Disinfo: EMA's delay in approving Sputnik V is political

Summary

It appears that the delay in approval by the European Medicines Agency is related to political or geopolitical reasons, not medical, and this is a mistake, especially at a time when there is a need to vaccinate citizens to get out of a social and economic emergency as well as health emergencies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

All vaccines, authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), are welcome in the EU. As of the 17 February 2021, the producer of the Sputnik V vaccine has not submitted a market authorisation to the European Medicines Agency.

The EMA is committed to applying the same regulatory approach and scientific rigour to all vaccine applications that meet European requirements for safety, efficacy and quality and is in dialogue with more than 50 vaccine developers from across the globe.

EMA is offering scientific advice free of charge. The EMA is currently in dialogue and collaborating with Sputnik V developers to define the next steps in compliance with due procedure. The developers have expressed their interest that the vaccine be considered for a rolling review. This ad-hoc procedure can only be used during emergencies such as the current pandemic. It allows the EMA to assess data on a vaccine or a medicine as they become available, while the development is still ongoing. The formal marketing authorisation procedure can then take place in a very short timeframe.

On February 2 2021, interim results from a phase 3 trial of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine were finally published in The Lancet. The trial results show a consistent strong protective effect across all participant age groups, meaning that the Sputnik V vaccine candidate appears safe and effective.

The same disinformation campaign includes statements such as "Western attacks on the Russian coronavirus vaccine are a corporate cold war against humanity" or "Russian progress in COVID-19 vaccine has become for the West an outrageous challenge", that Sputnik V is a target of the corporate cold war; that the West wants to discredit the Sputnik V; that the WHO and Microsoft sabotaged the Russian vaccine, that the West criticises the Sputnik V because it can’t accept Russia’s primacy and because its pharmaceutical companies will lose billions of dollars.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Russia
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, coronavirus
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Disinfo: A civil war is going on in the US

In many places throughout the world Vladimir Putin is seen as a patron of conservative values. At present a civil war is going on in the US. Conservatives call liberals "liberal fascists", while liberals call conservatives "white supremacists" and "racists." Russia takes an indirect part in this civil war. 75 millions Trump voters are bullied, treated as unnecessary people, supremacists, and fascists. As the country of conservative views, Russia can become a model for part of Trump voters. Russia will make them not feel alone.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US.

There is no basis to claim that civil war in the US is going on or that it is imminent.

Disinfo: EU has been consistently and deliberately breaking relations with Russia

The gap between the Russian Federation and the EU has been going on for many years, and the EU has been consistently breaking relations. And although Moscow and Brussels are discussing some issues, this is not part of the relations between the Russian Federation and the EU. The framework of these relations was deliberately destroyed at the initiative of Brussels. Moscow is ready to establish a dialogue with the EU, but Brussels itself is not going to do this.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU, an attempt to put the responsibility for EU-Russian relations on Brussels, alleging that the EU is destroying them.

The EU has imposed restrictive measures, including sectoral sanctions, as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's destabilising actions in eastern Ukraine. Formats such as regular high-level dialogues remain suspended in the absence of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by Russia. These events have seriously affected bilateral relations. As a result, some of the policy dialogues and mechanisms of cooperation are temporarily frozen, and sanctions directed at promoting a change in Russia's actions in Ukraine have been adopted.

Disinfo: Finland is attempting to destabilise Russia

Finland, exploiting representatives of the opposition in St. Petersburg, wants to destabilise the situation in Russia. EU is serious in its calculations on a deterioration of the internal political situation in Russia and is promising its agents of influence a status in a new Russian elite. This is unfriendly step and another attempt to invest in the destruction of relations with Russia.

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In connection with the visit of Pekka Haavisto, Finland organised a secret meeting in the Consulate General, inviting several representatives of the so-called civil society and opposition members of the St. Petersburg municipal council. Member of the Russian parliament, Vitaliy Milonov, declares that the municipal councilmen, taking part in the secret meeting, should be investigated by competent authorities.

Disproof

An unfounded claim, consistent with a narrative of foreign countries waging anti-Russian policies. Finland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto, did meet with representatives of the civil society and opposition parties, as well as Finnish media and business representatives, but the visit was not secret. The Russian hosts were informed about Haavisto's programme, during the visit in St. Petersburg.

Finland continues to emphasise the need for a dialogue with Russia, but is also demanding Russia to abide to its obligations on international law and agreements.