Pending its approval in the EU, production agreements for the Russian vaccine against the coronavirus, Sputnik V, have been found “with companies from Italy, Spain, France and Germany”, he said. the Russian Sovereign Fund (RDIF) announced on Monday.
“There are currently other talks going on to increase production in the EU. This will make it possible to start supplying the single European market with Sputnik V upon authorization by the European Medicines Agency ”(EMA), the head of the Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, said in a statement.
Vaccines for 50 million Europeans in June
The head of RDIF, which financed the development of this vaccine, did not indicate the name of the European groups with which agreements had been reached. On March 9, a first production agreement was announced in Italy with the Italian-Swiss pharmaceutical company Adienne, which is to produce the vaccine in Lombardy. Sputnik V is not yet authorized in the European Union, but has taken a step forward with the start of its review by the Amsterdam-based MEA. After this announcement, the Russian authorities said they were ready to provide vaccines to 50 million Europeans from June.
In addition, Kirill Dmitriev said on Monday that Russia was also ready to “launch the supply of EU countries that will allow Sputnik V independently” of the EMA, as would Hungary. Initially welcomed with skepticism abroad as heralded as a success as early as the summer of 2020 after testing on only a few dozen people, Sputnik V has since convinced some fifty countries. Its reliability was validated in February by the scientific journal The Lancet.
The development of the vaccine had been entrusted to state institutions, and is celebrated in Moscow as a historic success for Russia under Vladimir Putin. The choice of the name is also highly symbolic. A tribute to the first satellite to have been put into orbit in 1957 by the USSR, it recalls a scientific feat and a historic setback for the American rival.
Russia also regularly accuses the West of campaigning against Sputnik V, insinuating that Moscow was orchestrating vaccine diplomacy intended to sow discord in Europe. The EU is facing difficulties in the supply of anti-Covid vaccines developed by Western pharmaceutical groups.