Germany plans to buy 30 million doses of Russian Sputnik vaccine

Germany plans to buy 30 million doses of Russian Sputnik vaccine
Credit: Belga

Germany is planning to buy 30 million doses of Russia's Sputnik coronavirus vaccine, which has not yet received the green light from Europe, Saxony's Minister-President Michael Kretschmer said Thursday.

“We strongly advocate a quick approval process by May,” tweeted the conservative former GDR politician, who met with Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko.

Germany would like to buy 30 million doses, at a rate of 10 million doses per month between June and August, the Saxon minister-president said.

Talk with Health Minister Mikhail Murashko about #SputnikV. We are very much in favour of a speedy approval procedure by May. Germany is negotiating 3x10 million doses for June, July, August. The prerequisite for this is the swift EMA approval of the vaccine.

Kretschmer has been visiting Russia for several days since Wednesday, in a tense context between Moscow and Berlin marked by the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and the fate of the opponent Alexei Navalny, treated in Germany after a poisoning and since incarcerated in Russia, where his state of health is considered alarming by his relatives and doctors.

The Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of this vaccine, indicated on 8 April that it had begun negotiations with Berlin “for an advance purchase contract.”

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German Health Minister Jens Spahn had justified Berlin's decision to go it alone by the European Commission's refusal to negotiate the purchase of Sputnik V on behalf of the EU-27, as it has done with other vaccines against Covid-19.

Bavaria 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 followed suit, also announcing a pre-order.

The issue of the use of Sputnik is controversial in Europe. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian recently criticised Russia for using it as a “propaganda tool” in the world.

The EMA has not set a deadline for its decision on Sputnik, whereas for the other laboratories that have so far submitted their Covid vaccine for approval, the EMA has reviewed the data provided for 2 to 4 months.

The Brussels Times

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