It is no secret that Russia is one of the first countries on the planet to have developed vaccines against COVID-19 and is already actively using one of them (at least four different vaccines are now being produced in Russia): Sputnik V, which has also received recognition in numerous countries on all continents. But so far this has not happened in the EU, where drugs from Russia were initially viewed with suspicion. And although authoritative medical and research sources have long recognized the efficacy of Sputnik V, which is also produced under license in several countries, Europe is in no rush to approve the vaccine, setting out a possible positive solution with various conditions and reservations. , writes Alexi Ivanov, Moscow correspondent.
As usual, politics also intervened in the matter. Sputnik V was declared in some European capitals as Putin’s “secret ideological weapon” and even as a medicine that supposedly undermines the authority of Western manufacturers. There were also scandals, as happened in Slovakia, where a government crisis broke out over a Russian drug. But there were also other states on the continent that did not wait for approval from Brussels and decided to use Sputnik V. For example, Hungary, where the Russian vaccine is being tested along with other drugs. Tiny San Marino also decided to use Sputnik V, having obtained very positive results. But in several countries: Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, the Russian vaccine is subjected to the strictest ban, mainly due to political considerations.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of approval from the European Medicines Agency, Russian tourists vaccinated with Russian-produced vaccines are still banned from entering Europe, which invariably affects the dramatic drop in tourism in the first place.
Moscow, however, is unwilling to dramatize the situation and is determined to wait until Europe is ready to give the “green light” to Russia’s drugs.
The Russian Health Ministry, with the support of the Foreign Ministry, is conducting an important professional conversation with the European Union on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, said the head of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov.
“It seems that there is demonstrated political will,” he recited. Certain technical and legal issues are being resolved, including the need to guarantee the protection of personal data, to ensure the technological compatibility of the procedures, “said the minister in one of the comments.
The minister stressed that Moscow is ready to continue a pragmatic dialogue and hopes that there will be no delays from Europe “with a sign of politicization.”
In the European Union, since July 1, a system of COVID certificates has been in operation, which are issued to those who are vaccinated or have been ill, as well as to those who have passed a negative PCR test.
The legislation allows the European Commission to recognize the equivalence of documents issued in other countries. So, in August 2021, this happened with the immunization passports that are issued in San Marino, where the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is available.
At the same time, it has not yet been registered in the union countries: the drug has undergone a gradual examination procedure at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since March 2021. EC Director Ursula von der Leyen said the vendor has not yet provided “sufficiently reliable security data”, although Moscow claims that all documents are already at the regulator’s disposal.