Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the removal of barriers to cooperation between countries in the field of medicine.
"As to healthcare, just like in economy, we now need to remove, as many as possible, obstacles to partner relations," Putin said at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Xinhua news agency reported.
Russia has been actively contributing to global and regional efforts to counter Covid-19, providing assistance to most affected states both bilaterally and within multilateral formats, the president said, according to a Kremlin transcript of his speech.
"In doing so, we first of all take into account the central coordinating role of the World Health Organization (WHO), which is part of the UN system. We believe it essential to qualitatively strengthen the capability of WHO," Putin said.
"This work has already begun, and Russia is genuinely motivated to engage in it," he added.
Putin recalled that during the pandemic, doctors, volunteers and citizens of various countries have been showing examples of mutual assistance and support, and such solidarity defies borders.
Many countries have also been helping each other selflessly and open-heartedly, he said.
"However, there have been cases showing the deficit of humanity and, if you will, kindness in the relations at the official inter-State level," he added.
"We believe that the UN prestige could strengthen and enhance the role of the humanitarian or human component in multilateral and bilateral relations, namely in people-to-people and youth exchanges, cultural ties, social and educational programs, as well as cooperation in sports, science, technology, environment and health protection," Putin said.
The president reiterated that Russia is completely open to partner relations and willing to cooperate.
"In this context, we are proposing to hold an online high-level conference shortly for countries interested in cooperation in the development of anti-coronavirus vaccines," he said..