Vladimir Putin urges G20 to work together to find coronavirus vaccine

Vladimir Putin has called on G20 countries to work together to find a coronavirus vaccine as world leaders held a virtual summit today. 

The Russian leader used the video conference to demand a 'green corridor' in which key technology could be shared regardless of sanctions such as those on Moscow. 

Putin also warned that long-term unemployment was a 'key risk' resulting from the current standstill, as G20 leaders vowed to used 'all available tools' to reduce the economic blow.  

Donald , Boris Johnson, Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron were among the leaders on the conference call today, which was being hosted remotely by the King of Saudi Arabia. 

Canadian PM appeared on a screen from his home in Ottawa, where he is in quarantine after his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau caught the virus. 

Angela Merkel is also working from home after being treated by a doctor who has since tested positive, although the chancellor's own tests have come back negative.  

Virtual G20: World leaders hold a video conference today in which heads of government including Donald Trump, Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron discussed the coronavirus crisis

Virtual G20: World leaders hold a video conference today in which heads of government including Donald , Xi Jinping and Emmanuel Macron discussed the coronavirus crisis

Russian president Vladimir Putin speaks to world leaders during the virtual G20 summit today, during which he urged nations to work together to find a vaccine

Russian president Vladimir Putin speaks to world leaders during the virtual G20 summit today, during which he urged nations to work together to find a vaccine

A joint statement released by the leaders after the virtual summit called for a 'transparent, robust, co-ordinated, large-scale and science-based global response'. 

'We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and the suffering faced by people around the world,' the statement said. 

'Tackling the pandemic and its intertwined health, social and economic impacts is our absolute priority. 

'We express our gratitude and support to all frontline health workers as we continue to fight the pandemic. 

'The G20 is committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic, along with the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, United Nations, and other international organisations.' 

The leaders vowed to 'share timely and transparent information' and share materials for research, as scientists around the world scramble to develop a vaccine. 

An effective vaccine would hugely reduce the pressure on public health services and allow life to return to normal for the billions under lockdown.  

Speaking from Moscow, Vladimir Putin declared that a vaccine would be found more quickly if G20 countries work together. 

'We undoubtedly cannot afford to act on the principle every man for himself,' the Russian president said.

Putin also called for 'green corridors full of trade wars and sanctions' to ensure the supply of medication, equipment and technology.  

'Ideally we should introduce a... joint moratorium on restrictions on essential goods as well as on financial transactions for their purchase,' Putin said.

Russia has been under numerous rounds of Western sanctions following the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its role in the Ukraine crisis. 

Saudi Arabia, which is presiding over the G20 this year, opened the meeting with an urgent appeal by King Salman for the world's most powerful nations to finance the research and development of a vaccine. 

'This human crisis requires a global response. The world counts on us to come together and cooperate in order to face this challenge,' the Saudi monarch said. 

South Korean president Moon Jae-in sits in his presidential office and looks at his fellow world leaders on video screens during today's virtual G20 summit

South Korean president Moon Jae-in sits in his presidential office and looks at his fellow world leaders on video screens during today's virtual G20 summit

European Council president Charles Michel looks at two screens today during the virtual G20 summit. The EU is one of the 20 members of the wealthy nations' club

European Council president Charles Michel looks at two screens today during the virtual G20 summit. The EU is one of the 20

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