Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday rejected European criticism of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine and said he plans to get the vaccine himself this week.
Vladimir Putin responded to a senior European official who said Europe does not need Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
“We did not force anyone to do anything (…) but we wonder about the interests that these people defend, those of the pharmaceutical industry companies? or those of European citizens? “said the President of Russia.
After many questions about the date of his vaccination, Putin said he would have it done on Tuesday. ” Vaccination is of course the voluntary choice of each person… Besides, I intend to do it myself tomorrow ”, did he declare.
Russia adopted the Sputnik V vaccine in August, ahead of large-scale clinical trials, which has raised concerns among many experts about the expedited process.
On Sunday, European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton declared that Europe “absolutely does not need Sputnik V”, triggering a fierce reaction from Moscow.
In a telephone interview with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on Monday, Putin accused Europe of “Unconstructive and often conflicting policies” in its relations with Moscow.
As EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, Putin said Moscow was ready to resume normal relations if Europe wanted, the Kremlin said.
Russia’s vaccination campaign has been slower than in many countries. Only about four million of the country’s 144 million people have so far received two doses of a vaccine and another two million a first dose.
The country has been among the hardest hit by Covid-19, with more than 4.4 million coronavirus cases and more than 95,000 deaths.