U.S., Russia Should Work Together To Defeat Coronavirus

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President Donald Trump (R) greets Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) during their bilateral meeting at the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019.

Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images

During World War II, American and Russian soldiers fought side by side against a common enemy. We won together. Who can forget the images of Allied soldiers kissing on the banks of the Elbe on April 25, 1945, almost 75 years ago?

These images are a symbol of international unity in the face of a global threat. The time has certainly come to take up a challenge that threatens us all today.

Just as our grandfathers stood side by side to defend our values ​​and ensure peace for future generations, our countries must now show unity and leadership to win the war against the coronavirus. This war has already affected the lives of billions of people and could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Changing views on Russia during an election year can be an insurmountable challenge. But it was the same in 1941, when the United States and the Soviet Union put aside the differences of the past to fight the common enemy.

Kirill Dmitriev

CEO, Russian Direct Investment Fund

Despite many differences, Russia and the United States have a lot in common. We love our families and want them to be healthy. We know how to work as a team in the face of adversity and are ready to make sacrifices for our values ​​and our communities.

In recent years, too much attention has been paid to our differences and too little to the possibilities of working together on global issues. In fact, we have allowed the culture of fear to emerge with business leaders and even scientists, which has made them afraid to talk about US-Russian cooperation.

The time has come to improve relations by focusing our efforts on three areas: (1) the joint fight against the coronavirus, (2) reducing the impact of the inevitable global economic recession and (3) developing ” a platform for future cooperation in the fight against terrorism, nuclear proliferation and climate change.

The fight against coronaviruses

As Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, we realized in early January, when we established our network of leading investment funds in 18 countries, that the coronavirus pandemic could have a devastating global impact.

Together with our partners, we have focused on the best available technologies to address them, and have formed partnerships in China, Japan and the United States to invest in some of the most accurate, fast and mobile virus detection systems in the world. We have identified a leading venture capital firm in the United States, which will be our co-investor in this technology.

The usual critics on both sides, who will attack this editorial as “trying to resolve the insolvent” or as another “propaganda coup” are stuck in the past and offer no viable alternative.

Kirill Dmitriev

CEO, Russian Direct Investment Fund

This joint US-Japan-Russia consortium will provide an important and scalable test solution for the US market. Thanks to our partners, we are already providing testing solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, in collaboration with many countries to slow the spread of the virus through extensive testing.

We have formed partnerships to test and manufacture drugs that have shown significant clinical potential and supported collaboration between American and Russian pharmaceutical companies. Our doctors and scientists must work together to create and test a vaccine.

We can exchange best practices regarding hospital and manufacturing processes, and exchange medical equipment and supplies where possible, while jointly coordinating our efforts to help other countries. Just as we have financially supported part of the medical supplies freight that Russia has delivered to New York, we hope to facilitate shipments of medical supplies from the United States after the peak of the American coronavirus.

In short, the challenge of the coronavirus can be best met by a coordinated global response, including a close partnership between the United States and Russia.

Reducing economic turbulence

At last year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, we discussed at length with our global partners that the burden of global debt is too high. We pointed out that it represented more than 300% of world GDP, compared to just over 200% before the economic crisis of 2008-2009.

We noted that any major shock could lead to the downward spiral of a debt crisis and the inevitable global recession in an interconnected world.

However, we could not have predicted that the coronavirus tsunami would cause such large supply and demand shocks, significantly reducing global demand and crippling economic activity.

At times like this, new approaches to explore close collaboration between the United States, Russia and other countries are needed to stabilize energy and other markets, coordinate policy responses and revitalize the economic activity.

For example, Russia has offered to jointly undertake major cuts in oil production with the United States, Saudi Arabia and other countries to stabilize markets and secure jobs in the oil industry.

American-Russian cooperation platform

We have always called for closer cooperation between our countries. Having studied and worked in the United States, I am well aware of the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of the United States, and after working in Russia, I recognize that Russia’s position is better understood by recognizing the many companies American companies that operate successfully here.

Our fund strives to continue cooperation between Russian and American companies, supported by many people in both countries. We believe that we must quickly resume the high-level trade dialogue proposed by our President.

The world needs solid platforms for cooperation between our governments, our businesses and our citizens. Since citizens’ exchanges are difficult during residence orders, citizen diplomacy groups can perhaps encourage better online dialogue to help our citizens understand each other better.

Many minds are placed in a growing news cycle. The usual critics on both sides, who will attack this editorial as “trying to resolve the insolvent” or as another “propaganda coup” are stuck in the past and offer no viable alternative. Their blame game, their commonplace clichés and their inability to come up with viable solutions are getting nowhere.

Changing views on Russia during an election year can be an insurmountable challenge. But it was the same in 1941, when the United States and the Soviet Union put aside the differences of the past to fight the common enemy.

By focusing on our similarities rather than our differences, and by being more open to cooperation, we can improve the state of the world and help overcome the threats we all face in these difficult times.

Kirill Dmitriev is managing director of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund with $ 10 billion under management and strategic partnerships totaling an additional $ 40 billion.

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