06:59 GMT18 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) refuted claims that negotiations on the supply of the Sputnik V vaccine to Germany reached an impasse and slammed such fake reports as part of a disinformation campaign aimed at preventing the Russian drug from entering European markets.

    Earlier on Sunday, Der Bild published an article saying that Russia will not be able to begin shipments of Sputnik V to Germany before August due to production delays and a supply agreement with India. The German tabloid also claimed that negotiations with Berlin on the matter are essentially "dead," citing an anonymous source in the German Economy Ministry.

    "The information published by the Bild is false. It is an example of a disinformation campaign aimed at preventing Russian and similar vaccines from entering European and global markets. Recently, the Bild tabloid has published over 15 articles attacking the Sputnik V vaccine, containing incorrect information from anonymous sources," the RDIF said in a statement.

    The RDIF stressed that the negotiations with Berlin on the purchase of the vaccine are still ongoing and first deliveries may begin as early as June, without negatively affecting contracts with other countries.

    Sputnik V developers also maintain full transparency and continue to work within the framework of the European Medical Agency (EMA), despite persisting pressure from pharmaceutical giants and political forces to prevent the drug's approval in the EU, the RDIF noted.

    According to the fund's spokesperson, there is "an active and well-funded campaign against the Russian vaccine, aiming to discredit the Russian vaccine in various countries."

    "There are many well-documented cases in the history of the pharmaceutical industry when big companies used the press to attack competitors in order to monopolize the markets. We believe that information wars against vaccines are unethical and undermine much-needed vaccination efforts in the world," the fund said.

    Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines have been approved for use in the EU, while Russia's Sputnik V is still under review by the EMA.

    A Palestinian health worker displays a vial of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in Gaza City February 24, 2021.
    © REUTERS / MOHAMMED SALEM
    A Palestinian health worker displays a vial of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in Gaza City February 24, 2021.

    At the same time, Pfizer's market share is already estimated at over 50% in 23 of the 28 EU countries. The recent 35 billion euro ($42.5 billion) agreement between the EU and Pfizer for another 1.8 billion doses of the vaccine became the biggest international contract of this kind since the start of the pandemic. Russian President Vladimir Putin described Pfizer's competition tactics as "quite aggressive."

    Several of the German federal states announced their plans to unilaterally purchase Sputnik V, while Bavarian authorities signed a letter of intent.

    Russia's Sputnik V is the world's first registered coronavirus vaccine. It has been authorized for emergency use in 64 countries with a total population of over 3.2 billion people. The efficacy of the drug stands at 97.6%, based on the latest analysis of data from 3.8 million vaccinated Russians.

    Tags:
    Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), vaccine, Germany, Russia, Sputnik V
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