MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will speak by telephone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss Mexico’s acquisition of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, the government said on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter the leaders’ conversation would address “the future of the bilateral relationship as well as the supply of Russian vaccines to Mexico” and take place at 8 a.m. Mexico City time (1400 GMT).
A ministry official said Ebrard was referring to the Sputnik V vaccine, which Mexico wants to use to fight the pandemic. A Kremlin spokesman also confirmed the call would take place.
Lopez Obrador said in August he would speak to Putin if the Russian vaccine proved effective, and his government said this month it aims to acquire 12 million doses of Sputnik V, with the first potentially arriving as soon as the coming week.
Mexico aims to administer 7.4 million doses of Sputnik V by the end of March, part of the country’s scramble to quickly secure as great a supply of vaccines as possible.
However, the Mexican government has yet to approve the use of the Russian vaccine, which requires two doses per person.
(Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; Editing by Matthew Lewis)