MOSCOW (Reuters) – Iran and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund are discussing the joint production of a vaccine against COVID-19, Russian news agencies cited the Iranian ambassador to Moscow as saying on Friday.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has said it is in talks with a number of countries about the possibility of producing the Russian ‘Sputnik-V’ vaccine abroad, and has signed a deal to manufacture 300 million doses in India.
“We are holding talks, I spoke with the head of RDIF Kirill Dmitriev, our officials have held several rounds of consultations and we announced that we will co-operate,” Iran’s Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali was quoted as saying.
“We announced that we will co-operate in two-three areas. That includes joint production with Russia. Iran has great potential to produce the vaccine,” Jalali was quoted as saying.
RDIF declined to comment on the Iran talks. RDIF has also struck several deals in recent weeks to supply the vaccine, which is currently being tested in a large-scale trial in Moscow, abroad.
It has signed deals with Kazakhstan and two states in Brazil, and private pharmaceutical firms in India and Mexico.
RDIF also said earlier on Friday it would supply 35 million doses to Laxisam, a pharmaceutical firm in Uzbekistan.
(Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Polina Ivanova; Editing by Toby Chopra and Angus MacSwan)