Russia accused of ‘aggressive vaccine push in Africa’
France’s foreign minister has accused Russia of using its Sputnik coronavirus vaccine as an instrument of aggressive diplomacy.
Jean-Yves Le Drian contrasted the fanfare around a recent Russian delivery of a consignment of Sputnik V to Tunisia with that given to the much larger delivery through the UN-backed global Covax initiative.
He made a similar contrast with a delivery of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine in Senegal with Covax consignments.
The AFP news agency quotes the minister telling France’s Info Radio that Russia had announced “with a lot of media attention” that it would deliver 30,000 vaccine doses to Tunisia.
By then, the UN-backed initiative had already delivered 100,000 doses to the north African country, the AFP adds, quoting the minister.
The manufacturers of Sputnik V have not yet applied for market authorisation for the vaccine in the European Union, although EU regulators have begun a rolling review of test data.