The Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has rejected accusations that Moscow has launched disinformation campaign against Oxford University scientists’ efforts to develop the COVID-19 vaccine.
The statement comes hours after British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News that “Russia has a track record in this area”, when asked about a Times newspaper probe into Moscow’s alleged attempts to hamper the Oxford vaccine’s development.
Russia is not spreading disinformation, it is “proudly speaking of its success” with its own coronavirus vaccine, Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
“Commenting on accusations against Russia has become a sort of circus at this point. The accusations make no sense, commenting on them makes no sense,” Peskov said, adding that “Russia is not giving anyone false information.”
He noted that Russia is “sharing its success in the form of the first registered coronavirus vaccine in the world, whose effectiveness has been proven more than once”.
Regarding the UK vaccine, the spokesman said that there have been competitors, including some in Britain itself, who were spreading disinformation.
“A number of manufacturers, and this is not quite competition because Russia is in favor of international cooperation at this difficult time of the pandemic, but a number of those who could be called competitors are engaged in disinformation. And they are located in the UK, among other places. But it is obvious that the advantages of our vaccine are being recognized in many countries. And disinformation attempts fail to achieve their goal,” Peskov pointed out.
He spoke after Raab warned “anyone” against “trying to basically sabotage the efforts of those trying to develop a vaccine”, which he said is “pretty unacceptable and unjustified in any circumstances”.
The remarks were preceded by the Times publishing an article titled “Russians spread fake news over Oxford coronavirus vaccine”.