Germany wants to go fast. The country plans to buy 30 million doses of the Russian anti-Covid Sputnik vaccine, which has not yet received the green light from Europe, Saxony Minister-President Michael Kretschmer said Thursday.
“We strongly advocate for a rapid approval process by May,” tweeted this elected conservative from the former GDR, who spoke with the Russian Minister of Health, Mikhail Murashko .
10 million doses each month this summer
Germany would like to buy 30 million doses, at the rate of 10 million doses each month between June and August, specifies the Saxon Minister-President. Mr. Kretschmer has been on a several-day visit to Russia since Wednesday, in a tense context between Moscow and Berlin, marked by the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine or the fate of the opponent Alexeï Navalny, treated in Germany after poisoning and since imprisoned in Russia, where his state of health is considered alarming by his relatives and doctors.
The Russian Sovereign Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of this vaccine, had indicated on April 8 that it had started negotiations with Berlin “for an advance purchase contract”. German Health Minister Jens Spahn justified Berlin’s decision to go it alone by refusing the European Commission to negotiate on behalf of the Twenty-Seven the purchase of Sputnik V, contrary to what it did with d ‘other vaccines against Covid-19.
A vaccine criticized by France
Bavaria had for its part negotiated a “preliminary contract” to receive 2.5 million doses of the Russian vaccine, subject to the European green light. The region of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania had followed suit, also announcing a pre-order.
The question of the use of Sputnik is controversial in Europe. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian recently criticized Russia for using it as a “propaganda” tool around the world.
The EMA has not set a deadline for its decision on Sputnik while for other laboratories that have so far submitted their Covid vaccine for approval, the EMA had examined the data provided for 2 to 4 months .