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Lithuania stops Covid-19 vaccine donation to Bangladesh because it abstained from UN vote against Russia

Lithuania, a country that had itself stayed 'neutral' in World War II, has now declined to send vaccines to Bangladesh because it decided to stay neutral in a war that is happening in faraway Europe.

Lithuania, a Baltic country in Eastern Europe has cancelled its earlier proposition to send Covid-19 vaccines to Bangladesh on Tuesday. This came after Bangladesh abstained on the recent UN resolution in the General assembly against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The Russia-Ukraine war has caught the world in splits. Bangladesh, like India and other 35 countries decided to abstain from the vote against Russia which was supported by an overwhelming 141 out of 193 member countries. This sovereign choice of Bangladesh – to not take sides in the war, has resulted in Lithuania cancelling the life-saving vaccine support to the nation.

The decision was announced by Rasa Jakilaitienė, a representative to Lithuania’s Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė. Lithuania’s decision comes as a sanction to Bangladesh, for not condemning Russia equivocally as is expected by Western nations.

It was only last week when Lithuania made headlines over its humanitarian assistance to donate up to 444,600 Pfizer doses to Bangladesh under the EU’s combined efforts to combat the pandemic globally.

Lithuania, a country that had itself stayed ‘neutral’ in World War II, has now declined to send vaccines to Bangladesh because it decided to stay neutral in a war that is happening in faraway Europe.

The UN representative of Bangladesh during the debate on the Russia-Ukraine crisis had issued strong words while taking a non-partisan stand. The statement said, “Bangladesh believes that the obligations stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations regarding the prohibition of the use of force, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and peaceful settlement of international disputes must be complied with in all circumstances, without exception,” Bangladesh also expressed grave concern at the situation in Ukraine and stated that both the parties should immediately resume to dialogue and diplomacy.

Meanwhile, India has gifted more than 1.2 Million free vaccine doses to Bangladesh under its diplomatic initiative of Vaccine Maitri. This was also to commemorate the fifty years of Bangladeshi Independence in 2021.

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