Vietnamese Embassy in Russia steps up ‘vaccine diplomacy’ hinh anh 1Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Dang Minh Khoi (Photo: VNA)
Moscow (VNA) – The Vietnamese Embassy in Russia has been making active moves to boost “vaccine diplomacy” to assist the battle against COVID-19 in the homeland, Ambassador Dang Minh Khoi said.

Khoi told the Vietnam News Agency that facing complex developments of the pandemic, the embassy set up a special working group for enhancing cooperation with Russia in COVID-19 prevention and control, as well as seeking sources of vaccine, drug, and medical supplies.

This group is tasked with learning Russia’s experience in the COVID-19 fight, assessing the pandemic situation, and seeking medicine and vaccine sources to work with relevant agencies in the homeland to purchase.

There are two Vietnamese companies designated to provide COVID-19 vaccine from Russia for domestic use. Vabiotech has received technology transferred from Russia to bottle Sputnik V in Vietnam while T&T has been assigned to buy 40 million doses of this vaccine.

The first batch of Sputnik V is expected to be bottled in August and early September, according to the ambassador.

Russia is ready to cooperate with Vietnam, but there are also certain objective difficulties, he said, pointing out that Russia is stepping up vaccination nationwide, and it has also signed contracts with many countries and partners around the world since the year’s beginning.

It’s now the peak time for vaccine delivery, so it is not until September that Vietnam can receive the first batch of vaccine from Russia, Khoi noted.

The diplomat said “vaccine diplomacy” is a new definition, but Vietnamese people in Russia form a big and united community that has deep understanding of the host nation and good relations with many local ministries, sectors, agencies and businesses, thus greatly helping the embassy find partners and drug and vaccine sources.

In addition, many Vietnamese students working at hospitals in Russia have also shared anti-pandemic experience with the embassy to report to domestic agencies, he added./.