IFRC President Francesco Rocca meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin

IFRC President Francesco Rocca speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin

IFRC President Francesco Rocca speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin via video link during a visit to Russia in December 2021

Photo: IFRC

Moscow/Geneva, 6 December 2021 – The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Francesco Rocca, met in the late afternoon of the 5th of December with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.

During the meeting, President Rocca discussed humanitarian priorities and challenges, such as; the COVID-19 pandemic, the equitable distribution of vaccines, the migration crisis at the border between Belarus and Poland, how to strengthen support to the Russian Red Cross, and the critical role of local actors to respond to emergencies.

IFRC President Francesco Rocca said: “We are honoured to have had the opportunity to meet President Putin: it is critical to engage world leaders in humanitarian discussions, particularly at this moment when the pandemic is affecting every country in the world. We know that the Russian Federation is a key player that is able to influence the global agenda: this is why it was so important to have this meeting.

“I was very pleased for the productive discussion on common humanitarian priorities and challenges. I want to thank President Putin for his commitment to achieve COVID-19 vaccine equity, to support the work of the Red Cross with migrants and to support the Russian Red Cross."

Local actors, like the Russian Red Cross, know the culture, speak the language and hold the trust of their communities. During COVID-19, with travel bans and restrictions, trained local actors, such as our Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies, proved to be critical in saving more lives and reaching more vulnerable people. The IFRC is working together with the Russian Red Cross to scale up their humanitarian reach and impact.”

Russian Red Cross President Pavel Savchuk said:

“The Russian Red Cross is strengthening its work at country and regional level with a specific focus on healthcare and social activities. The first critical step to build a stronger national society is the “Red Cross Law”, which will soon be finalized and submitted to the State Duma. We are grateful for the engagement of President Putin in supporting this process. This law will clearly define our auxiliary role in providing humanitarian assistance and support to the most vulnerable people, including in emergency situations. We appreciate the IFRC’s commitment to support our plans to position our National Society both at the national and international levels.”

The IFRC has been present in the Russian Federation since 1993. It provides technical and advisory support to the Russian Red Cross in programming areas including disaster response, health, social inclusion and migration, as well as strengthening its legal and statutory base. Among other activities, the IFRC has allocated 1.4 million Swiss Francs to help the Russian Red Cross in supporting people affected by the pandemic.

President Rocca met on Friday the Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Ms. Tatyiana Golikova and the Minister of Health Mr. Mikhail Murashko. Today, he will also meet the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Sergey Vershinin and the Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters Mr. Aleksandr Chupriyan. President Rocca also attended the “We Are Together” international forum, an important opportunity to meet with volunteers and speak about their priorities.

For more information and to set up interviews:

In Moscow: 

Ayuna Batoeva, +7 916 667 6977, [email protected]

Tommaso Della Longa, +41 79 708 4367, [email protected]

In Geneva:

Marie Claudet +33 7 86 89 50 89, [email protected]