Support The Moscow Times!

Top EU Envoy ‘Hopes’ for Russian Vaccine’s Approval in Europe

A peer-reviewed study published in The Lancet showed the Sputnik V vaccine to be 91.6% effective against symptomatic Covid-19. Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

The European Union’s top diplomat has said he hopes the Russian-developed coronavirus vaccine will be approved for use in the European bloc soon, AFP reported Friday.  

Earlier this week, a peer-reviewed study published in The Lancet showed the Sputnik V vaccine to be 91.6% effective against symptomatic Covid-19, boosting international confidence in Russia’s jab after months of skepticism. EU approval of the jab would mark a major geopolitical win for Russia, which is facing new sanctions from the West over this week's jailing of poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

"It's good news for the whole of mankind because it means we will have more tools to fight the pandemic," Josep Borrell said during talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in the first visit by a senior EU envoy to Moscow since 2017. 

Borrell said he hoped the European Medicines Agency would certify the vaccine for use in EU member states, adding that it could help the bloc overcome its "shortage of vaccines." 

Lavrov also said that Washington and Moscow had agreed to "see if there is room for acting together" on vaccines and that several European countries were "interested in producing the vaccine on their territory." 

Moscow applied for EU approval of Sputnik V in January. That month, Hungary became the first EU member to break ranks by approving Sputnik V and purchasing 2 million doses of the jab, blaming the slow EU rollout

Russia registered Sputnik V in August, making it the first approved vaccine in the world, but international observers tied the approval to Moscow's geopolitical ambitions and questioned its safety and effectiveness as the two-dose shot was approved before the start of large-scale clinical trials. 

More than 15 countries have approved Sputnik V so far and Russia launched large-scale vaccination at home in December. Its developers have promoted it as a lower-cost, easier-to-transport alternative to Western-developed counterparts like those developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more