Lithuania has cancelled its decision to donate COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh, the country's public broadcaster – Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT) reported Monday.
The decision came after the country abstained during the United Nations General Assembly vote on condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, LRT reported quoting Rasa Jakilaitiene, a spokeswoman for the Lithuanian prime minister.
Earlier on March 2, the Lithuanian government announced that they will provide up to 444,600 doses of vaccine (manufactured by Pfizer) as “humanitarian assistance” to Bangladesh.
Lithuania has already donated vaccine doses to Ukraine, Latvia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Tajikistan, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
On Sunday, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said that Bangladesh abstained from the UN General Assembly vote on a resolution over the Ukraine crisis "for the sake of peace".
“We voted for peace,” he said, although Bangladesh actually abstained, neither voting for or against the resolution. In the government's assessment, the final text of the resolution was tilted towards blaming one side (Russia), rather than stopping the war, hence they could not support it.
Four South Asian countries - Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan - were among 35 abstentions as the UN General Assembly voted at an emergency session Wednesday on the Ukraine issue. The vote on the “Aggression against Ukraine” resolution however did cross the two-thirds threshold for adoption, with 141 countries having voted in favour of it. There were 5 voters against, by Moscow and its staunchest allies.
The abstentions included China, as expected, but also some surprises from usual Russian allies Cuba and Nicaragua.