Russia, Austria agree to talks on Sputnik V vaccine deliveries
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz agreed in a phone call Friday to talks over the delivery and joint production of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the Kremlin said.
“The issues of countering the spread of the coronavirus infection were discussed in detail, including the possibility of supplying the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to Austria, as well as establishing its joint production,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
The phone call, which the Kremlin said was initiated by Austria, came as the European Union faces criticism for a sluggish mass vaccination rollout after it was plagued by supply problems.
Several of the bloc’s member states, including Germany and Spain, have said that they would be interested in Russia’s vaccine if it gets approval from European regulatory bodies, while Hungary has registered the jab on its own.
Russia approved its Sputnik V vaccine last August ahead of large-scale clinical trials, sparking concerns over the fast-track procedure.
But leading medical journal The Lancet this month published results showing the jab to be safe and over 90 percent effective.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which helped finance the development of the vaccine, has said that more than 35 countries have registered it.