15:18 GMT16 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed on Wednesday Washington's accusations against Russia and China as baseless, stressing that unilateral sanctions could only hinder humanitarian assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    "It must be noted that even in the context of the pandemic, our American colleagues and their allies continue to try to stir up confrontation, to use the current situation to impose their point of view, their vision of the future order, which they call the rules-based order. As you know, these are they who invent these rules ... There are baseless allegations against the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation. They ignore calls for the suspension of unilateral sanctions during the fight against coronavirus infection, sanctions that impede the humanitarian supply of medicines, equipment and food," Lavrov said at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's foreign ministers.

    The Russian foreign minister also slammed Washington for intensifying pressure on countries pursuing independent foreign policies, and for criticising the World Health Organisation's response to the pandemic.

    Earlier this week, several US senators said that they had introduced legislation in Congress authorising President Trump to impose sanctions on China if it fails to cooperate and provide a full report on the events that preceded the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. China's Foreign Ministry's spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that Beijing protests the US lawmakers' bill on sanctions against China over the coronavirus pandemic.

    World Health Organisation, COVID-19, Sergei Lavrov, United States, China, Russia
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