Coronavirus
Exclusive: The Merkel -Von der Leyen fight over Sputnik V
While the president of the European Commission hinders the Russian vaccine to prevent political attrition, the German chancellor gains support from other states to unlock its distribution.

 Sputnik V caused a clash between the two Germans who rule Europe: Ursula von der Leyen and Angela Merkel. The president of the European Commission is reluctant to give the green light to the Russian vaccine, while the chancellor has already said that the patent from Moscow would be "welcome", in an entire crossroads of statements that hide a showdown that goes far beyond what is seen.

This is according to what Senior Spanish diplomatic officials, who are aware of the tensions between the two leaders. told LPO. Merkel, said these sources, wants to immunize the German and European population as soon as possible, and does not understand the reluctance of compatriot Von der Leyen to approve the Sputnik or even China's Sinopharm vaccines.

In this regard, Germany's government leader noted that she spoke to Vladimir Putin about the European Medicines Agency's authorization of his vaccine and has also stressed, in reference to the Chinese patent, that in a country like Serbia, which has been administering the vaccine, it "is working very fast."

Her speech clashed head-on with that of Von der Leyen and the entire European Commission. The EU governing body says that "the Russian vaccine must have production capacity in Europe, as claimed for other manufacturers as well." A requirement, they add, that Moscow has not yet met.

In face of this reluctance from the President of the Commission, Merkel has already made it clear to Putin that she would allow the production of Sputnik in Germany. In fact, as the German newspaper Die Welt has revealed, Russia has already contacted the German pharmaceutical company IDT Biologika, located in Saxony-Anhalt to produce the Sputnik V on its premises.

Merkel is therefore taking decisive steps to reach an agreement with Russia that leaves Von der Leyen with no room for maneuvers. The President of the Commission, who is in that position driven precisely by the German chancellor, is beginning to be left alone in her opposition to Sputnik.

"The President of the Commission, who is in that position driven precisely by the German chancellor, begins to be left alone in her opposition to Sputnik"

The sources of Spanish diplomacy consulted by this publication explain that Von der Leyen rejects the Russian vaccine because it "means admitting its failure in the vaccination plan with the current factories". A political attrition that should also be added to a major change in discourse and a stance on Russia.

As recalled, in this regard, the Commission has been rejecting the Russian vaccine for months, facing tensions with Moscow. In fact, diplomatic relations are currently going through a very delicate moment, from the context of European defense to Russian dissidents.

On Thursday, in fact, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Spain's Josep Borrell, traveled to Russia in full controversy over the Kremlin's imprisonment of opponent Alexei Navalni: "I am travelling to Moscow today in a difficult context. The EU immediately condemned Navalni's arrest on his return to Russia on January 17, as well as his February 2 conviction," said the head of European diplomacy.

Ursula Von der Leyen, meanwhile, has decided to tone down against Russia and even begin to recognize that Europe has a problem with vaccines. In statements on Thursday, she stated that "with vaccines, we underestimated manufacturing complications."

Sources consulted by LPO anticipate that the president of the European Commission should have a girth regarding the reality in Europe with vaccines and the opportunity that opens up with the Russian vaccine, mainly because, after Merkel's comments, many other European representatives will join the claims of having the Sputnik V vaccine.

Hungría es el primer país de la Unión Europea en autorizar la vacuna rusa

As reported earlier by this publication, Pedro Sánchez is ready to support the thesis of the German chancellor as well as Macron, who has also opted for the production of the Russian vaccine. The last word will be given by the European Medicines Agency, but the truth is that EU Member States are already starting to act.

One leader who has already made a move is Viktor Orban, who has authorized the distribution of Sputnik in Hungary without waiting for the approval of the EMA. Sources consulted ruled out similar moves in countries such as Germany, France or Spain, which have opted for maintaining a "common strategy" until the end of the pandemic.



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