EU asks Russia for talks on Covid-19 jab certificates for travel, as France urges bloc to turn away tourists who've had Sputnik V
The European Union has offered to open up talks with Moscow over how to ensure travelers who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus can travel across borders without stringent requirements for self-isolation and testing.
Brussels' Ambassador to Russia, Markus Ederer, announced on Wednesday that EU officials have approached the country's Ministry of Health with a proposal around the mutual recognition of Covid-19 vaccines, to facilitate travel between the two. The diplomat said both sides "need to find a solution to our Covid-19 certificates," with vaccination status not currently taken into account in the rules for those moving between Russia and the EU.
Ederer went on to add that "the EU has a digital certificate that allows citizens to travel freely within the union, as well as a law that provides for the ability to declare these certificates equivalent to other similar certificates." Under these provisions, "we have turned to the Russian Ministry of Health and offered to discuss whether Russia is interested in such a process," he said.Also on rt.com US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson wants to strike deal to supply its Covid-19 vaccine to Russia, company rep reveals
However, not all of the bloc's members appear supportive of the proposals. France's foreign minister, Clément Beaune, told TV channel France 2 on Thursday that those who have received certain vaccines should be shut out. On the list of acceptable jabs for travelers, he said, "should be only those which we are certain of their efficacy."
"Currently, there are only four of them recognized in France and Europe, as well as in a number of other countries," he went to on to add. "As for a number of other vaccines, in particular the Russian and Chinese ones, France says to its partners – be cautious, say no to these vaccines."
The EU's central medicines regulator, the EMA, has come under fire for the slow pace of its evaluation of Sputnik V, Russia's flagship Covid-19 jab. Two member states have already refused to wait for a green light on the vaccine from Brussels, and began administering the vaccine to their citizens. Data published in a number of leading scientific journals has shown that the formula is both safe and has one of the highest rates of protection against the virus of any jab available.
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