MOSCOW – Russia received a very vague answer from the US State Department to an official demand to confirm Washington’s accusations against Moscow of spreading “disinformation” about coronavirus, Spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.
“We are surprised to see attempts by certain US mass media outlets, by the way even [some] high-ranking officials, to accuse Russia of advancing a disinformation campaign against the US, linked to the virus pandemic. We deliberately addressed the State Department, demanding that factual proof of these statements be presented,” she stressed, adding that “no sensible explanations to prove these statements were received by us, let alone any actual proof”, TASS reported.
According to the diplomat, the American segment of the Internet deliberately popularizes various conspiracy theories over the possibility that the coronavirus was man-made, with the blame for it being particularly pinned on Russia.
“Moreover, it is noticeable that this approach is being drilled into the psyche and disseminated as an information attack,” she emphasized, saying, “We know and we have information proving it, that state agencies of the US coordinate these actions.”
Zakharova slammed the accusations against Russia as “groundless” and “shameless” when the whole is fighting the pandemic.
“It is unacceptable to speculate, abuse or play on people’s fears for political gain, it is dangerous,” she warned.
“We view the latest attempts to accuse Russia <…> as a tactless continuation of Russophobia, which is pursued by certain political forces in Washington,” Zakharova contended.
She also underscored that Russia expressed solidarity with the people of the United States and calls on American politicians to speak out in an unbiased manner. Russia is vigorously taking part in joint efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its consequences.
“We are doing a lot inside Russia and are trying to help other states with what we can, including the United States,” she recalled.
Zakharova also stated that the US government’s plans to review its financing of the World Health Organization (WHO) are non-constructive and untimely.
“We also noted the US Secretary of State [Michael Pompeo]’s remark about Washington’s plans to review the volume of financing on the World Health Organization. By the way, US President Donald Trump has also spoken out on the issue. We view this country’s stance as non-constructive, and statements of this kind – as untimely and counter-productive amid the pandemic that continues to spread,” she added.
Zakharova said the United States had earlier supported a UN General Assembly resolution, which gives the WHO the central coordinating role in containing the novel coronavirus.
Trump said on Tuesday that Washington was looking into the possibility of putting on hold US contributions into the WHO budget. He criticized the organization’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic and accused of being “China-centric”. On Thursday, Pompeo said Washington was set to review its contributions to the WHO budget.