coronavirus vaccine russia
© Sputnik / Georgii Zimarev
Instead of cooperating to defeat Covid-19, Western countries have criticized and attacked Russia's vaccine as part of an ongoing effort to paint the country in a negative light, says the head of Moscow's sovereign wealth fund.

In an interview with US news network CNN, Kirill Dmitriev explained that Russia has come under constant political pressure from a selection of foreign governments and media outlets. He said it has been targeted with accusations of wrongdoing, which constantly change, and are often at odds with each other. Dmitriev is the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

"It is very fascinating that the West, rather than trying to fight Covid, is really fighting the Russian vaccine all the time with different accusations, and they are self-contradictory," Dmitriev said.

The RDIF CEO highlighted how Russia was, earlier this year, accused of giving the vaccine to billionaires, and elites, which, of course, would suggest that it is highly effective. However, on the other hand, some have said that Russia is forcefully vaccinating people, and therefore this must mean the formula is not a good thing.

"The West needs to make up their mind," he said.

Dmitriev also rejected reports that Moscow is trying to prevent the US from getting its own Covid-19 vaccine, instead suggesting that the two countries should work together to beat the virus.

According to the head of US counterintelligence, William Evanina, China, Iran, and Russia are attempting to stop the United States from making a coronavirus vaccine. In July, the UK also leveled similar accusations against Russia. Some in Moscow have suggested this may be a way of distracting from domestic failures in managing the pandemic. Both London and Washington are perceived to have handled the crisis poorly.

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When asked about the trials, Dmitriev told CNN that the vaccine is now going through its third and final stage, including tests abroad. So far 12,000 people have been vaccinated in Russia, and trials have also begun in Belarus and Venezuela, and are soon to start in the United Arab Emirates.

"Our vaccine will be one of the best-studied vaccines in the world," he claimed. The RDIF CEO said that if Russia was not confident in its effectiveness and safety, and was trying to cover up problems, Moscow "would not so outwardly offer clinical trials around the world."

Earlier on Monday, Dmitriev told Russian news network Moscow 24 that Sputnik V could be available domestically in late October or early November.

On August 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the country had registered the world's first Covid-19 vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology. The formula has been criticized by some Western countries for its supposed unsafe rapid development and improper testing. However, at the start of September, respected British medical journal The Lancet published a study, prepared by the developers of the vaccine, showing it to be 100 percent effective, producing antibodies in all 76 participants of early-stage trials.