Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, announced on Thursday that his country would hold talks with Russia on a possible purchase of Sputnik V, should the vaccine be approved by European authorities.
“I explained on behalf of Germany to the EU Council of Health Ministers that we would discuss bilaterally with Russia, first of all, to find out when and what quantities could be delivered,” Jens Spahn told regional public radio WDR.
Spahn explained that the decision was made after the European Commission announced it would not negotiate the purchase of Sputnik V vaccine on behalf of the 27 Member States.
The issue of Sputnik’s use is controversial in Europe. The French Foreign Minister recently criticised Russia for using it as a “propaganda tool” in the world.
“The deliveries should take place in the next two to four or five months to really make a difference with our current situation” in terms of the number of injections, said Spahn, who has been criticised for the slow pace of the vaccination campaign.
Because it cannot produce enough vaccine and wants to give priority to the Russian population, Moscow has so far sent only small quantities abroad.
Since the first vaccination on Boxing Day, three vaccines are currently being injected in Germany: those of Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca (under conditions) and Moderna. A fourth, from Johnson & Johnson, is due to be distributed throughout the European Union in the coming weeks.
The Brussels Times