIDF-19 Fight
- WHO Considers U.S. Could Potentially Become New Coronavirus Epicenter
- Scenes From the 14th-Century Dark Ages in Spain, as Coronavirus Overwhelms Healthcare System
- White House Ceases Using ‘Chinese Virus’ Mantra
- Is the Club of Rome Responsible For Delays in Italian Government Response to Pandemic?
- United Nations, Secretary-General Guterres Make Strong Case for Worldwide Ceasefire
- Former IMF Deputy Managing Director Warns of Major Financial Crisis
- Hubei Province To Lift Quarantine on March 25
- G20 Heads of State and Government Plan for Online Summit on March 26
World Going on Lockdown—Will Wall Street Be Locked Down?
March 24 (EIRNS)—Both the U.K. and India announced total lockdown over the past 24 hours. The nearly 1.4 billion people of India were informed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that there would be a “total ban on venturing out of your homes,” although grocery stores were included in the list of essential functions which would remain open. In the case of Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister held a phone conversation with President Xi Jinping earlier on March 23, preceding Johnson’s nationally televised address announcing the lockdown. Johnson told Xi that the COVID-19 situation in Britain is “grave,” and that “Britain has been studying and learning from China’s useful experience and taking scientific and effective prevention and control measures.”
The fact is that neither NATO nor the NATO countries have offered any significant help to the world’s many countries suffering from this historic pandemic. Even many of the European countries have turned to China and to Russia for help. China is now aiding at least 82 nations of the world, with shipments of medical supplies and teams of doctors and medical professionals. Chinese doctors held a videoconference with their counterparts in 24 African nations on March 18, and another with experts and officials in Latin American and Caribbean countries (those with diplomatic relations with China plus Nicaragua) today, both lasting over three hours. Russia has flown 14 cargo planes full of medical supplies, and a team of doctors, to aid the suffering Italians, while China has provided similar support.
The vile slanders against China in the U.S. press and from some members of Congress continue unabated, but the effort to turn President Donald Trump against China has fallen flat. For a few days last week he voiced some of the slanders about China’s supposed “responsibility” for the global disaster, calling it the “China virus,” but he has backed off from that, renewing his praise for President Xi and China, and stating that China is living up to its pledge as part of the trade deal to vastly increase the purchase of U.S. agricultural products.
The fact that international cooperation is absolutely necessary to defeat this “invisible enemy” is increasingly obvious to the people of all nations. It should be equally clear that the “sanctions” lunacy must be ended by all sides, as President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov observed today, while UN Secretary-General António Guterres today called for easing all sanctions, including those against Iran and North Korea, to help fight the virus. Guterres also called for a universal ceasefire in the various wars still raging around the world, so that all people can fight the common enemy.
But the underlying issue—the cause of the failure of the world’s public health facilities to be prepared to prevent the pandemic—must be addressed at the same time, or the virus, and new viruses, and other dangers facing the human race, will not be defeated. When Lyndon LaRouche forecast the outbreak of new pandemics in 1971, following the collapse of the Bretton Woods system on August 15th of that year, he identified the cause clearly: The breakdown of the credit-oriented system of FDR’s Bretton Woods would allow the British system of unregulated speculation to create new levels of poverty, the collapse of basic infrastructure investments, and the ballooning of speculative paper unconnected to real production.
This made LaRouche the sworn enemy of the Anglo-American financial and intelligence apparatus, leading to a political witch-hunt and his incarceration. But the failure to heed his warnings, and to implement his policies, led to precisely the existential crisis facing mankind today, as he forewarned. LaRouche’s widow, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, has insisted over these past troubled weeks, this crisis marks the end of an epoch of history. The system which has collapsed will never return. The premonition of a New Dark Age which is now confronting the conscience of all the peoples of this world can be reversed, but not by partial measures. The crisis itself creates the condition in which the required revolutionary changes can be made, and must be made.
