Disinfo: Ursula von der Leyen shouldn’t decide on the safety of Sputnik V; EU's approval process is politicised


Moscow denounces the politicisation of the approval process for the COVID-19 Sputnik V vaccine in the European Union. Russian authorities point that pharmaceutical lobbies may be delaying this approval. The anti-Russian rhetoric in this area has no justification. The president of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen said that there is not enough information for the approval of the Sputnik V because its developers haven’t provided all data about its safety. But this is not her role, she should adopt political decisions but not decide on the quality of a vaccine, which is the task of the European regulatory body.


Contrary to the claim, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen doesn’t decide on the safety or quality of the vaccine, which is the exclusive competence of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). As a political representative, von der Leyen merely conveyed the information available to the European Union, which is that the developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine have repeatedly failed to provide data that European regulators deem to be standard requirements of the drug approval process. This misleading affirmation aims to back the long-term pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Sputnik V being blocked in the EU for political reasons.

There is no evidence of any bias against the Russian vaccine by the EU or its regulatory bodies. EMA and EU leaders have publicly stated they would welcome Sputnik V if it meets the applied standards for vaccines. EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke said she hoped the Sputnik V vaccine would be approved. For that, EMA is conducting a rolling review including visits to Russian facilities. 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.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that this vaccine is still not recognised in the EU due to a political component, that it faced huge disinformation in Slovakia, that the West is waging a targeted campaign against it, or that Western politicians attitude towards Sputnik V feeds vaccine hesitancy in Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 255
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/08/2021
  • Article language(s) Spanish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, EU
  • Keywords: Sputnik V, European Union, Ursula von der Leyen
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Disinfo: West is eager to stage coup d'état in Belarus

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya took some photos with US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her meetings with them. They promised her to continue with their attempts to stage a coup d'état in Belarus. It is a message to Belarusians both in Belarus and abroad, as well as to aggressive centres along the Belarusian border in the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that the West is plotting against Minsk in an attempt to overthrow Belarus's illegal dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

In reality, the West does support the Belarusian opposition and makes no secret of it, hoping for a free, democratic and non-violent transfer of power from within the country rather than from abroad. As a symbol of peaceful Belarusian protest, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who is thought to have won last year’s presidential elections in Belarus, has been travelling around the world and meeting foreign leaders. She has met US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders. Some countries regard her as Belarus’s only legitimate leader.

Disinfo: People of Crimea decided to restore their Russian identity

In 2014, the people of Crimea decided to restore their Russian identity and return to Russia to restore their region's status as one of the Russian regions.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea trying to portray that the area has never belonged to Ukraine.

On 26 April 1954, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR transferred Crimea to Ukraine, in which it became part of international law. And after the collapse of the USSR, Russia reaffirmed respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine by signing the 1997 Friendship Treaty.

Disinfo: Western secret services killed Belarusian dissident in Kyiv

The murder of Belarusian dissident Vitaly Shyshov was a provocation by Western secret services. They killed him because he could not account for the money they had given to him. Traitors have a wretched fate.


This is an unsubstantiated claim aimed at smearing the West in general.

There is no evidence that Western secret services were involved in the murder of Belarusian dissident Vitaly Shyshov in Kyiv. Shyshov, who was head of the Kyiv-based Belarusian House in Ukraine (BDU) organisation, was found hanged in a park near his Kyiv home on 3 August 2021. There were bruises on his face. He went for a run at 9 a.m. on 2 August and was meant to be back at 10 a.m. Several hours later, his girlfriend, Bazhena Zholudz, reported him missing. After finding his dead body, police launched an investigation into all possible versions, including suicide or a murder disguised as a suicide. However, Zholudz said she did not believe it was a suicide.