Commissioner for Internal Market Affairs Thierry Breton, who oversees vaccination policy in the European Commission (EC), said that even after the approval of the European regulator, the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V” will come to the EU “too late”.
“I am convinced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will study Sputnik V and give it a correct assessment. But a possible approval would not mean that the vaccine can be produced in sufficient quantities. It usually takes many months before the corresponding products can be established and expanded. For our goal — to vaccinate as many Europeans as possible in the summer — Sputnik V will simply come too late, “ Breton said in an interview with Spiegel.
At the same time, according to him, the European Union will have enough vaccines to achieve collective immunity in the summer.
Breton has previously said that Europe will not need Sputnik V, as the EU has already approved four other drugs, which will be enough to achieve collective immunity. Before that, he called the Russian vaccine good but said that it is necessary to establish its products in the European Union, and in this Russia may need help.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously noted that Moscow does not impose its vaccine on anyone, but when there are statements that it is not needed in Europe, the question arises who’s interests they support-citizens or pharmaceutical companies.
A trilateral meeting involving German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to take place within a week.
The main topic of the conversation will be “the aggravation of the situation in Donbas and the coordination of the positions of the parties in connection with this.” It is also specified that the conversation between the leaders of the three countries was to take place immediately after the video conference with Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and Emmanuel Macron on March 30.
The situation in Donbas deteriorated in late February, with exchanges of fire, including the use of mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, recorded in the region almost every day. The sides blamed each other for the escalation.
In Europe, there was a split over the supply of the Russian vaccine “Sputnik V”. Some countries see it only as a plus, while others oppose taking the drug from Russia. The supply friction may be resolved soon.
The split was reported by Le Monde newspaper. It is noted that the approving words addressed to Sputnik V are expressed primarily by Germany. Italy is not taking action on the acquisition of Sputnik V.
France is actively opposed to the purchase of the vaccine. The country’s Foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said that Sputnik V is “a means of propaganda and aggressive diplomacy.” No interest in the vaccine was shown in Poland.
Sources of the publication claim that in the near future the European Commission will enter into negotiations with the Russian Direct Investment Fund on the supply of the drug.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin, commenting on the statement of the commission’s representatives about the uselessness of Sputnik V, said that “ nothing is imposed on anyone.”
In March, Germany called on Europe to centrally purchase a vaccine developed in Russia.
The summit participants were called upon to prepare a plan on how their countries intend to strengthen the fight against climate change.
US President Joe Biden said that among others, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping were invited to the virtual climate summit, although he has not yet personally spoken to them about it. This was announced on Friday, March 26, by the press service of the White House.
“Not yet, but they know they’re invited,” Biden said.
It is noted that in general, 40 world leaders were invited to take part in the mentioned online meeting, which will be organized by Washington on April 22-23. The talks will be broadcast live.
“The Climate Summit will highlight the urgency as well as the economic benefits of stronger action on climate change. It will be an important milestone on the way to the 26th Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, “ the press release says.
At the same time, the summit participants, including the leaders of a number of states, as well as the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel, were called upon to prepare a plan on how their countries intend to strengthen the fight against climate change.
As reported, Swedish eco-activist Greta Thunberg opposed Biden’s climate policy. She called on the head of the White House to treat the climate problem as a crisis.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, invited US President Joe Biden to participate in the EU summit, which will be held on March 25-26 and will be held in an online format.
Michel wrote about this on Twitter.
“I invited the President of the United States to participate in our summit to share with us his vision of our future cooperation. It’s time to restore our transatlantic alliance!”, — wrote Michel.
On the eve of the summit, Michel also held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He stated that there are differences on many issues and noted that relations with Russia can develop in a different direction only if there is steady progress on issues such as the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, an end to hybrid, and cyber-attacks on member states and respect for human rights.
At the summit on Thursday and Friday, EU leaders are due to discuss the pandemic, especially the problematic vaccination program, as well as a number of other topics, including a strategic discussion of policy towards Russia.