President Trump knows that Glass-Steagall must be restored, and knows that the American System of Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt requires an end to the “Casino Mondial” centered in the City of London and Wall Street. It is an awakened and activated citizenry which is required to give the President the power to defeat the imperial monetarists, to bring the U.S., Russia, China, India—and all nations—together in the New Silk Road development of the world, a New Bretton Woods financial system, and to implement the scientific and cultural renaissance required to end the Empire once and for all through a new paradigm for mankind.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick Urges Stop Lockdown, Let Elderly ‘Sacrifice’ Themselves, So ‘We Can Get Back to Work’
March 24 (EIRNS)—At a time when the United States is in urgent need of real leadership to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last night brought on the “pro-life” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to offer Americans the immoral neo-con solution: Stop all the aggressive measures against the coronavirus epidemic, in an attempt to save lives, because they’re causing an economic depression and wrecking the economy. Instead, “sacrifice” the elderly (or anyone else who might be vulnerable) so “we can get back to work.” As the Dallas Star Telegram asked today, what about much younger people who are vulnerable because they have underlying medical conditions? Sacrifice them, too?
Patrick cloaked his Malthusian argument—Carlson called it a “thoughtful” one—in maudlin concern for his and all other grandchildren, who, he said, are missing out on the American Dream, which he claimed is only being destroyed by the current measures, nothing to do with Wall Street and parasitical bankers. After all, “all the experts say that 98% of all people will survive” the virus, Patrick said, but meanwhile, all the harsh measures are “killing our country in another way. It could bring about a total economic collapse and potentially a collapse of our society. So I say let’s give this a few more days or weeks but after that, let’s go back to work and go back to living. Those we want to shelter in place can still do so but we can’t live with uncertainty.”
Stating that he is 70 years old, Patrick declared, “No one reached out to me and said ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.” Surely there are lots of grandparents who would make the same choice, he said, “because they don’t want the whole country sacrificed…. So let’s get back to work…. Those of us who are 70 plus, we will take care of ourselves but don’t sacrifice the country. Don’t do that.”
Ford and GM Join War on Coronavirus, Turn to Making Ventilators
March 24 (EIRNS)—Both Ford and GM have responded to President Donald Trump’s call to help in meeting the dangerous shortage of respiratory ventilators, by forming partnership with existing companies building the ventilators, contributing their expertise in running supply chains and in mass-production techniques.
On March 22, the Food and Drug Administration issued a guidance which, according to the Ars Technica website, “dramatically loosens the agency’s normally strict oversight of ventilator technology. The new policy not only gives medical professionals broader latitude to modify existing FDA-approved ventilators, it also creates a streamlined process for complete newcomers to the ventilator market to get FDA approval.”
Also on March 22, Trump tweeted that “Ford, General Motors and Tesla are being given the go ahead to make ventilators and other metal products, FAST! @fema Go for it auto execs, lets see how good you are?”
GM announced a partnership with ventilator manufacturer Ventec on Friday, March 20, and this morning Ford announced its own ventilator partnership with GE Healthcare.
Ars Technica also observed that ventilators are complex machines, costing as much as $50,000 apiece, and that any malfunction or loss of power could cost lives. “So it wouldn’t be practical for any company to design and build ventilators from scratch in a few months. Instead, car companies are looking for ways to help existing vendors expand their output.”
Tesla, they report, has not yet found a partner.
Russian Aid to Italy in Coronavirus Crisis Shows Uselessness of European Union and NATO
March 24 (EIRNS)—The 14 planeloads of experts, equipment and supplies that the Russian government has shipped to Rome in the last two days is reflecting very badly on both the European Union and the NATO alliance, both of which are demonstrating their uselessness in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Neither the EU nor NATO have provided much assistance to Italy—despite its becoming the epicenter for the pandemic in Europe—beyond telling Italians to wash their hands. Sputnik International reports that a video went viral showing an Italian man replacing a European Union flag with a Russian one, in a gesture of gratitude to Moscow for helping combat the coronavirus crisis.
TASS reported yesterday that Russian Defense Ministry officials held their first round of talks with their Italian Defense Ministry colleagues on how the Russian team and its equipment will be deployed in Italy. The Russian delegation involved representatives of the Defense Ministry’s task force headed by deputy chief of the Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Protection Troops of the Russian Armed Forces Maj. Gen. Sergei Kikotei. On the outcomes of the session, the Italian military will determine the areas of the country where Russian military specialists and equipment will be deployed.
