MOSCOW (Reuters) – The European Union has proposed to Russia that they discuss the potential joint recognition of their COVID-19 vaccination certificates, TASS news agency cited the bloc’s ambassador to Moscow as saying on Thursday.
Russia has approved four vaccines, none of which have been approved by the European Union. Moscow has not authorized any foreign vaccines for use.
TASS quoted EU Ambassador Markus Ederer as saying the 27-nation bloc has digital certificates allowing its citizens to travel freely within the EU, as well as a law that envisages the possibility of recognising other similar certificates.
“In that spirit, we have approached the Russian Ministry of Health and proposed discussing whether Russia would be interested in such a process,” Ederer said.
Speaking to reporters on a conference call following Ederer’s comments, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said he thought a compromise could be found.
Moscow and several Russian regions have resorted to tough measures to encourage people to get inoculated, including by making vaccination mandatory to hold certain jobs.
The Kremlin has attributed a recent surge in cases in Russia to the more infectious Delta variant and the reluctance of people to get vaccinated despite shots being widely available.
Moscow’s mayor said on Thursday the COVID-19 situation was gradually stabilising, but the new daily case tally remained high nationwide.
(Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Tom Balmforth and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Mark Heinrich)