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Russian diplomat urges UK media outlets to apologize to Sputnik V’s developers

"If the professional decency based on journalistic standards has not yet finally become an empty phrase for British media outlets, they still have a chance to preserve some resemblance of honor and respect for their readers and apologize to the Russian developers of the vaccine," Maria Zakharova noted

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has urged all British media outlets that published information that Russia had allegedly stolen the formula of a vaccine against coronavirus from AstraZeneca to apologize to the developers of Sputnik V.

"And now the journalists of at least one newspaper, the Daily Express, I think, had enough decency and remaining sense of conscience to apologize," she wrote on her Telegram channel on Wednesday. "If the professional decency based on journalistic standards has not yet finally become an empty phrase for British media outlets, they still have a chance to preserve some resemblance of honor and respect for their readers and apologize to the Russian developers of the vaccine." She added that besides The Sun, the apologies should also be made by the Independent, the Edinburgh Evening News and other news outlets.

According to the diplomat, when this fake news item appeared, the Foreign Ministry did not comment on it nor publish a refutation. "[Russian Foreign Minister] Sergey Lavrov, in response to a corresponding question by the press noted that we cannot be surprised by anything anymore when it comes to information from the British tabloids," she added.

Earlier, a number of British newspapers, including the Daily Express, published articles reporting that Russian intelligence services allegedly obtained information on the formulation of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and later this data was used to develop the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The RDIF called these articles "a blatant lie based on anonymous sources".