Meanwhile, NATO is foundering, still trying to convince members of the Alliance that Russia is a supposed enemy against which they must all continue to agree on increasing their defense spending despite the healthcare emergency that they’re all now suffering through in the coronavirus pandemic.
Warmongers and Geopoliticians Blame Belt and Road Initiative for Pandemic Spread, Hope for BRI Demise
March 24 (EIRNS)—Devotees of British geopolitical doctrine have come up with the not-so-novel argument that the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus internationally is due to the fact that so many countries have joined Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This, they assert, is the only way to explain the high rates of infection in Italy and Iran, for example, adding, hopefully, that the BRI’s demise is not long off.
While it’s undoubtedly the case that some key BRI infrastructure projects have been put on hold in this crisis, what is progressing rapidly is what Xi calls the “Health Silk Road” in which China is collaborating with many countries, to assist them in building up their medical and scientific infrastructure, and in training personnel to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and many other serious health challenges. It is notable that no such mobilization is taking place among the NATO or EU countries.
This doesn’t compute with the geopolitical pea-brains, however. “Asia analyst” Jonathan Hillman, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., told the Washington Examiner, “This pandemic is reminding us that connectivity doesn’t just carry good and nice things but also illicit and deadly things. The Belt and Road was already shrinking and running into problems in certain places. And I think this is really going to put the brakes on it.”
And then there’s Michael Rubin from that British outpost the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), who raved that, “instead of ‘Belt and Road,’ it’s ‘Plague and Road,’ ” and that “just as we were able to identify Western trade routes because of syphilis, we can now identify just how deep the Chinese trade routes are because of this.”
Over the past months, many other voices of British geopolitics, the Council on Foreign Relations, for example, have raved similarly. A March 17 article in The Federalist, by columnist Helen Raleigh, scribbles that “Iran and Italy Are Paying a Hefty Price for Close Ties with Communist China.” Rather than carrying out the necessary structural reforms (IMF austerity) and deregulation, Raleigh insists, Italy and Iran sought the “easy way out” by joining the BRI, allying with China rather than the United States. They “sold out their countries and their people’s interests” with their “short-sighted and foolish decisions,” and now they are living with the consequences.
Chinese Experts, Ibero-American and Caribbean Counterparts Hold Videoconference on COVID-19 Fight
March 24 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reported that 200 experts from China, Ibero-American and Caribbean countries that currently have diplomatic relations with China—interestingly also including Nicaragua which still has ties to Taiwan—participated in a videoconference to exchange view on combatting the novel coronavirus. China’s Foreign Ministry and National Health Commission sponsored the event.
Chinese medical experts had a similar videoconference last week with 300 representatives from African nations and regional health organizations for the same purpose and with excellent results.
Geng Shuang reported that officials from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Inter-American Development Bank and UNICEF also participated in the three-hour dialogue. There was a lively exchange, and many questions, in which China’s medical and other experts discussed at length the trajectory and features of the epidemic and their experience in disease control, clinical treatment, customs administration and community-based quarantine. The Chinese experts stressed the importance of early detection, tracking, isolation and treatment.
The Ibero-American and Caribbean officials welcomed Beijing’s information about its success in containing the virus, and more broadly, how it had contributed to global public health security, Geng reported. They were effusive in their gratitude to China for providing such crucial information, which they urgently need. “They believed this timely, professional and efficient videoconference offered important guidance for their countries. They would like to draw on China’s experience and maintain communication and coordination with China to defeat the pandemic together,” Geng Shuang said.
Geng reported too that China will continue to work closely with Ibero-American and Caribbean countries, so as to “jointly overcome the challenge posed by the virus.” Xinhua reported that the Ibero-American and Caribbean participants said they absolutely intend to stay in close touch with their Chinese colleagues to form a “united front against the common challenge to humanity that is the COVID-19 pandemic.”
WHO Considers U.S. Could Potentially Become New Coronavirus Epicenter
March 24 (EIRNS)—In a teleconference this morning, World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman Margaret Harris said that the United States has the potential to become the new epicenter of the coronavirus, because of the significant acceleration of cases in that country. “We cannot say that is the case yet, but it has that potential.”
