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Viktor Liashko: Ukraine demands to stop Russia's influence on decision-making in the healthcare sector

10 May 2022

Ukraine demands to freeze Russia's voting rights in the WHO and relocate the WHO’s European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD Office) from Moscow. Viktor Liashko stated that at the special session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.

The resolution «Health emergency in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, stemming from the Russian Federation's aggression» submitted by Ukraine is discussed at this session.

«We all need to understand that today the participation of Russia, its medical workers, who have never expressed their position against the war, but on the contrary, openly support it, its political leadership in any event under the aegis of the WHO, is a stain on the reputation of the organization. This is a neglect of the work of Ukrainian medics, 11 of whom were killed by Russian invaders and will never be able to return to their workplaces. Therefore, today our message for this special session is very simple - to stop Russia's influence on healthcare decision-making", stated Viktor Liashko.

According to the Minister, the world simply continues playing Russia's cruel game allowing it to take part in decision-making on behalf of the WHO, either through regional offices or through membership in the executive committee. 

At the session, Ukraine also continues to insist on the relocation of the NCD Office outside of Russia.

Viktor Liashko noted that due to the war unleashed by Russia, the events held by the WHO Office in Moscow look especially cynical.

«In recent years, the WHO office in Moscow has held a general workshop on food policy. While the Russians are stealing grain from the occupied territories in the south of Ukraine. The Office continues to provide advice on children's attitudes towards health issues. Meanwhile, more than 200 Ukrainian kids have been killed by Russian terrorists. While the Office in Moscow is considering issues of injury, more than a thousand people are already in need of prosthetics for lost limbs because of the Russian troops in Ukraine, ”said the Health Minister.

The position of Ukraine remains unchanged: Russia, whose hands are covered in blood, cannot make decisions in the healthcare sector. Also, the office of the Organization, which defends the right to health care and the life of everyone, cannot be located on the territory of the killer state.