Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Evgeny Varganov at the UN General Assembly informal meeting on equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines

Mr. President,

Thank you for organizing today's informal meeting on equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

We appreciate the political declaration on this issue which was launched today, and express our gratitude to Lebanon and the group of co-sponsors for this initiative which Russia supported. We believe it important that such initiatives be developed on a universal multilateral basis with the participation of all countries on the principles of transparency and consensus.

The outbreak of COVID-19 became a severe test for all of us, demonstrating that nowadays it is virtually impossible to ensure epidemiological well-being in a single country. Ensuring equitable universal access to vaccines against the novel coronavirus is a key element of the global fight against the pandemic. To attain this objective, it is necessary to form a portfolio of effective and safe medical drugs and assist the interested Member States in their delivery to those in need.

Access to vaccines is not just a humanitarian issue, a factor in returning people to normal life, speeding up economic recovery and ensuring sustainable development leaving no one behind. Today it is a matter of survival, which must be free from politics and unite us on the principles of solidarity. We would like to recall the initiative by the President of the Russian Federation to introduce "green corridors" free from trade wars and restrictions for the delivery of essential goods and medicines to countries in need.

Russia makes a meaningful contribution to the global fight against COVID-19, including in the context of ensuring access to safe and effective vaccination for the world population. Russian vaccines against the coronavirus were among the first in the world. Two of them – Sputnik-V (based on adenoviral platform), EpiVacCorona (on peptide platform) and CoviVac (based on the neutralized coronavirus) have already been registered and made available for civil circulation. Thus, the Russian State-funded science is taking an active part in the global efforts to counter the new disease.

The most well-known Russian COVID-19 vaccine internationally is Sputnik V, which has been approved in 57 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South and North America. This drug, which is much less demanding in terms of storage and transportation, ranks among the leading COVID-19 vaccines by the number of country permits issued. The WHO is considering bids to enter our vaccines on the Emergency Use Listing. We continue our contacts with the ACT-Accelerator Initiative.

At the national level our country runs a large-scale campaign for mass immunization of the population. Starting from this February, any citizen can sign up for vaccination, for which a single electronic portal of public services is used. The related certificate is issued to the vaccinated.

We are open to cooperation with interested partners to increase the availability of Russian vaccines and other drugs by localizing production. For example, there are already agreements with 10 States on the manufacturing of the “Sputnik V” vaccine outside of Russia. We are also ready for other types of international cooperation to jointly fight the pandemic.

Thank you.