By June 15, the number of Russian residents infected with the Chinese Communist Party virus (CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus) exceeded 530,000, the third highest number after the United States and Brazil.
Two high-ranking officials, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Culture Minister Olga Ljubimova, also tested positive for the virus. The development of the pandemic in Russia is somewhat unexpected. What went wrong that caused this steep increase?
Russia adopted quick and decisive measures at the onset of the pandemic. On Jan. 31, Russia closed its 16 border crossings with China and stopped issuing electronic visas to mainland Chinese. Russian authorities also completely stopped the trains going to and from China and North Korea. Major airlines either suspended or substantially reduced flights between China and Russia.
Voice Of America once characterized Russia’s pandemic control measures to isolate itself from China were the most stringent. As of March 16, fewer than 100 cases were identified throughout Russia.
However, the good times didn’t last long. Russian leaders began to restore the relationship with the CCP, praising China, and advocating cooperation. Since then, the number of confirmed cases increased rapidly, and there was a sharp surge in April. In early May, more than 10,000 cases were reported each day for ten days in a row.
I believe that it is Russia’s pro-communist stance that has caused its defenses against the virus to collapse.
Russia’s Attitude Towards the CCP’s Pandemic Control
President Putin had three phone conversations with Chinese leader Xi Jinping after the CCP virus started to noticeably spread outside China. Both the Russian Presidential Office and Xinhua News Agency reported on these three conversations.
The first phone call on March 19 was actually a delayed communication between the two countries, as Xi had already talked to over a dozen state leaders prior to this conversation with Putin. Russia’s quick action to close the borders with China, as well as showing a cold attitude towards China, might be the reason behind the delay.
The CCP’s Xinhua News Agency claimed in a press release that Putin appreciated China’s efforts to fight the pandemic, saying that China “sets a good example” for the international community. Russia hopes to continue a mutually supportive and cooperative relationship with China in fighting the pandemic, and at the same time, continue to deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Russia and China.
The English announcement from the official website of the Russian Presidential Office stated that “The Russian side highly assessed the results achieved by the Chinese leadership and the Chinese people in countering the spread of the disease.”
On April 16, Xi and Putin talked over the phone for the second time. Xinhua News Agency reported that Putin said that some people tried to “smear” China with regard to the origin of the virus, and “Russia is willing to continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in various fields such as fighting the pandemic.”
Russian Presidential Office again reported the phone conversation on its official website. “Mutual support in countering this global threat is further evidence of the special nature of the Russian-Chinese comprehensive strategic partnership. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their cooperation in this area … Vladimir Putin praised the consistent and effective actions of Russia’s Chinese partners, which helped stabilize the epidemiological situation in the country. He stressed that it was counterproductive to accuse China of releasing information to the global community on this dangerous infection in an untimely manner.”
On May 8, Xi congratulated Putin on the 75th anniversary (May 9) of the Soviet Union’s victory of “the Great Patriotic War.” The Xinhua News Agency reported that Putin mentioned that “A few forces blame China for the pandemic. Russia opposes their conduct and will stand firmly with China.” However, there is no such statement from the Russian Presidential Office.
Although the two sides differ in their statements of the three phone conversations, Putin’s stance certainly helped to tide the CCP over during a difficult time. Currently, among influential nations, he is the only state leader who openly opposes the United States blaming the pandemic on the CCP. When the CCP is facing worldwide condemnation, the support from Russia is of great significance to Chinese regime.
Take a look at the timeline. The pandemic in Russia worsened drastically from late March, which coincides with Putin’s praise and support for the Chinese communist leaders. This is no accident.
Statement by Russia’s Foreign Minister
Foreign Ministers of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) held a video tele-conference on April 28 on battling the CCP virus pandemic. Russia’s Foreign Ministry publicized Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions.
Speaking of the role of WHO, Lavrov said, “We share the opinion that the WHO is a critically important tool which has now become an unparalleled platform for gathering information and facts from various states … We will continue to support the WHO regardless of what other countries might say about its activities.”
He also said, “As for our evaluation of the Russia-China interaction in fighting the coronavirus, we believe that it deserves high praise. From the outset, we provided assistance to Wuhan in China, and I hope we have made our contribution to China overcoming this threat fairly quickly. Now Beijing is helping everyone, including our country, to curb the spread of this infection.”
It is well known that WHO has acted as China’s puppet in handling the global pandemic. When pandering to the CCP, WHO caused serious delay in global pandemic prevention. However, Lavrov spoke highly of WHO and praised the cooperation between China and Russia. His statement is a strong endorsement of the CCP.
The Russia-China Strategic Partnership
After the collapse of the former Soviet Union, Russia actively made friendly overtures to the West and left the CCP aside. It wasn’t until the end of 1992 that China and Russia restored normal diplomatic and trade interactions.
When Putin came to power in 2001, Russia and China signed the “2001 Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship,” which established an equal and cooperative strategic partnership. In 2010, the two countries confirmed the “Comprehensive Strategic Collaboration Partnership.”
After Xi Jinping came to power, interactions between Beijing and Moscow became more frequent. In July 2017, the Chinese and Russian navies held their first joint military exercise in the Baltic Sea. In September 2018, China participated in Russia’s annual military exercise code-named “Oriental 2018” (Vostok-18) for the first time. These actions have drawn great attention from the outside world.
Russia experienced 73 years of communist rule and has provided support for the CCP. Although Russia has now abandoned the communist system, it has not yet got rid of the imprint of communist toxins. Today, the CCP has replaced the Soviet Communist Party to become the “communist boss” on this planet, hoping to hold onto the communist red flag forever. It continues to persecute people with lies and violence and violates basic values.
Although Russia has vacillated in its attitude toward the CCP in recent years, it has basically maintained a close partnership with the CCP. Moscow often stands on the side of the CCP on human rights issues and fails to uphold justice. In recent years, Russian officials have even restrained and obstructed Falun Gong practitioners’ activities in Russia.
On Oct. 30, 2017, Putin personally unveiled “the Wall of Grief,” a monument to victims of Soviet-era political repression. Speaking at the ceremony, he condemned the Soviet Communist Party’s political persecution, saying, “Our duty is to not let it slip into oblivion.”
Now that Putin knows well the evil nature of the Communist Party, he should no longer take the old path. Recently, Russia made a very unwise choice to endorse the CCP on the handling of the pandemic.
The CCP often brags about the “degree of mutual trust,” “the level of cooperation,” and “strategic value” between China and Russia. In fact, this relationship is driven by immoral interests and deviates from universal values. It is dark and wicked. For any government, having a good relationship with the CCP will only bring about endless troubles. The dramatic reversal of Russia’s pandemic outbreak is a profound lesson.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.