‘We don’t depart our folks behind’: Lavrov speaks to RT about evacuation of Russians stranded overseas over coronavirus

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The coronavirus pandemic has prompted an unprecedented rescue operation, with Moscow having to assist tens of 1000’s of individuals stranded overseas. The rescue took plenty of effort – and Russia’s diplomats did nice work.

The nation has had earlier expertise in bringing again folks home in bulk – after the devastating tsunami in Thailand, as an example – but the Covid-19 fallout got here at an incomparably bigger scale, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed journalist Anton Krasovsky for RTD’s ‘Epidemic’ collection.

Sometimes they are saying sublimely: ‘we don’t depart our folks behind.’ This was the very same case.

Apart from the coordinated effort from the Russian authorities, a big a part of the evacuation work was achieved by Russian diplomats, engaged on the bottom worldwide. In Nepal, as an example, the diplomats arrange a tent camp for stranded and broke vacationers, offering the compatriots from their very own pocket, Lavrov stated.

“I was very nicely… well, I was not even surprised. I knew that for the most part our guys are very outgoing – and many missions got creative in this situation,” he stated.

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Counting the variety of folks in want of assist proved to be very tough – it was straightforward to search out organized teams of vacationers, however people who went overseas on their very own and infrequently and not using a return ticket have been considerably tougher to find. Moreover, the coronavirus disaster triggered an exodus of Russian residents, who left the nation years in the past.

“In addition to people who just went abroad to spend their holidays, there is another large group of Russian citizens who were studying abroad, receiving long-term treatment, or in permanent residence,” Lavrov stated.

All of a sudden they’ve determined that their living situations in the exact same US, in New York, as an example, vastly ‘deteriorated’ over the pandemic.

Lots of people have been in want of assist, and the lists of individuals to be evacuated have been enormous, Russia’s prime diplomat stated, including that he personally anticipated much more folks keen to return. At the start of the mass evacuation op, Russia’s authorities restricted the variety of returning folks to 500 per day for the Moscow area and to 200 per day for the remainder of the nation – whereas the numbers have been exploding.

“As I said, it was particularly messy with those who were long gone to reside permanently elsewhere and suddenly decided to return. And so they began to fill in these lists. We evacuate, say, five thousand, and then the lists grow by another 10 thousand.”

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Despite the efforts, a number of thousand compatriots nonetheless stay overseas, primarily in unique areas very hard-to-reach for Russian aviation. Some folks, nevertheless, simply determined to remain put and wait out the pandemic wherever they have been and refused the help.

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