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Russia backs mutual recognition of vaccines approved at state level — Lavrov

COVID-19 is our common enemy, Russian Foreign Minister said

THE UNITED NATIONS, September 25. /TASS/. Russia supports mutual recognition by countries of COVID-19 vaccines approved at a state level, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday at a general debate during the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

"COVID-19 is our common enemy. We support mutual recognition of vaccines approved by national oversight bodies, in the interests of lifting restrictions on international travel of citizens as soon as possible," Lavrov said.

Russia was the world’s first country to register a coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, on August 11, 2020, and applied for its registration in the European Union and with the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the authoritative medical journal The Lancet, Sputnik V’s efficacy is 91.6% On March 4, the European Medicines Agency announced that it had started a rolling review of Sputnik V.

In his address, Lavrov offered a hashtag for social networks in support of the UN Charter - #UNCharterIsOurRules. The hashtag will be launched in six official languages of the UN - Russian, English, French, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish. This initiative is aimed at supporting the UN Charter, which is a basic source of international law. The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly stated that the UN Charter is violated and comes under attacks by the states, which are promoting the concept of "a rules-based international order.".

Attempts to restrict the use of Russian vaccines

Russia does not accept the Western nations’ attempts to restrict the use of Russian vaccines, Lavrov said.

"We do not tolerate the attempts to restrict, discriminate against the vaccines that have not been registered in the United States, but have proved their efficacy multiple times. It also refers to Sputnik V. We already have a number of EU countries which have registered our vaccines on their soil. It is an example for other EU and NATO states," he said.

Russia produces vaccines on 12 sites, namely Sputnik V and Sputnik Light developed by the Gamaleya Center of the Russian Ministry of Health, EpiVacCorona by the Vector Center of the Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare, and CoviVac by the Chumakov Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In early September, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge urged countries to take an active stance on the exchange and distribution of coronavirus vaccines.