UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on G20 leaders to cancel sanctions that prevent the delivery of medical aid amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
"I urge you to abandon sanctions imposed on the countries to ensure their access to food and medical aid as they fight with the Covid-19 outbreak. This is a time of solidarity, not isolation," Guterres wrote.
This comes as a virtual G20 summit on the Covid-19 pandemic, chaired by Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to take place on 26 March. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to take part in the summit.
Earlier, Russia urged the US to immediately lift Iranian sanctions that prevent Tehran from effectively fighting the new coronavirus outbreak.
In the past few days, the US has repeatedly imposed Iran-related sanctions against several companies and individuals over their cooperation with Tehran in the field of oil production. Washington says that its sanctions are aimed at restricting Iran's oil trade and accuses Tehran of supporting terrorism. Iran, for its part, blames the US for 'economic terrorism' and also says that it prevents it from getting medical equipment and medicines necessary for fighting the deadly virus.