On Sputnik V, Russian firm urges EU to 'stop being biased'
Iran Press TV
Monday, 22 March 2021 3:12 PM
"Dear Commissioner Breton, please stop being biased."
That is part of an official response by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to controversial remarks from Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, who said on Sunday evening that the European Union "had absolutely no need for Sputnik V."
The EU official claimed that the Russians "are having a hard time" making the vaccine, adding that the Europeans will probably have to help them.
"If we need to provide them with one or two factories to manufacture it why not, but for the moment Europeans are a priority."
The RDIF markets the vaccine outside Russia's borders.
The fund issued a statement on Twitter censuring Breton's effort to undermine the jab.
"Europeans want a choice of safe and efficient vaccines, which you so far failed to provide," the RDIF said in the posting on Monday, adding that Sputnik V has been approved for use in 54 countries.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun reviewing the shot for possible approval. It would become the first non-Western COVID-19 vaccine to be used across the EU.
The RDIF said if Breton's remarks were "an official position of the EU, please inform us that there is no reason to pursue EMA approval because of your political biases."
"We will continue to save lives in other countries."
Putin dismisses foreign criticism of Sputnik V vaccine
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday dismissed foreign criticism of the country's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, adding that he will get the jab the following day.
Describing EU remarks on the vaccine as "strange," Putin said, "We are not imposing anything on anyone... Whose interests are such people protecting -- of pharmaceutical companies or the interests of citizens of European countries?"
"Vaccination is of course the voluntary choice of every person... By the way, I intend to do it myself tomorrow," he said in televised remarks.
This came after Reuters quoted Russia's RDIF sovereign fund as saying that US firm has violated Russian patent rights on its Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.
RDIF, which actively markets Sputnik V abroad, did not disclose the name of the US firm.
The Russian vaccine, the first to have been developed in the world, has been the target of dismissals by Western media, which describe it as hastily prepared to serve political purposes.
Sputnik V could now be produced in the European Union. The RDIF has struck deals with production facilities in Italy, Spain, France, and Germany in that regard.
Scientists say the Russian vaccine is almost 92% effective.
It has already been approved or is being assessed for approval in three EU member states, namely Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
If at least four EU member states request to buy Sputnik V, Brussels could start negotiations about a possible agreement to purchase shots.
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