Russia will supply 150,000 doses of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday.
Pakistan has already received 50,000 jabs of the Sputnik vaccine and “another 150,000 will be delivered soon,” the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on its official Twitter account.
The announcement came during a two-day visit by the Russian foreign minister to Islamabad, where he held wide-ranging talks with Pakistani civil and military authorities on Wednesday.
At the Foreign Office, Lavrov led his side at the formal talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. He separately met Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
This was the first visit by a Russian foreign minister in almost a decade and came at a crucial juncture when the region is undergoing transformation with new alignments, putting stability at risk.
Speaking at a joint news conference, Moscow’s top diplomat said, “We are ready to try to help our Pakistani colleagues meet their needs using the available production capacity.”
A transcript of FM Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media’s questions at the news conference with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, posted on the Russian FO’s website, was also shared on its official Twitter account.
When asked to talk about the possibilities for expanding Russian-Pakistani cooperation in the production and distribution of Sputnik V, the Russian foreign minister said, “This is a very promising topic. Our respective experts will work on it.”
Pakistan approved Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for commercial sale in February, making it one of the first countries to market shots privately.
Sputnik V is one of four vaccines approved for emergency use in Pakistan, in addition to those by China’s Sinopharm and CanSinoBio, and the AstraZeneca-Oxford University shot.