Putin calls BRICS nations to join forces for Covid vaccine production

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that BRICS countries were relatively in a better position than others against the pandemic because of an early warning system they had set up five years ago. He urged the member-states to join forces for mass production of the RussianSputnik V Covid vaccine“not only for our own use, but also for third countries”.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has signed agreements with its Indian and Brazilian partners and with the pharmaceutical companies in China and India on clinical tests and vaccine production,respectively. “We are in a better situationthan some other countries (because) pursuant to the Ufa Declaration, we adopted five years ago, BRICS countries created an early warning system, which we could use during the COVID-19 pandemic,” President Putin said.

The BRICS countries promptly responded to the disease outbreak and took practical measures to combat the pandemic, he said. “There are Russian vaccines, and they are effective and safe. The next task is to launch their large-scale production. It is important to join forces for large-scale manufacturing of this product for the general public,” he added.

Russia has also registered a second vaccine named,EpiVacCorona, the third one is in the works. And “We are ready to cooperate with our BRICS partners in their manufacturing and use.We also believe it is important to accelerate the establishment of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre as agreed at the Johannesburg Summit two years ago,” he said.

The pandemic has forced BRICS countries to take emergency measures to support national industries, finance, and the social sphere to help them return to a trajectory of sustainable growth. “This is the goal of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership for the period until 2025, prepared for this summit,” he said. Furthermore, the New Development Bank is in huge demand which has reserved $10 billion to combat the pandemic, while its overall portfolio now exceeds $20 billion. A total of 62 large projects are already being implemented in the BRICS countries.

During the Russian chairmanship, the BRICS countries have proactively expanded their cooperation with one another in all the key areas, including politics, the economy and humanitarian affairs, despite the special conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “We have held 130 events, including some 25 ministerial meetings. Unfortunately, but naturally in this situation, many of them had to take place online,” the president said.

The Summit also discussedthe current international and regional issues in view of the G20 Summit on November 21 and 22. “Our current priority is to coordinate collective BRICS measures to combat the pandemic, improve collaboration between our epidemiological services, and protect the lives and health of our citizens,” he said.

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