Over the previous 24 hours, she pointed out, 85% of new cases originated in Europe and the U.S., and 40% of those were in the United States. Johns Hopkins University today reported late this afternoon that there are now 52,145 total cases in the U.S., compared to 46,500 on March 23. After China and Italy, the U.S. is the third country with the largest number of cases. Because of the lag in testing, it’s estimated that the actual number of cases is much higher than Hopkins reported.
On March 23, in a teleconference with 300 journalists, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus discussed the speed at which COVID-19 is being transmitted. It took 67 days for the number of cases to reach 100,000, he said; but it took only 11 days to reach 200,000, and only 4 days from that point to reach 300,000. But, he added, “we can change the trajectory of the pandemic.” In addition to defensive measures, there must be an offensive: testing every suspect case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and tracing and quarantining every close contact.
Dr. Tedros also expressed alarm over reports of growing infection rates among healthcare providers and staff. He urged G20 leaders to boost production of protective gear and to avoid export bans.
Scenes from the 14th-Century Dark Ages in Spain, as Coronavirus Overwhelms Healthcare System
March 24 (EIRNS)—Spain’s rapidly rising coronavirus statistics are dramatic —514 people died on Monday alone, raising total deaths to 2,808 people, with diagnosed cases nearing 40,000. The scenes in and around Madrid make the breakdown of the system bitterly real.
Security forces have been called in to transport the bodies of the dead from hospitals and nursing homes in Madrid to a large ice rink which the city government commandeered as a temporary mortuary, needed to store the bodies until funeral home personnel receive the personal protective equipment (PPE) to handle them.
Hospitals and nursing homes are first in line for needed PPEs, however: Healthcare providers now make up 14% of Spain’s infected, and the percentage is rising. A video made by healthcare providers show conditions in the hospitals, where coughing patients lying, head-to-toe, on the floor of a hallway of Madrid’s Hospital Infanta Leonor de Vallecas. That hospital is one of three which are no longer taking new patients; another hospital has three times as many patients as it is equipped to handle.
Hospitals have therefore requested that nursing and retirement homes care for sick residents. Nearly 400,000 people live in Spain’s homes for the elderly; they have no respiratory ventilators, few testing kits, and almost no adequate PPEs, nor do caregivers have training in how to care for the disease. The military, sent out to disinfect the elderly homes this week, found many largely unstaffed, and some, with elderly patients lying dead in their rooms. An estimated one-quarter—25%—of the staff of these homes now have COVID, as other personnel fled out of fear of bringing the disease to their family residence.
It is not that the Spanish government is doing nothing, but it did not take action in time, like almost every government in Europe and the Americas.
The Madrid government is preparing to turn hotels into makeshift hospitals. The Army and the city’s emergency medical and civil protection corps is rapidly assembling a field hospital in the pavilions of the city’s convention center. The hospital will be staffed by 1,000 doctors, nurses and auxiliaries, and each pavilion will contain 50 beds. When respiratory ventilators arrive, it should have at least 50 ICU beds.
Discussion of retooling Spanish companies to produce medical supplies is underway, and, as elsewhere, China is stepping in to help right away. The cities of Madrid and Valencia contacted China directly to purchase material, with the acquiescence of the national government. Valencia, which is taking patients from Madrid in addition to its own patients, expects two planeloads of PPEs, beds and respiratory ventilators to arrive by March 25. The city government dubbed this “Operation Silk Road,” in honor of the 2,000-year-old history of Valencia, from the ancient Silk Road to today’s New Silk Road.
White House Ceases Using ‘Chinese Virus’ Mantra
March 24 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump, at the White House briefing of the coronavirus task force yesterday, referred to COVID-19 as “this horrible virus that came from wherever,” making it clear that the mantra which he had adopted a few days earlier referring to the disease as “the Chinese virus” was effectively at an end. His vigorous defense of Asian-Americans who he said were discriminated against because people were “blaming China” for the virus’s first appearance, indicated something of a reboot in the relationship to China.
