JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin and Global Health: Friend or Foe?” – Center for Strategic and International Studies/ J. Stephen Morrison and Judyth Twigg

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

“… Over the course of this decade, Russia has consciously enlarged its engagement and commitments, at home and in the wider world, in battling both tuberculosis (TB) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Despite these positive steps, Russia remains a serious global health security threat. … [with] a live risk of uncontrolledMicroscopic Image of T-Cells Infected by HIV HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) epidemics within Russia itself … [and] ongoing risk of export to neighbors in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, whose deep interdependence with Russia, including extensive migrant traffic, creates acute vulnerabilities. Beyond Eurasia, Russia stands out as one of several flashpoints in the world that could contribute to a resurgent HIV/AIDS and DR-TB epidemic that reverses the global gains of the past 15 years. Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.govRussia’s social media practices deliberately spread confusion and distrust surrounding a wide range of preventive health measures … from vaccines to harm reduction. This analysis weighs Russia’s positive contributions against its multiple destructive actions in global health, examines what the overall pattern of Russian behavior means for U.S. policy, and concludes with a proposal for an expanded U.S. health security alliance with Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It argues that the United States should welcome Russian contributions and collaborate with Satelliteserious Russian partners in the service of broader shared health goals. … [Yet] Russia will only earn a legitimate global health leadership seat through progressive, evidence-based policies and actions, which can never be wholly segregated from the noise created by its geopolitically destabilizing actions. …”

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