Spokesperson for the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the UN Oleg Nikolenko has said Russia announced at a meeting of the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict that there would be no global ceasefire if sanctions remain in place.

"In this regard we find highly relevant the Secretary-General's Appeal for Global Ceasefire of March 23, 2020. But this SG call will be incomplete without referencing to his appeal to waive sanctions, which can undermine countries' capacity to respond to the pandemic. The same appeal was expressed by the High Commissioner on Human Rights who stressed that in the context of global pandemic the policy of impeding medical efforts in one country heightens the risk for all of us," Russia said in a statement posted by Nikolenko on Facebook.

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"Previously, we have only heard that sanctions hinder humanitarian assistance in fighting COVID-19. That didn't help, so they decided to return to the old practices – blackmail," the diplomat said.

In his opinion, the statement of the Russian Federation explains why violence continues in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and other places where Russia is a party to the conflict.

"But we know very well that, even if the sanctions are theoretically lifted, there will be no ceasefire. The Russians will always find a reason to pursue with their aggressive policy," Nikolenko said.