As the coronavirus pandemic takes a tragic toll, devastating people’s lives and ravaging economies, geopolitical games continue to be played by authoritarian regimes around the world. Two prominent players include a pair of the United Nations Security Council permanent members, namely the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, both of whom have been exploiting the situation to improve their status internationally. Both Russian and Chinese assistance has been delivered under circumstances that have not always been exactly transparent.
As noted by EU HRVP Josep Borrell, “there is a global battle of narratives going on in which timing is a crucial factor”. Indeed, the EU must be vocal about its actions. At times of crisis, hardly anyone remembers continuous support and financial aid transferred throughout years; what matters are the most recent actions.