Russia’s Vladimir Putin BILLS the US for $660K after he sent 60 tons of coronavirus ‘aid’ including faulty ventilators – The Sun
VLADIMIR Putin billed the United States nearly $660,000 after he sent 60 tons of coronavirus "aid" – including faulty ventilators.
The Russian president requested Donald Trump pay $659,283 for the planeload of medical equipment to John F. Kennedy Airport.
A FEMA spokesperson told ABC News: “The State Department received a final invoice from the Government of Russia for $659,283.
“Once the routing instructions are received, the State Department will remit payment and FEMA will reimburse the State Department.”
The cargo – which arrived on April 1 – reportedly had 15,000 of respirators, 30,000 surgical gloves, 400,000 pieces of medical clothing and 80,000 skin antiseptic packets, according to FEMA.
It also had military-style gas masks and 45 useless ventilators with voltage-related issues, two US officials told ABC News.
According to the federal government, the supplies and personal protection equipment were transferred to New York and New Jersey state officials.
However, it is unknown if the equipment was given to medical workers or remains unused.
Moscow referred to the delivery as "humanitarian aid" that New Yorkers would be appreciate.
Half of the cost of the shipment was covered by Russia, according to the country's foreign ministry.
On April 2, President Trump told reporters at a press briefing: "It was a very nice gesture on behalf of President Putin and I could have said ‘no thank you’ or I could have said ‘thank you.’
"And it was a large plane of very high-quality medical supplies, and I said ‘I’ll take it.'"
Trump said he talked with Putin on March 30 about the shipment.
He also admitted he was "not concerned about Russian propaganda. Not even a little bit."
According to the State Department, the US "agreed to purchase" needed medical supplies after the phone call.
“We are a generous and reliable contributor to crisis response and humanitarian action across the world, but we cannot do it alone,” said Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokeswoman.
“Both countries have provided humanitarian assistance to each other in times of crisis in the past and will no doubt do so again in the future.
“This is a time to work together to overcome a common enemy that threatens the lives of all of us.”
Last week, Putin postponed his planned April referendum which could have kept him in power until 2036 when he would be 83.
Putin’s popularity has already slipped to its lowest level for seven years after he raised the pension age to 65 for men in a nation with an average male life expectancy of 67.
Meanwhile, Putin could be knocked down by the coronavirus crisis as some experts warn the Kremlin could turn on him as the nation braces for the virus' peak.
Scores of doctors unable to treat patients with adequate protective equipment have reportedly quit, hospitals are under resourced and and critics question whether Putin can stand up against the invisible new foe.
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