8 countries under unilateral sanctions ask UN chief for help

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Eight countries under unilateral sanctions, mainly from the United States and European Union, are urging the U.N. secretary-general to request the immediate and complete lifting of these measures to enable the nations to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. In a joint letter obtained by AP on Thursday, the ambassadors from China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria and Venezuela urged Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “reject the politicization of such a pandemic.” The ambassadors did not name any countries responsible for what they called “illegal, coercive measures of economic pressure.” Guterres has called for waiving sanctions impeding the pandemic response.