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Russia comes out in support of China after US allegations on coronavirus outbreak

19 4 16
30.03.2020

All through the recent weeks since US President Donald Trump coined the epithet “China virus” to rename Coronavirus, Moscow kept a deafening silence.

Finally, on Sunday, March 29, Moscow broke that silence. That the first Russian statement came at the level of the Russian foreign ministry makes this particularly significant. In an exclusive remark, a “source in the Russian Foreign Ministry” told the state news agency Tass:

“In order to unambiguously answer the question about the origin, about where the first case emerged, major research needs to be carried out. So, Washington’s accusing tone in comments against China arouses blatant bewilderment.”

Stressing that China’s experience is very illuminating to him, he said he will make personal efforts to ensure that the United States and China can ward off distractions and concentrate on cooperation against COVID-19

Stressing that China’s experience is very illuminating to him, he said he will make personal efforts to ensure that the United States and China can ward off distractions and concentrate on cooperation against COVID-19

The source then went on to touch on the allegation made in China —namely, that a team of American military personnel had visited Wuhan, China, previously before the outbreak. The Russian Foreign Ministry source said:

“As for “US trace” in the COVID-19 outbreak, we don’t have this data today. However, for a long time we have been watching with concerns the US military and biological activity carried out in direct proximity with our borders. In other words, there are indeed questions for the US.”

Now, a few things must be said right at the outset. Any longtime observer of the Russian state system, media culture and Russian diplomacy would know that Tass, which functions under the supervision of the Kremlin is not in the business of lapping up stray remarks by a moonlighting Russian source.

As for Russian diplomats, even the dumbest of them know better than casually chat up a Tass correspondent. And, of course, Tass will never put out as lead story a stray remark of such significance without clearance from a high level, possibly even from the Kremlin.

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