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Russians send coronavirus aid to U.S.

Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 1, 2020
A Russian military transport plane has taken off from an airfield outside Moscow and headed for the United States with a load of medical equipment and masks to help Washington fight coronavirus, Russian state TV reports.
Vladimir Putin
President   Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin offered Russian help in a phone conversation with President Donald Trump on Monday, when the two leaders discussed how best to respond to the virus.

Topics: Russia coronavirus U.S.

The flight, which was organised by the Russian Defence Ministry, is likely to be unpopular with some critics of Trump who have urged him to keep his distance from Putin and who argue that Moscow uses such aid as a geopolitical and propaganda tool to advance its influence, something the Kremlin denies.

"Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency on Tuesday night.

Trump himself spoke enthusiastically about the Russian help after his call with Putin.

Russia's Rossiya 24 channel on Wednesday morning showed the plane taking off from a military air base outside Moscow in darkness. Its cargo hold was filled with cardboard boxes and other packages.

Confirmed U.S. cases have surged to 187,000 and nearly 3900 people have already died there from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.