Get onboard vaccine initiative, Russia tells Malaysia

Russian ambassador Naiyl M Latypov says he is surprised there is ‘widespread’ doubt and criticism towards the Sputnik V vaccine. (AP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Russian Embassy has already sent to the relevant Malaysian authorities an overview of its Sputnik V vaccine, its clinical trial status and production process requirements.

Russian ambassador Naiyl M Latypov said as such, he was taken aback by a series of articles in the local press that depicted “widespread” doubt and criticism towards the vaccine.

“The Russian government and scientists truly believe that instead of unhealthy competition, the world could benefit from cooperation in its fight against Covid-l9. United we stand.

“For Malaysia with its sizable scientific potential and impressive record in withstanding the pandemic, it makes every sense to get onboard of this promising initiative that can rid the planet of the grave danger,” he said in a statement today.

Russian ambassador Naiyl M Latypov.

More broadly, Latypov said, Russia is open to cooperation with any foreign country on the development of the vaccine.

“Those willing to engage have already expressed their intentions. In Southeast Asia, it is Malaysia‘s neighbours, the Philippines and Vietnam.

“Overall, 20 nations have already requested a total of 1 billion doses of Sputnik V,” he said, adding that people around the world should have equal access to a vaccine regardless of their financial situation.

To make this possible, Latypov said, Russian authorities are working on humanitarian aid programmes for the developing countries.

“That, among other things, proves that Russia does not see the development of Covid-l9 vaccine as a 21st century remake of the space race between the former USSR and the United States.

“If you want a historic comparison, I would rather refer you to the history of polio vaccine that was first developed in the west, but finalised and universalised by the former Soviet Union who greatly contributed to the eradication of the disease on a global scale,” he added.

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