”We expect the visit of President Putin to India during this year as soon as the Covid Pandemic situation has been stabilized. We hope that this will be possible sooner rather than later. India & Russia expect to have high level contacts, starting from this month, to prepare for President Putin’s visit to India. A number of high level contacts are planned in the next couple of weeks to ensure that our relations which are doing very well, are strengthened even further,” Indian Ambassador to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma told Russian news website Lenta.ru
With regard to use of Sputnik vaccine by Indians, the envoy noted, “I have taken the first dose of the Sputnik vaccine. My second dose is due next week. I feel perfectly fine. I don’t have any side effects. A number of my colleagues in the embassy also have taken the vaccine and more intend to do so. The Sputnik vaccine is a registered vaccine in Russia.”
The recent publication of the Lancet report gives a very positive indication of the effectiveness of the Sputnik vaccine. “So we are happy that the Sputnik vaccine is being viewed in a very positive light,” Varma noted.
There is already very good cooperation between India – Russia in the pharmaceutical and vaccine areas with respect to the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year India supplied more than 80 tonnes of medicaments to Russia during the pandemic. RDIF is in touch with a number of world-class Indian companies for the production of Sputnik vaccine in India.
The third phase of sputnik vaccine trials are ongoing. These are expected to be completed in a few weeks time. The envoy pointed out, “As soon as the trials are completed, I’m confident that the Indian regulatory approvals will be provided. The Sputnik vaccine that will be produced in India will not only be for India, but we will also be for export to Russia and to third countries.”