Macron, Merkel discuss Sputnik V vaccine cooperation with Putin

Published April 1, 2021
PARIS: People have lunch in the garden of the Royal Palace on a sunny spring day on Wednesday.—AFP
PARIS: People have lunch in the garden of the Royal Palace on a sunny spring day on Wednesday.—AFP

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed possible cooperation on vaccines with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a joint video conference on Tuesday, Macron’s office and the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin said in a statement that the trio had discussed the outlook for Russia’s flagship Sputnik V vaccine being registered across the EU as well as potential deliveries and joint production of the vaccine inside the EU.

The European Union’s regulator — the European Medicines Agency — has yet to grant its approval to Sputnik V, but is reviewing it, and some individual EU member states have either approved it or are assessing it for approval at a national level.

Use of the Russian vaccine has divided the 27-nation bloc with some such as Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, saying it has no need for Sputnik V and others, such as Charles Michel, who chairs EU summits, accusing Moscow of using vaccines for propaganda, something it rejects.

Behind the scenes, the bloc is showing increased interest in the Sputnik V shot, EU diplomatic and official sources said.

Macron and Merkel had also told Putin to respect jailed political opponent Alexei Navalny’s rights and to preserve his health, the French presidency said in its statement.

The Kremlin said Putin had explained what it called the “objective circumstances” of Navalny’s case, which saw him jailed last month for two and a half years on charges he called politically motivated. He has since alleged he is not getting proper medical treatment.

The three leaders also discussed the situation in Ukraine, Belarus, Libya, Syria and agreed to coordinate efforts so that Iran returned to full compliance with its international obligations, the French statement said.

Putin used the call to accuse Ukraine of provoking armed confrontation with pro-Russian separatists and of failing to honour earlier agreements over its war-torn east, the Kremlin said.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2021

Opinion

Activism in verse
07 May 2021

Activism in verse

Poetry speaks louder than prose when it comes to making an impact.
Missing women
07 May 2021

Missing women

In terms of gender parity, we are among the worst.
Mixed signals on rights
Updated 06 May 2021

Mixed signals on rights

Government officials continue to call human rights standards alien to Pakistan’s ground realities.

Editorial

Reprimanding envoys
Updated 07 May 2021

Reprimanding envoys

The prime minister should have engaged with honest and respectable officers to identify how solutions can be found.
07 May 2021

Foreign funding case

THE foreign funding case against the PTI has become a never-ending tale. It has been dragging on for years and after...
07 May 2021

Water woes

IRRIGATION experts have voiced concern over the decline of freshwater flow through Kotri barrage, which has led to...
Proceed with caution
Updated 06 May 2021

Proceed with caution

The slightest loosening of SOP protocols could send us hurling in the direction where India finds itself today.
06 May 2021

IPP dues

THE ECC decision to pay the first tranche of outstanding dues of one set of IPPs, and further delay the payments of...
06 May 2021

Violence against doctors

HEALTHCARE workers and doctors’ associations in two major hospitals of KP are adamant that the KP Healthcare...