Exclusive-UK’s Raab: We don’t condone ‘vaccine diplomacy’, but no doubt some are using it

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© Reuters. Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab gestures during an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 11, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

By William James

CARBIS BAY, (Reuters) – British foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Friday there was no doubt some countries were using vaccines as diplomatic tool to secure influence, and that Britain did not support so called ‘vaccine diplomacy.

Asked in a Reuters interview whether he was concerned that and could use vaccines in exchange for influence in parts of the world, he said: “There’s no doubt there’s some of this is going about, and we don’t support vaccine diplomacy, let alone blackmail.

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“We think that we’ve got a moral duty, but also a strong vested interest in getting the world vaccinated,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of a G7 summit in Cornwall, England.

“We would only think it was responsible to be promoting vaccines that the has sanctioned as safe to distribute.

“But it’s a team effort. And we want the countries like China and Russia to come together to tackle the problems of pandemic, but also change, and also to respect the basic principles of international law.”

Raab also said he would be speaking to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov ‘shortly’, without giving a specific date for the . He declined to comment on issues he would raise at that meeting.

Nevertheless he criticised Russia as a leading proponent of cyber attacks, calling for the G7 to take a united stand against all such incidents, whether conducted by state or non-state actors.

“These activities are contrary to international law, many of them, and they’re very damaging, some of them are done for pure theft, or for profit, others are done just to create havoc,” he said.

“We ought to be clear as an international community that cyber attacks on hospitals, on schools, on critical national infrastructure – that’s wrong. That’s unjustifiable, it’s beyond the pale.”

Asked about the recent forced landing of a civilian aircraft in Belarus, Raab said the country was slipping “into pariah status”.

“We need Belarus to step up and live up to the basic, fundamental, cardinal rules of international law,” he said.

Source: Investing.com

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