This was stated at a briefing in Berlin by the official representative of the German government, according to Politico.
“We have asked the Commission to start the Sputnik V procurement procedure,” the official said, adding that “ we now see that the Commission is in the process of launching this procedure.”
The official said the Commission should first get the opinion of EU capitals to see which countries are interested in buying the Russian vaccine before starting negotiations on a contract on the number of doses.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) obtained the first set of data on the Russian vaccine earlier this month when Russia applied for approval of the drug in Europe.
The head of the EMA said on Tuesday that the regulatory body is preparing to inspect facilities in Russia where the vaccine is produced. It is unclear what the timing of the EMA’s decision on the Russian vaccine is.
The German official said that the first steps of the EU procurement procedure can begin while the checks are underway.
“We believe that this process can begin now, while the regulatory authorities are considering it. We would consider it right if the negotiations were started immediately, “ he explained.
However, the official added that official negotiations with Russia have not yet begun. “I believe that in the near future this issue will also be discussed again in political terms,” he said, referring to potential discussions between EU leaders at a virtual EU summit on Thursday and Friday.
Slovakia’s President Zuzana Chaputova has called on Prime Minister Igor Matovic to resign and put an end to the political crisis caused by his decision to purchase a coronavirus vaccine developed in Russia.