The President’s sudden adoption of the “Chinese virus” epithet, according to him, was in reaction to the accusation, floating around in the wild world of the Chinese internet, which had also been promoted in mid-March by a member of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian, who was something of a figure on Twitter. When he was appointed Deputy Director-General at the Department of Information for the Foreign Ministry on Feb. 24, and then reiterated this hypothesis on March 12, someone brought it to the President’s attention and he reacted accordingly.
China’s Ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai was asked on March 21 in an interview with “Axios on HBO” if he stood by the accusation that the U.S. was responsible for the virus. Ambassador Cui had told Face the Nation on Feb. 9 that such speculations about the virus coming from some military lab in China or the U.S. was “crazy.” In response to Axios, he said he stood by that statement and stressed that he was the official representative of the Chinese government in the United States. This may also have played a role in calming the waters a bit. But more importantly, the existence of such a major spate between the two powers, at a point when Chinese cooperation—and Chinese medical equipment—could help save lives in the U.S., would be utter folly.
Even Vice President Mike Pence had nice things to say about China in an interview with Fox News’ Mark Levin on March 22. While reiterating the relatively specious argument that China should have alerted the U.S. earlier, he went on, “But the truth is that compared to previous outbreaks in China, there’s been a much greater degree of transparency on this. And we were able to send a team of our health experts in the middle of February to look at the raw data to understand what’s been happening in China. And we’ll continue to work on a basis of cooperation.”
Is the Club of Rome Responsible for Delays in Italian Government Response to Pandemic?
March 24 (EIRNS)—Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had hired Gunter Pauli, a Belgian environmentalist with a Club of Rome background, as adviser in the COVID-19 emergency at the beginning of March. On March 22, Pauli posted a photo of a 5G antenna with the following tweet: “Science needs to demonstrate and explain cause and effect. However science first observes correlations: phenomena that are apparently associated. Let’s apply science logic. Which was the 1st city in the world blanketed in 5G? Wuhan! Which is the 1st European 5G Region? Northern Italy.”
The former government official who founded Italy’s China Task Force, China expert Michele Geraci, demanded to know, “In your view, is it fair that this gentleman is economic advisor to our government?”
Pauli is a Belgian businessman, and author of a radical version of “circular economy,” called “the Blue Economy.” According to Wikipedia he was assistant to the genocidal Club of Rome founder Aurelio Peccei from 1979-1984. Pauli has written a biography of Peccei and spreads his anti-human ideas—specifically his ZERI Education model—in seven volumes of 285 fables for children, mostly in Spanish and English, but 180 of which were published in China.
His contacts to the Five Star Movement (M5S) go back to 2005, when founder Beppe Grillo posted a quote from one of Pauli’s books. Last June, Italian Foreign Minister and M5S leader Luigi Di Maio met with Pauli, saying in a post he had “met Gunter Pauli again.” In October, Pauli was special guest at a national event organized by the M5S in Naples.
On March 5, Pauli announced he had been hired by the Italian government to help fight the pandemic, for which he said he receiving no pay. On March 9 he posted a tweet saying the virus had done good things, which was then removed. According to Il Foglio, he wrote, in part, “The Earth is breathing again. Decades of over-consumption and over-production have imposed their toll. Suddenly a virus stops us,” and declaring he was going to clean himself out as well by fasting for three days. On Feb. 14 he had tweeted: “Very little would be sufficient to fix the big mess we have created. We are so weak that a virus knocks us out. Disinfection is no longer a solution: the solution is to strengthen our immune system with clean air, water and food.”
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
United Nations, Secretary-General Guterres Make Strong Case for Worldwide Ceasefire
March 24 (EIRNS)—UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a call yesterday for a global ceasefire in view of the coronavirus pandemic. “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,” he said in a brief speech at UN headquarters in New York, reported AFP. “That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.”
“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” Guterres went on. “Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes.” Doing so is crucial for opening corridors to deliver life-saving aid, he said. “End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. If the fighting goes on, we might have an absolutely devastating spreading of the epidemic.”
Later, in a press conference, Guterres said that the UN is taking every step possible to implement its call for a global ceasefire amid pandemic. “I am launching the global appeal now. My special envoys will be now working with the parties to the conflict(s) to try to make sure that this global appeal is not only listened to but leads to concrete action, leads to a pause in fighting, creating the conditions for the response to COVID-19 to be much more effective,” he responded to a question from TASS. Guterres also urged not to forget that “those areas that are ravaged by the conflict are areas where the capacity of response is very limited and if the fighting goes on we might have an absolutely devastating spread of the epidemic.”
