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Russia FM Sergei Lavrov, Mike Pompeo discuss Coronavirus pandemic, oil market crisis

Lavrov and Pompeo also touched upon other pressing issues on the international agenda and issues of bilateral cooperation

SNS | New Delhi |

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a telephonic conversation on Friday, discussing issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, oil market crisis and strategic stability, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The ministry said, “The foreign ministers continued to exchange views on the global situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and instability in world oil markets. Both sides confirmed their readiness to continue coordination of actions in the interests of overcoming these urgent challenges as soon as possible”.

According to the ministry, issues of strategic stability were also discussed.

Lavrov recalled the Russian proposal to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in February 2021.

The death toll due to the novel coronavirus has risen rose to 480, with 28 more fatalities reported on Saturday, while the number of cases saw a jump of over 500 to go up to 14,378, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

Lavrov and Pompeo also touched upon other pressing issues on the international agenda and issues of bilateral cooperation, according to the statement.

Earlier in the month, crude oil prices showed much improvement after the President Donald Trump hinted that Saudi Arabia and Russia may soon end their oil feud.

Their price war coupled with the pandemic led to a fall in demand, which also affected the US oil market that hit its worst quarter on record. Their prices plunged by two-thirds in the first three months of the year.

Last month, Pompeo blamed Russia, China and Iran for spreading “disinformation” on COVID-19 and carrying out coordinated efforts to “disparage” American attempts towards containing the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic.

Recent EU reports of Russian efforts to sow disinformation about COVID-19 echo warnings made by Lea Gabrielle, the Special Envoy of the Department of State’s Global Engagement Center (GEC), to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Russia is behind “swarms of online, false personas” seeking to spread misinformation about COVID-19 on social media sites, the Senators wrote.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus worldwide has passed 150,000, according a Johns Hopkins University tally.