Moscow on Tuesday confirmed world powers, including President Vladimir Putin, will be holding an emergency G20 online summit this week to discuss a global coronavirus response.

“On March 26 the president will participate in the emergency G20 summit which will take place in a videoconference format,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The conference “will be dedicated to battling the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the global economy,” it said.

Saudi Arabia, which currently presides over the G20, last week called for the “virtual summit” and France and China on Tuesday supported the idea as the global toll from Covid-19 surged close to 16 000 and over 1.7 billion people were confined to their homes.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed on Tuesday evening that the Russian leader was preparing to join the video conference while on a working visit to Saint-Petersburg.

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