Germany is in talks with Russia to buy 30 million doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, said Saxony state premier Michael Kretschmer who discussed the issue with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
“Germany is negotiating 3 x 10 million doses for June, July, August. The prerequisite for this is the swift EMA approval of the vaccine,” Kretschmer wrote on Twitter.
Kretschmer posted the tweet after meeting Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko as part of a visit to Moscow ostensibly focusing on cultural relations with Russia.
“Putin confirmed the readiness of the Russian side to cooperate with German partners to this end, in particular, to organize deliveries and joint production of vaccines,” it said.
Germany sparked controversy in early April when it said it had started talks with Russia about purchasing doses of the Sputnik vaccine without waiting for coordinated EU action.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said Europe’s biggest economy was seeking a “binding commitment on which amounts specifically could reach Germany after regulatory approval and when”.
The negotiations come as the two countries are at loggerheads over issues including repeated Russian cyberattacks against the West, the Kremlin’s treatment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and escalating tensions on the Ukraine border.
Germany has until now coordinated its vaccine buying with the EU.
Since inoculations began in late December, Germany has deployed vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna.
Story compiled with assistance from wire reports