Europe is facing a “new type of world war” because of the desire of Russia and China to gain influence through vaccines against coronavirus infection. This was stated by French President Emmanuel Macron at a press conference following the first day of the EU video summit.
Under these circumstances, Macron believes, the EU needs to be self-sufficient in the production of COVID-19 vaccines. “By summer, Europe will be able to produce enough doses to ensure collective immunity,” the French leader added.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called the Russian Sputnik V vaccine a propaganda tool rather than an aid to other nations, AFP reported.
Earlier, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Clément Bon reported that France did not rule out that it might start using the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in June.
The Russian vaccine Sputnik V has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency. Despite this, some EU countries decided to procure it themselves. In Slovakia, this move led to a political crisis.
Yesterday Germany urged to start buying Russian vaccine against coronavirus infection Sputnik V for EU countries before the end of its expertise by the European Medicines Agency.
Earlier this week the head of EU internal market commission Thierry Breton said that the European Union does not need Russian vaccine against COVID-19 “Sputnik V”. According to him, four already approved vaccines will be enough to achieve collective immunity.
The European Union has been criticized for the extremely slow pace of vaccination against the background of the growing number of infections in a number of countries.
At the same time, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Europe is the region that exports the most vaccines in the world. Since last December, the EU has exported 77 million doses of vaccine and used 62 million doses to vaccinate EU residents. Overall, more than 18 million people in Europe have already received two doses of vaccine, or 4 percent of the population, von der Leyen said.