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Moscow Virus Crackdown Sparks Rare Public Spat With China

  • Mayor seeks to patch up rift after complaint from ambassador
  • Embassy accused authorities of targeting Chinese nationals
Health workers pass through the passenger arrivals terminal at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow on Feb. 26.
Health workers pass through the passenger arrivals terminal at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow on Feb. 26.Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Moscow’s mayor sought to patch up a rare public dispute with China, as Russia’s efforts to control the coronavirus fueled tension between the two close partners.

“I ask you to be understanding of the measures we’re forced to take aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus in one of the biggest megapolises in Europe,” Sergei Sobyanin wrote in a letter Wednesday to China’s ambassador to Russia, Zhang Hanhui.