Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Russia nor China use coronavirus vaccines as tools of “influence.” 

Commenting on allegations by French President Emmanuel Macron, Peskov said “Mr. Macron’s statements fall within the scope of our absolute differences.”

“We absolutely do not agree that either Russia or China are waging some kind of [vaccine] war and are using the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccine problem as a tool of influence,” said.

In a separate statement, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called comments by EU authorities about the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, “politicized.”

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow, she said she hoped such an attitude about Sputnik V would not affect Russia’s application for the vaccine’s registration by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

“We noticed the public arguments of a number of representatives of the European Commission, including the European Commissioner for Internal Market Affairs Thierry Breton, about the lack of need for centralized purchases by the European Union of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. It’s a politicized approach.

“I would like to hope that such an attitude to Sputnik V on the part of the European Commission, but in fact the attitude to its own citizens and to the solution of the global problem, will not affect the review period of the application submitted by the Russian Federation for registration of its vaccine by the European Medicines Agency,” she said.

On March 4, the EMA started evaluating if the Russian vaccine is “compatible with the usual EU standards for effectiveness, safety, and quality.”

The EMA said its review will take as long as the agency gathers enough evidence to issue a conditional marketing authorization.

If approved, it will be produced by a German company since the bloc requires manufacture to take place in an EU member state.

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