Russia has dispatched a cargo aircraft with masks and medical tools to the US after Donald Trump accepted a proposal of humanitarian support from Vladimir Putin to struggle the coronavirus outbreak.
The aircraft, a Russian Antonov An-124-100 navy transport, left from Chkalovsky airfield outdoors Moscow on Tuesday evening and can arrive within the US on Wednesday after refuelling at Shannon airport in Eire. Footage from the aircraft broadcast by Russian state tv confirmed stacks of cardboard packing containers within the cargo maintain.
The supply is prone to stir controversy amongst critics of Trump, who’ve mentioned Putin will painting the goodwill gesture as a public relations coup and use it to bolster Russia’s efforts to flee sanctions for meddling within the 2016 US elections.
Masks and different medical tools are additionally in brief provide in Russia, the place the variety of contaminated with coronavirus rose by 440 on Wednesday to a confirmed 2,777 instances. The Moscow mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, warned Putin final week that the official tally of instances underestimated the severity of the outbreak.
The US has greater than 188,000 confirmed instances of coronavirus and greater than 3,900 deaths attributed to the illness. Authorities scientists have mentioned working fashions present tens, and even lots of of 1000’s of individuals dying from the illness within the US alone.
In an obvious error, Trump on Monday mentioned the help had already arrived from Russia, telling reporters within the White Home Rose Backyard: “Russia despatched us a really, very massive planeload of issues, medical tools, which was very good.” It was the primary point out of support from Moscow.
Later, the Kremlin introduced that Putin had provided Trump the help throughout a one-on-one phone dialog when the 2 sides mentioned measures to struggle coronavirus.
“Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian support,” Putin spokesman Dmitri Peskov advised reporters. “Now that this example has affected everybody with out exception and is international, there isn’t any different to joint motion within the spirit of partnership and mutual assist.”
Peskov additionally mentioned that Putin “assumes that when US makers of medical tools and supplies have gained pace, they too will be capable to reciprocate if crucial”.
Russia has already despatched planeloads of masks and different medical support to Italy, deploying medics in navy autos labelled: “From Russia with Love.” Russia’s navy mentioned the help included 22 autos and cellular disinfection labs. Italian officers publicly thanked Russia for the help. A broadly circulated report within the La Stampa newspaper cited senior officers calling the help 80% “ineffective”.
“Hopefully somebody will inform Trump that he’s enjoying proper right into a propaganda ploy,” wrote Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace on Twitter.