The United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Georgia have blocked a Russia-drafted UN General Assembly resolution calling for solidarity and global sanctions relief in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Russia’s permanent mission to the organization.

"As it is known, our document failed to be adopted by consensus. Ukraine, Georgia, UK, US, and EU prevented it. We regret that a small group of states championing sanctions-based policy appeared unready to respond to the call of the UN Secretary-General and refused to cast aside politicised approaches and interests," the Russian mission said, following the vote late on Thursday.

This step, the mission went on, indicates that "it will be much more difficult to give a global and solidary response to the threat of the new pandemic," which may affect many people, especially in developing countries.

"We would be very interested to hear and see in writing reasoning and arguments for blocking our draft Declaration by the EU, US and UK. We would be willing and happy to spare and exempt Ukraine and Georgia from undertaking this exercise, as their arguments, as ever contemptuous and politicized, would not add any value to the understanding by most of the Member-States," the statement said.

The mission noted that Russia would continue coordination on the issue with like-minded countries and expressed hope that all the interested nations would join the call for cooperation in the face of the pandemic.

The vote in the UN General Assembly took place on Thursday. The same day, the number of people infected with the coronavirus globally surpassed 1 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Of these, more than 53,000 have died.

In late March, Russia has put forward a draft declaration of the UN member states on solidarity in countering the spread of COVID-19. Among other things, the document insisted on the need to assist the most vulnerable nations, especially developing countries, and end trade wars and all sanctions adopted without a UN Security Council mandate to ensure access to food and medication. Twenty-eight other countries co-sponsored the resolution.

Senior Russian Lawmaker Slams West's Rejection of Russian Resolution on Sanctions Relief

The Western countries have proved the complete loss of moral leadership in the world by rejecting the Russia-drafted United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for global sanctions relief in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian upper house's Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

"One can hardly imagine a more clear proof that the West has completely lost its moral leadership in the world," Kosachev wrote on Facebook, recalling that the resolution was proposed as a response to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call to abandon economic restrictions amid the pandemic, hitting most badly the countries with poor health care facilities and access to medication.

"The Western nations, together with adjoining Georgia and Ukraine, have demonstratively opposed ... responsibility and common sense, blocking the Russian resolution for cancelling sanctions that hinder other countries' fight against the coronavirus pandemic," Kosachev went on to say.

US Must Lift Some Sanctions on Iran to Permit Aid to Fight Virus: US Presidential Democratic Candidate Joe Biden

The US government should suspend some economic sanctions against Iran to allow them to gain access to medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Thursday.

"Our sanctions are limiting Iran’s access to medical supplies and needed equipment," Biden said in a statement. "The Trump Administration should take immediate steps to address this problem and streamline channels for banking and public health assistance from other countries in response to the health emergency in Iran."

Biden said specific measures should include issuing broad licenses to pharmaceutical and medical device companies, creating a dedicated channel for international banks to help Iranians access life-saving medical treatment and issuing new sanctions guidance to allow international aid to flow.

Iran has more than 50,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases - including 3,000 deaths and 16,700 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University.