The Russian President made the remarks during a virtual interaction with senior editors of international news agencies and denied concerns about the effectiveness of Sputnik V.
File image of Vladimir Putin. AP
St. Petersburg: As Indian companies prepare to manufacture the Russian-made Sputnik-V anti-COVID vaccine to meet the huge demand in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Russia is the only country in the world that is ready was to transfer technology and expand production overseas, noting that the vaccine was sold in 66 countries.
The Russian President’s remarks came a day after New Delhi officials announced that the Serum Institute of India had received preliminary approval from the country’s Medicines Agency to manufacture Sputnik V. As early as April 2021, the Indian pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories received the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Russian vaccine. Panacea Biotec has also started production of the Sputnik-V vaccine in India in cooperation with the Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF.
The Russian President raised concerns about the effectiveness of the Sputnik-V vaccine during virtual interaction with senior editors of major international news outlets, including the Press Trust of India, the Associated press and Reuters, said the delay in registering the vaccine in Europe was due to a “competitive battle” and “commercial interests” there.
With China being blamed for the COVID pandemic by some countries, particularly the US, Putin said that too much had been said on the issue and stressed that the crisis should not be “politicized”.
He answered a question about the cause of the COVID pandemic.
Last week US President Joe Biden announced that he was conducting further intelligence investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 amid allegations that Coronavirus comes from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan where former US President Donald Trump has fined the Asian country for the “death and destruction” it caused.
“Too much has already been said on the subject, so it seems pointless to me to comment on it any further. I don’t think I can say anything new or fascinating,” Putin said of a translator.
Putin stated that there was competition against Sputnik V and said, “We sell our vaccine in 66 countries, it’s a huge market for us. I’m pretty sure the allegations are for commercial reasons, but we are pursuing humanitarian reasons. “
He continued: “It is recognized by international experts, the vaccine is efficient, its effectiveness is 97.6 percent. We are the only country in the world willing to transfer technology and expand our production abroad.”
Putin also expressed hope that the challenges of the novel Coronavirus Pandemic would cause countries to lift politically motivated restrictions on one another.