Russian Embassy in US tells Washington to focus on fighting Covid-19, rather than bashing Russia's pioneering Sputnik V vaccine
The Russian Embassy in Washington issued a sharp rebuke of the US government on Thursday, telling them to “save American lives (and) fight Covid19 – not the Russian Vaccines (being prepared to fight the killer pandemic). "
The comments were made in response to a US Department of State press briefing which had seemed to cast doubt over the effectiveness of coronavirus formulas developed in Russia.
The official Twitter account for the Russian Embassy in the USA warned the government not to “try to downplay President Putin’s constructive proposal to hold an online top-level conference shortly for countries interested in cooperation in the development of #Covid19 vaccines.”
The embassy was referring to President Putin’s speech to the UN, on Wednesday, in which he emphasized his desire to pursue international partnership on vaccines. “I would like to reiterate that we are completely open to partner relations and willing to cooperate,” he said.
The Russian Embassy’s tweet included an excerpt from a statement in which President Donald Trump is quoted as saying “I just want a vaccine that works. I really don’t care if it’s another country. I’ll take my hat off to them.”
They also linked to an India Today interview with Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) – Russia’s sovereign wealth fund. In the interview Dmitriev defended the Sputnik V vaccine, which his organisation bankrolled, against criticism, saying:
“Well I think it’s a clear example of negative competitive propaganda by some of the Western pharma companies whose vaccines are much worse, because ours is based on human adenoviruses, which has a great safety track record, and theirs is based on novel approaches that have not been tested before.”
On August 11, Russia became the first country to register a vaccine against Covid-19. Sputnik V has been developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Healthcare Ministry, and it passed clinical trials which took place in June and July. It's currently being rolled out to key workers and volunters as part of its third-stage trial.
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