Putin Says Russia Has 'Significant Experience' in COVID Fight, Ready to Share With APEC Countries

Russia has recorded more than two million cases of coronavirus since the global pandemic began in March. According to official estimates, these cases have resulted in around 35,000 deaths.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia had a "significant clinical experience" in fighting the coronavirus and was ready to share this expertise with countries in the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) group.

"Of course, the priority issue is joining efforts in the fight against coronavirus ..." - Putin said during a video conference held as a part of an APEC summit.

The president added that Russia has now registered two vaccines - Sputnik V that was announced in August, and the recently unveiled EpiVacCorona - and was now in the process of final tests on the third one.

"Together with our foreign partners, we are actively exploring the possibilities of their supply and localisation of production," Putin revealed.

EpiVacCorona, developed by Novosibirsk-based Vector research center, was registered in the middle of October. It is set to be introduced into civil circulation in January 2021. 

Last week, Putin said that dozens of countries have expressed their wish to buy Russia-based COVID vaccines and establish co-operation in joint production of medications. 

"We are convinced that citizens of all states should have free access to vaccinations,” Putin said during a virtual East Asia Summit. According to Putin, Moscow was also ready to provide partners with free coronavirus-testing systems. 

Russia has now registered more than two million cases of coronavirus. The country has increasingly resorted to treating COVID-19 patients with local Avifavir and Triazavirin drugs and it is now getting requests to supply Latin American, European, Southeast Asian and CIS countries with these treatments.

Some other topics discussed by Putin during APEC conference included cybersecurity and protection of personal information, with the president suggesting that 21 members of the group should increase their co-operation in this field.