VIENNA, March 31. /TASS/. Russia and Austria are at the final stage to finalize the contract for the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, as its signing will allow starting deliveries in April, Russia’s Ambassador to Austria Dmitry Lyubinsky said after a working meeting with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Wednesday.
"It was a good, constructive and frank conversation, which has drawn a line under a certain stage in bilateral contacts concerning Sputnik V supplies to Austria," the ambassador said commenting on his talks with Kurz.
According to the diplomat, the current stage "shows that the principal agreement on Sputnik V deliveries to Austria took place in the two countries’ relations."
"The negotiation teams are at the final stage of finalizing the contract," Lyubinsky said. "Both sides assume that it could be completed in the near future. Having this contract signed would make it possible to start delivering first consignments in April."
The ambassador added that Kurz had informed "one million doses were in question."
Austrian chancellor’s stance
After his talks with Lyubinsky, Kurz said that Moscow and Vienna were in the final stage of negotiation before the purchase of Sputnik V and that Austria may order the Russian vaccine as early as next week.
On March 30, the Austrian federal chancellor’s office said that Vienna was in talks with Moscow about the purchase of one million doses of Sputnik V to vaccinate 500,000 people, which might be delivered in three tranches - in April, May and June 2021. Austria and Russia inked a non-disclosure agreement that binds Austria to keep information when the confidential documents are exchanged and to provide access to the information about the vaccine by the two countries’ health ministries.
Austria launched a vaccination campaign in December 2020, using the Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.