MINSK, September 3. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin confirmed at a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday that Moscow would help Minsk with a coronavirus vaccine.
Mishustin said at the meeting that almost all the key ministers of the Russian Cabinet, including the energy minister, the minister of industry and trade and the health minister, had arrived in Minsk as part of the Russian delegation.
"Will you help us with vaccines?" Lukashenko asked. The Russian prime minister assured that assistance would be provided. "Vladimir [Putin] told me that this (Belarus) would be the first country we (Russia) would help with the vaccine," the Belarusian president said. "That’s the way it is going to be," Mishustin answered.
According to BelTA news agency, Mishustin noted that his Belarusian counterpart Roman Golovchenko decided to test the Russian coronavirus vaccine on himself. "I am glad that Roman Alexandrovich Golovchenko decided to be vaccinated. I am sure everything will be fine," BelTA quotes him as saying.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko earlier agreed that Belarus would be one of the first countries to receive a vaccine against COVID-19. In addition, Belarus will join the final stage of additional testing of the Russian vaccine. Its citizens will be able to take part in the third stage of clinical trials on a voluntary basis.
On August 11, Russia became the first country to register a coronavirus vaccine, which was named Sputnik V. The vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology underwent clinical trials in June and July. It is based on a platform that was used to create some other vaccines. On August 15, the Russian Health Ministry said that its production had begun.