Germany plans to buy 30 million doses of Russian vaccine Sputnik
Germany wants to buy 30 million doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, said Michael Kretschmer, state governor of East Saxony, who discussed the matter with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
“Germany is negotiating 3 x 10 million doses for June, July and August. The prerequisite is early approval of the vaccine by the EMA,” Kretschmer wrote on Twitter.
Kretschmer posted the tweet after meeting Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko as part of a visit to Moscow ostensibly focusing on cultural relations with Russia.
As part of the visit, he also discussed joint efforts to fight the virus during a phone call with Putin, the Kremlin said in a statement.
“Putin has confirmed the willingness of the Russian side to cooperate with German partners to this end, in particular to organize the delivery and joint production of vaccines,” he said.
Germany sparked controversy in early April when it announced that it had started talks with Russia over purchasing doses of the Sputnik vaccine without waiting for coordinated action from the European Union.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said Europe’s largest economy was seeking a “binding commitment on what amounts specifically are likely to reach Germany after regulatory approval and when”.
The talks come as the two countries disagree over issues including repeated Russian cyber attacks on the West, the Kremlin’s treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and escalating tensions on the Ukrainian border.
Germany has so far coordinated its vaccine purchases with the EU.
Since the start of inoculations at the end of December, Germany has deployed vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna.
A fourth, from Johnson & Johnson, is expected to be deployed across the block in the coming weeks.
The southern state of Bavaria and the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have already announced plans to pre-order doses of Sputnik.
The EMA has launched an ongoing review of the Sputnik jab, which could become the first non-Western coronavirus vaccine approved for use in the 27-country bloc.