Beijing and Moscow have stepped up “state-sponsored disinformation” campaigns denigrating West-developed vaccines against Covid while promoting their own, the EU said on Wednesday.
“The so-called ‘vaccine diplomacy’ follows a zero-sum game logic” which seeks to “undermine confidence in western-made vaccines, EU institutions and vaccination strategies in Western / European Europe” said a report from the EU’s external service, the External Action Service (EEAS).
Since December, Russian media, authorities and state-owned companies have united to push for the Sputnik V vaccine while using “conflicting messages” to accuse the EU of “sabotaging” the Russian coup, according to the report.
“The pro-Kremlin media, including the official Sputnik V Twitter account, have sought to undermine public confidence in the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and cast doubt on its procedures and political impartiality.”
The report says state-backed media attempted to “confuse” an application for marketing approval for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in an attempt to fuel the narrative that the body had deliberately delayed the release. granting of the green light.
“The pro-Kremlin media have also accused the EMA and the EU in general of political bias against the Russian-made vaccine,” he said.
Meanwhile, Beijing was promoting its vaccines as “more suitable for developing countries,” including those in the Western Balkans, while rolling out “misleading accounts” about the safety of Western vaccines and even about the origin of the coronavirus. , according to the EU report.
Sputnik V, the Russian sovereign wealth fund-funded vaccine maker, hit back at the EU’s accusations on Twitter, saying it was the target of “unfortunate daily news attacks, mostly from some European media “.
He said he was acting in “the interest of protecting lives around the world and avoiding the vaccine monopoly that some vaccine producers might aspire to” and insisted he was “in a positive dialogue with the EMA “.
He added: “If the EEAS believes that specific information is not correct, we would appreciate an official letter outlining which specific statements appear to be factually incorrect.”
The deployment of vaccines in the EU has been the subject of much criticism within the bloc, as shortages in deliveries hampered early efforts to put blows in the arms.
There have also been concerns about the safety of some vaccines – particularly AstraZeneca – over links to rare blood clots and some countries have limited its use.
Brussels insists deliveries are increasing now and the bloc is set to vaccinate 70% of adults by the end of July.
Nonetheless, EU member Hungary broke ranks and administered the Russian and Chinese jabs, while Austria and Germany said they were in talks to buy Sputnik V.
The EMA launched an ongoing review of Sputnik V in March. If it gets regulatory approval, it would be the first non-Western coronavirus vaccine allowed for use in the 27-country bloc.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by UK Time News staff and is posted Platforms.)