Despite no EU regulatory approval of Sputnik V, Germany to hold bilateral talks with Russia to plan purchase of Covid-19 vaccine


Germany has made plans for bilateral talks with Moscow over possible deliveries of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, should the European Union opt to verify the Russian jab, with a view to Berlin receiving doses as fast as possible.

Germany’s intent to enter negotiations with Russia was announced on Thursday by Health Minister Jens Spahn, confirming a previous report by British news agency Reuters and based on unnamed sources.

“I explained on behalf of Germany to the Council of Health Ministers of the EU, that we would discuss bilaterally with Russia, first of all, to know when and what quantities could be delivered,” the minister told WDR.

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The EU’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is yet to approve Sputnik V. Despite it not being registered by the bloc, two EU countries, Hungary and Slovakia, have already unilaterally imported and started using the vaccine. Austria has also signaled that it will purchase doses.

Sputnik V has received praise in Germany from figures in the medical field, with the country’s vaccines agency chief Thomas Mertens calling it “cleverly built.”

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Earlier this week, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov revealed that, despite deals with many other nations, the country’s domestic need for doses supersedes any plans to export abroad. For this reason, many Sputnik V doses used in other countries are produced abroad.

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