Russia Struggles With the Chinese Challenge

04 Feb 2020

(EDM) The scope of the epidemiological disaster unfolding in China has dawned on Russia remarkably late. Last Wednesday (January 29), President Vladimir Putin called a small meeting to check national readiness for a possible spread of the coronavirus, first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and expressed confidence in the sufficiency of Russian precautions (Kremlin.ru, January 29). Yet, by Friday, he held a special meeting of the Security Council and announced a broad range of extraordinary measures, including a near-complete interruption of air, rail and road connections with China and the evacuation of Russian citizens (an estimated 650 people) from Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei Province (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, January 31). Later that same day, two cases of infection were reported in eastern Siberia (RIA Novosti, January 31). No new cases were registered over the weekend. [...]

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