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France is ready to use Russian vaccine once it is approved by EMA - Foreign Ministry

At the same time, Clement Beaune stressed that "there can be no question of inoculating people with this vaccine without it being scientifically tested"

PARIS, March 21. /TASS/. France will be ready to use the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine if it receives the approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and its production meets the required quality standards, Secretary of State for European affairs in the French government Clement Beaune said in an interview with BFM TV channel on Saturday.

"France is open to the Russian vaccine. We are by no means pursuing any anti-Russian policy," Beaune said. He recalled that Russia had already submitted an application to the European Medicines Agency. At the same time, he stressed that "there can be no question of inoculating people with this vaccine without it being scientifically tested."

"If the Russian vaccine is approved [by EMA], we will use it," the spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry assured.

Beaune recalled that along with the possibility of using the Russian vaccine, France also has real solutions - such as the Pfizer vaccine, France has already signed additional contracts for.

"So let’s not get carried away by mirages - in the near future we will have neither Chinese nor Russian vaccines," Clement Beaune assumed.

He noted that several weeks will definitely pass before the Russian vaccine is approved for use so one can expect the approval in April-May.

"In general, such procedures usually take about two months," he recalled.

Beaune added that "production of a Russian vaccine is also on the agenda."

"For example, in Italy, one company has already announced that it is capable of producing the Russian vaccine. If the vaccine is certified and its production started in Europe, it is very good," he said.

"But the main thing is to produce a high-quality vaccine and produce it quickly," the Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized.

"That is, for France, the short-term solution is to produce already approved vaccines, seek quick approval for other vaccines and quickly produce them," Beaune said.

Chinese vaccine

During the interview, Beaune also touched on the issue of the Chinese vaccine against COVID-19.

"I would like to remind you that France is looking for the maximum possible amount of vaccine, provided that [during its production] all existing safety rules are observed. We should not forget that an application for the Chinese vaccine has not yet been submitted to the European Medicines Agency," Clement said

"The fact that it is not used in France is by no means a matter of bureaucratic or administrative delays on our part. The fact is that China does not provide information on its vaccine. We will not vaccinate people with a vaccine that has not passed the test of our experts and European authorities," the representative of the French Foreign Ministry said.