President Vladimir Putin has deployed a planeload of medical supplies to the United States to help fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
The Russian plane, filled with much-needed equipment, left Russia for the USA on Wednesday following a Monday telephone call between President Trump and President Putin.
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On Tuesday, the Russian Embassy confirmed that “Russia may send a plane with medical equipment and protection gear to the United States already on Tuesday.”
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Russian state TV reported that the flight had taken off early Wednesday morning, according to Reuters.
Nypost.com reports: “Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing the Interfax news agency.
The Russian Embassy said on its Twitter account that Moscow sent the aid as Trump predicted the death toll in the US could be between 100,000 and 240,000 and amid hopes that the Trump administration would return the favor if the outbreak becomes severe in Russia.
“Importantly, when offering assistance to the American colleagues, President Putin is guided by the following consideration: when manufacturers of medical equipment gain momentum they will be able to reciprocate if need be,” the tweet said.
Trump on Monday said he had talked to Putin and suggested Russia would be sending aid.
“I have to say, we’ve had great relationships with a lot of countries,” Trump said. “China sent us some stuff, which was terrific. Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”
Russia reported more than 2,000 cases of the virus, but many health experts have questioned the accuracy of the data.