Israel in talks with Russia for Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel cast a wider net on Monday in its quest to secure a vaccine for COVID-19, approaching Russia to discuss buying its Sputnik V vaccine.

“About an hour ago I spoke with Russian President Vladmir Putin regarding the possibility of purchasing an option on the vaccine Sputnik-V,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters. “We will discuss this in the coming days.”

Israel was early to sign with Moderna Inc MRNA.O for its potential vaccine, reaching an agreement in June. Last week it signed another deal with Pfizer Inc PFE.N. Both companies have reported encouraging trial results.

Israel is also developing its own vaccine that, if successful, could be market-ready by the end of the summer.

“My goal is to bring as many vaccines from as many sources to as many citizens, as quickly as possible,” Netanyahu said.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by David Goodman and Jonathan Oatis