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15 Jul, 2021 11:24

Russia still won’t consider allowing Western Covid-19 vaccines into country, as Kremlin says ‘we’ve enough of our own’ jabs

Russia still won’t consider allowing Western Covid-19 vaccines into country, as Kremlin says ‘we’ve enough of our own’ jabs

The Kremlin has revealed that Moscow has no plans to buy or approve coronavirus vaccines developed by and manufactured in countries like the US and Britain, but that it is exploring mutual recognition of vaccines to enable travel.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said that there was no consideration being given to allowing the use of the jabs, given that Russia has four domestic formulas. “We have enough of our own vaccines," Peskov said. "So far, this topic isn't being discussed in any way."

As well as its flagship Sputnik V, pioneered by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, the country is producing three other approved vaccines – EpiVacCorona, CoviVac and Sputnik Lite, a single dose version of Gamaleya Institute's original formula. These are now all being made available to citizens through vaccination points in clinics, as well as pop-up centers in shopping malls and other public places.

Also on rt.com 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

However, Peskov said, the issue "which is now on the agenda" is the topic of mutual recognition of jabs between Russia and the EU. "We hope that as a result of the dialogue... it will be possible to discuss this topic and come to some decisions," he explained, while adding that "unfortunately, there are no concrete results yet."

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 acceptance of each others' Covid-19 vaccines, to facilitate travel across borders. He said that both sides "need to find a solution" in order to allow recognition of certificates that allow access without quarantine requirements.

However, France's foreign minister Clément Beaune sparked a diplomatic row by urging the 27-state bloc to reject those who have been immunized with jabs like Sputnik V.  On the list of acceptable jabs for travelers, he said, "should be only those which we are certain of their efficacy."

Also on rt.com ‘Racism, imperial hegemony & neo-Nazism’: Russian Foreign Ministry slams suggestion that EU shouldn’t recognize Sputnik V vaccine

"Currently, there are only four of them recognized in France and Europe, as well as in a number of other countries," Beaune 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."

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova blasted these as "unacceptable statements." She went on to say the French minister's remarks had come from "a hybrid of racism, imperial hegemony, and neo-Nazism: entire peoples are denied equal rights and opportunities, in contrary to laws, ethics, and morality, pushing the world to confrontation at a time when it is being severely tested by the pandemic.”

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