Moscow: EU member states should refrain from conducting parallel negotiations for the supply of coronavirus vaccines with manufacturers who have centralized procurement contracts on behalf of the European Commission, but can independently conclude purchase contracts with other vaccine developers, including Russian and Chinese producers, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said on Friday.
Earlier on Friday, French Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune called for European solidarity when commenting on the intention of several European countries to buy COVID-19 vaccines from Russian and Chinese manufacturers without the mediation of the EU.
“I think I would draw a distinction between two things here. There is a legal side, which is very clear, as you know. We have defined a portfolio of joint purchases for the vaccine. This imposes on the member states, which participate in this strategic purchase agreement not to have parallel agreements with companies within this portfolio. Outside this portfolio, member states do have, legally speaking, the right to purchase vaccines from other suppliers,” Mamer said at a briefing in Brussels when asked to comment on Beaune’s call.
He added that even though the bloc has a special mechanism to authorize the vaccines, namely, through the European Medicine Agency (EMA), its member states have their emergency approval procedures and the subsequent right to buy vaccines from developers, which has not been evaluated at the European level.
The official noted that the pan-European strategy allowed for legal access to vaccines for all member states and their citizens.
(EMA) said on Thursday that it had started a rolling review to test the Russian vaccine for compliance with EU standards for effectiveness, safety, and quality.
In the meantime, several European nations, including Hungary and Slovakia, have already approved the use of Sputnik V on an individual basis, without its authorization at the European level, while the Russian vaccine has risen to second place among other coronavirus vaccines in terms of the number of countries approving it, after being licensed in 45 states.