Russian wealth fund says vaccine deal signed with Turkey

Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF said on Saturday it had signed an agreement with Turkey on production of its COVID-19 vaccine, Reuters reported, citing the Interfax news agency.

The fund said that it had begun transferring the production technology of Sputnik V to Turkey.

The announcement comes a week after Russian ambassador to Turkey criticised the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) for excluding Sputnik V in its article evaluating existing COVID-19 vaccines.

Russia was the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine on August 11, prompting doubts on its effectiveness by many experts for its swift approval. Turkish regulators have been non-committal about purchasing the Russian vaccine despite expressing interest in further testing it.

Turkey started its vaccination programme the Chinese-made CoronaVac shot this month.