MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Tuesday rebuffed a White House allegation that Russia’s intelligence services were seeking to discredit Western COVID-19 vaccines, describing such allegations as absurd.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday that President Joe Biden’s administration was monitoring efforts tied to Russia’s intelligence services aimed at undermining the Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc coronavirus vaccines.
The United States said it had identified three online publications that Russia was using to spread disinformation about the two vaccines, as well as international organisations, military conflicts and protests.
“We have always been against politicising issues related to vaccines. Russia has never participated and does not intend to participate in such campaigns against other vaccines,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“All these statements are absurd, have no basis in fact, and we really regret that anyone would take such statements seriously,” he added.
Russia’s own flagship Sputnik vaccine has been authorised by 46 countries, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which markets it abroad.
It could be produced in western Europe for the first time after a deal to make it in Italy was signed by the RDIF sovereign wealth fund and Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Adienne.
Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrew Osborn
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