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U.S. Says Military Plane With Ventilator Shipment Arrives In Moscow


A U.S. Air Force transport plane, carrying the first batch of medical aid from the United States, lands at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow on May 21.

A U.S. military plane carrying ventilators has landed in Moscow to help Russia in its battle against the coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. Embassy said on May 21 that the 50 ventilators were the first tranche of a $5.6 million "humanitarian donation" to Russia that will eventually include a total of 200 U.S.-manufactured ventilators.

Even though U.S.-Russian relations remain at post-Cold War lows, the embassy said the two countries "must set aside policy differences and focus on the needs of our people."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on May 21 that another shipment of ventilators is expected next week.

Russia now has the second-highest total of reported COVID-19 cases after a surge of new infections over the past month.

Russia's case tally rose to 317,554 on May 21 after 8,849 new infections were reported, while the death toll climbed to the 3,009 mark after 127 people died in the last 24 hours.

The United States has the largest number of reported cases globally at over 1.55 million, with the death toll exceeding 93,471.

Russia in April sent ventilators to the United States as cities like New York faced a shortage. Washington has said it had paid for the equipment but the Russian sovereign wealth fund, RDIF, on May 19 claimed Russia had paid for it.

Moscow has ordered thousands of locally made ventilators, but was forced to sideline them after they were reported to have caused fatal fires in two Russian hospitals earlier this month.

The same ventilator type was part of the batch of medical supplies Russia sent to the United States.

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