Russia has offered to supply Pakistan with its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines that are being produced in countries like India. Moscow has already sent Pakistan 50,000 doses of the vaccines and will soon send 150,000 more.
At the time of visit to Pakistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, standing beside Pakistan Foreign Minister SM Qureshi said in Islamabad, “We have a number of foreign partners to produce the vaccines. Vaccine production is up and running in India, Korea, Belarus, and other countries. So these vaccines can be supplied to Pakistan. As much we can, we will be helping Pakistan to order to cover the demand.”
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which is behind Sputnik V, and Indian company Virchow Biotech have declared an agreement to produce 200 million doses per year of Sputnik V. Pakistan had given consent for Sputnik V in February and was the 22nd country to do so. The two-shot vaccine has an efficiency of 91.6 per cent.
Qureshi said, “Russia is a fairly advance country in health care… We have expressed our interest in commercial import of this vaccine, but keeping in view the population of the country… We feel there are great opportunities of local production, we would be very keen to discuss with Russian to facilitate local production”.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov is in Pakistan for a two-day visit. After 2012 it is Russian FM’s first visit to Pakistan. In his visit, he had discussions with his counterpart Qureshi and called on Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.