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Putin, Saudi King Discuss Joint Vaccine Production – Kremlin

Russia said it had developed the world's first coronavirus vaccine early last month. Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Saudi King Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Monday the possible joint production of a Russian coronavirus vaccine, the Kremlin said.

In early August, Russia said it had developed the world's first vaccine against the virus and claimed that more than a billion doses had been pre-ordered by 20 countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Russia's sovereign wealth fund has provided much of the financing, and it has identified Saudi Arabia as one of the countries interested in the vaccine.

On Monday, Putin and Salman discussed "collective efforts aimed at overcoming the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic," a Kremlin statement said, while noting the call had come at the Saudi king's initiative.

"Particular attention was paid to the perspective of joint production of a vaccine that was developed by Russia," the statement added.

It also said that Russia and Saudi Arabia, two major producers of crude oil, would continue to "pursue close coordination" to ensure stable oil prices.

Crude prices have fallen over the past week as traders consider the outlook for long-term demand owing to fallout from the virus pandemic.

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