Former IMF Deputy Managing Director Warns of Major Financial Crisis
March 24 (EIRNS)— Zhu Min, the former Deputy Managing Director of the IMF and now chair of Tsinghua University’s National Institute of Finance Research, warned of a major financial blowout coming out of the present pandemic, in an op-ed in the March 24 issue of China’s financial/economy magazine Caixin.
Zhu Min wrote: “Heavy debt is the greatest financial risk the world faces now. After the 2008 financial crisis, global debt continued to accumulate, and the debt of G20 countries expanded from about $85 trillion in 2008 to about $159 trillion in 2018, outpacing their GDP growth. As a result of large-scale government debt issuance, the risk posed by sovereign debt today is greater than it was in 2008. If a financial or economic crisis happens again, governments might not have much room roll out policies like they did during the 2008 financial crisis. Overall, the current level of global financial risk has reached the level seen in the 2008 crisis.”
He then gives three possible scenarios for such a crisis to occur. “First, if the U.S. and European countries policies to contain the epidemic fail and they run out of medical resources, intensifying public and market panic and leading to stock market collapses, it will trigger a financial crisis.
“Second, if the pandemic lasts too long, impacting global supply chains and trade and leaving companies unable to repay debt due to operational difficulties, it will lead to a wave of corporate bankruptcies. That will hit weak links in the financial system and thus cause a financial crisis.
“Third, the size of non-bank financial institutions has been on par with that of the banking industry after years of development since the 2008 financial crisis. If their valuations fall amid continuously slumping stock markets, investors may choose to take their money back, leading to a liquidity crunch and thus triggering a financial crisis,” he concludes.
The only conclusion that one can make from his analysis is the urgency to implement the measures proposed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche and shut down the City of London/Wall Street casino entirely.
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
Hubei Province To Lift Quarantine on March 25
March 24 (EIRNS)—The Health Committee of China’s Hubei province, announced it will lift the coronavirus quarantine on March 25, while restrictions in the provincial capital, Wuhan, will be canceled on April 8. At midnight on Wednesday, March 25 (16:00 UTC, March 24), restrictions on inbound and outbound traffic will end in the province.
People leaving Hubei are required to possess the “green code” attesting to their health. Authorities in Wuhan, with a population of 11 million, will halt controls on travel starting April 8. The quarantine was introduced on Jan. 23.
G20 Heads of State and Government Plan for Online Summit on March 26
March 24 (EIRNS)—As of today, the Russia and Saudi Arabia have announced that there will be an online summit of the G20 heads of state and government on March 26. Saudi Arabia is currently chairing the Group of 20 nations. While the subject is primarily the coronavirus, that category includes essentially every major issue facing the world today.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on March 23 commented on the mutual lifting of sanctions between the West and Russia in order to improve cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic, but said lifting sanctions did not depend on Russia. “The very idea [of lifting mutual sanctions], of course, is noteworthy. Now that we have faced such a tense moment in terms of the international economic situation, the situation related to prices of energy carriers, with such a provocative trigger in the form of coronavirus, of course, such restrictions only aggravate the situation,” he said. “I don’t know if any preparations for such unilateral steps are made and I don’t know that this is considered appropriate either,” Peskov said, responding to a question of whether Moscow could be the first to cancel counter-sanctions, reported TASS.
He pointed out that the sanctions against Russia are from the EU and the U.S. They were not approved by the UN Security Council and therefore are illegal from the standpoint of international law.
Earlier Russian Sen. Konstantin Kosachev, who chairs the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee, had commented that in light of the coronavirus and related currency fluctuations, there is a need for the total lifting of any economic sanctions. On March 18, he wrote on Facebook about the need for a “global agreement on a one-time and total lifting of any economic sanctions other than those imposed by the UN Security Council.” Senator Kosachev suggested that such an agreement could be “initiated by the BRICS states, upheld by the G20 countries and then certified by the UN Security Council.”
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