Lithuania has backtracked on its decision to donate coronavirus vaccines to Bangladesh after it abstained from voting in the United Nations General Assembly to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lithuanian Radio and Television reported, citing Rasa Jakilaitiene, an advisor to the prime minister of the European country.

Lithuania had promised to send 4.44 lakh doses of the Pfizer vaccine to Bangladesh.

On March 2, 35 countries, including India and Bangladesh, had abstained from voting to deplore the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The resolution, however, was adopted by the 193-member General Assembly with 141 votes in favour of it. Five countries – Eritrea, North Korea, Syria, Belarus, Russia – had voted against it.

The resolution had urged for dialogue and negotiations for an immediate and peaceful resolution to the conflict. It also condemned the involvement of Belarus as well as Russia’s announcement alerting its nuclear forces.

On Sunday, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen had clarified the country’s stance, reported The Daily Star.

“If you read the resolution wording, it is not to stop the war, but to blame someone,” Momen had said. “We are for peace. We want peace. We don’t want war. So, we said we are concerned about the war. So, we expect the UN charter to be followed.”

He had said that Bangladesh was in favour of dialogue and peaceful resolution to any problem.

“We said citizens of Ukraine should be safe,” Momen added. “We said we have confidence in the UN secretary general and that he should take an initiative for dialogue and resolve it. We voted for peace.”

Bangladesh, which has a population of about 16.40 crore, has administered over 21.31 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses as of February 28, according to World Health Organization data.

Till March 7, Bangladesh has recorded 19.47 lakh coronavirus cases and 29,089 deaths, the global agency’s data showed.

Also read:

  1. The world seems to have forgotten the Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh
  2. Sanctions imposed by tech giants on Russia shows they have become as influential as nations