April 25, 2020, marked the 75th Anniversary of the historic meeting between Soviet and American soldiers, who shook hands on the damaged bridge over the Elbe River.
This event heralded the decisive defeat of the Nazi regime.
The meeting on the Elbe represented a culmination of tremendous efforts by the many countries and peoples that joined forces under the framework of the United Nations Declaration of 1942.
This common struggle required enormous sacrifice by millions of soldiers, sailors, and citizens in multiple theatres of war.
We also recognise the contributions from millions of men and women on the home front, who forged vast quantities of war materials for use around the world. Workers and manufacturers played a crucial role in supplying the allied forces with the tools necessary for victory.
The “Spirit of the Elbe” is an example of how our countries can put aside differences, build trust, and cooperate in pursuit of a greater cause.
As we work today to confront the most important challenges of the 21st century, we pay tribute to the valour and courage of all those who fought together to defeat fascism. Their heroic feat will never be forgotten.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Relations, and chairman of the International Public Foundation “Russian Peace Foundation”, Leonid Slutsky has appealed to policymakers in the leadership of the European Union, the United States, Great Britain, leading international, inter-parliamentary and public organisations to abandon the destructive sanctions policy.
Humanity, he said, faces an unprecedented challenge — COVID-2019. The pandemic, which has spread to virtually every country and continent, continues to claim human lives.
Its extremely negative “side effect” is the impending global economic crisis.
“I believe that the virus can only be defeated by joint effort. In this context, I would like to express my regret that no consensus has been reached on the UN General Assembly platform on the draft Declaration on Solidarity in Countering the Coronavirus Pandemic, which was intended to reaffirm the commitment of international community to the principle of the UN Charter on cooperation among states,” he said.
The document stressed the need to provide assistance to affected countries, as well as proclaimed the abandonment of trade wars and unilateral sanctions adopted bypassing the UN Security Council in order to ensure the urgent access of the population to food and medical supplies.
However, the project was blocked by the United States, the European Union, Great Britain, as well as Ukraine and Georgia, which joined them solely for political reasons despite the call of the UN Security-General Antonio Guterres addressed to the G20 countries to abandon restrictions.
Western countries, which call themselves “democracies”, have imposed various kinds of sanctions on almost a third of the global population and do not intend to reduce them amid the fight against the coronavirus.
Such a dehumanised course of action makes it difficult to obtain quality health care for citizens of countries such as Iran and Venezuela and does not contribute to the effective recovery of national economies, including those of the European continent.
“As head of the Russian Peace Foundation and Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs, I appeal to all sensible policy makers in the leadership of the European Union, the United States, Great Britain, leading international, inter-parliamentary and public organizations to abandon the destructive sanction policy. In the face of the global pandemic threat, it is time to stop thinking in the paradigm of deterrence that currently puts ordinary people on the brink of survival,” said Slutsky.
For its part, the Russian Peace Fund will continue to provide assistance to states affected by the COVID-2019 pandemic by all possible means.