EU ambassador says Russia delays EMA COVID-19 vaccine inspections

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Russia has repeatedly delayed inspections by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) necessary for the certification of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in the European Union, the EU’s ambassador to Moscow was quoted as saying on Friday.

The Sputnik V shot, widely used in Russia and approved for use in more than 70 countries, is undergoing a review by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the EMA, needed for approval for markets outside Russia.

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Russia has accused the West of refusing to certify its main vaccine for political reasons, and that this makes it harder for Russians to travel.

“This is a technical rather than a political process,” EU ambassador Markus Ederer told Russian media outlet RosBusinessConsulting in an interview.

“When Russian officials talk about the process being delayed and politicized by the European side, I sometimes think they are largely referring to themselves because it is them who makes this about politics.”

Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said this month that all the barriers to register Sputnik V with the WHO have been cleared and only some paperwork remained to be completed.

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