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Putin calls for climate action and universal access to vaccines in latest address

RT, 05 Jun 2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a stronger global response to global warming and universal access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide in his latest address at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

“Until we guarantee widespread, universal access to Covid-19 vaccines on all continents, the threat of an epidemic and its new outbreaks won't go anywhere,” the president said, inviting foreign nationals to visit Russia to get coronavirus shots.

Putin emphasized that he was serious about fighting climate change, noting that melting permafrost has posed a significant challenge to Russia’s Arctic regions.

“I often hear that Russia is not interested in addressing global climate issues. This is nonsense. And in some cases it is a deliberate, blatant twisting of facts. We feel the risks and challenges.”

Putin also spoke out about the US use of the dollar as a political weapon, saying that “its use as an instrument of competition and political struggle has hurt its role as the world reserve currency.”

Among other issues, Putin said the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is nearly complete and ready to start pumping natural gas to Germany.

Last month, the United States waived some sanctions on the project – a move US President Joe Biden explained by pointing out it was nearly complete and that continuing sanctions could have harmed ties with Europe.

Putin’s speech in St. Petersburg came less than two weeks before his summit with Biden in Geneva, Switzerland.

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