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Russian Covid-19 aid plane to US: Putin asked Trump if he needed help & he accepted, Kremlin spokesman says

A cargo plane loaded with medical supplies and protection equipment may depart for the US by the end of Tuesday, the Kremlin said, after a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Today, technical coordination was conducted, and preparations were underway to send an aircraft from Russia [to the US], which is expected to leave by the end of the day,” Peskov said, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, discussed this assistance during their phone conversation on Monday.

The issue of protective gear was raised during the Monday phone talks, with Putin asking if the US needed help and Trump accepting, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

Moscow suggested the aid in anticipation that the US will be able to return the favor if necessary, once its manufacturers of medical and protective equipment catch up with demand, Peskov said.

The current situation “affects everyone without exception and is of a global nature,” he added.

There is no alternative to acting together in the spirit of partnership and mutual assistance.

On Monday, Trump told reporters at the White House press briefing that “Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”

The comment left everyone scratching their heads, as no one in the US seemed to know anything about the plane in question. It appears the US president was referring to the aid arranged on the phone call as something that had already happened.

Since 22 March, Russia has been sending mobile teams of military virologists and doctors, as well as vehicles for aerosol disinfection and medical equipment to Italy.

Peskov chastised “some of the American side” who “at least did not contribute to the prompt resolution of technical issues” regarding the agreed-upon delivery, which could explain the delay.

Header: A Russian Il-76 transport military aircraft is loaded with medical aid to be sent to Italy amid the Covid-19 pandemic. © Russian Defence Ministry / Alexey Ereshko