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Viktor Liashko: Ukraine calls on WHO to close Office for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases in Russia

7 May 2022

Due to Russia’s armed aggression, Ukraine will insist on closing the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, which is located in Moscow. What is meant here is moving the office outside of Russia. 

Ukraine has already submitted a corresponding request to the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The document was signed by 38 member states. 

Russia, which cynically kills thousands of peaceful Ukrainian citizens, whose bullets took the lives of at least 10 medics and injured 40 others, simply cannot represent the office of an Organization that is designed to protect health, Viktor Liashko commented on Ukraine's position.

“The whole world has already seen the true face of Russia. The entire civilized world already understands that Russia is a killer state. Someone who takes the lives and health of civilians cannot represent the organization that is fighting to save them on a global level. Therefore, we hope very much that Ukraine's appeal will be heard. Moving the European office out of Russia will be another signal that WHO and its members truly condemn all the horrors that the Russian Federation is committing on Ukrainian territory,” the health minister said. 

The draft resolution submitted by Ukraine demands to condemn the military actions of the Russian Federation, because of which the Ukrainian healthcare sector has been suffering for the third month. In particular, the enemy continues to deliberately destroy hospitals and fire at ambulance crews. In the temporarily occupied territories Russia restricts citizens' access to vital medicines and refuses medical care. 

Ukraine will also continue to insist on freezing Russia's voting rights in WHO and removing the Russian Federation from the Organization's Executive Committee. 

These issues will be considered at the special session WHO Regional Committee for Europe, to be held on May 10-11, 2022.