Angela Merkel defended Germany’s decision to ban Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines for people under the age of 60 last night, as she and Emmanuel Macron made overtures to Vladimir Putin in hopes of gaining EU approval for Moscow’s Sputnik V vaccine.
After 31 cases of a rare blood clot were discovered among 2.7 million people who had the jab in Germany, the chancellor insisted that “confidence comes from understanding that any suspicion, every individual case will be investigated.
During a months-long back-and-forth over the vaccine, experts from the UK, WHO, and EU considered it to be safe and successful in preventing Covid-19. However, polls indicate that public confidence in the vaccine has fallen in EU countries.
Last week, the German government said that it would be willing to use Sputnik V if and when it is authorised by the European Medicines Agency, with Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert saying that if the EMA gave the shot the green light, it would be “worth considering for Germany.”
In response to the Russian vaccine, Merkel said Germany “can use any vaccine that has been authorised” by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), while the German health ministry said last week that “all vaccines are welcome if they have been approved by the EMA.”
Security problems in Ukraine, Libya, and Syria were also discussed by the trio. The Iranian nuclear agreement received unanimous approval from the three leaders.
Since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 and supported separatist forces against the government in Ukraine’s east, the country has become a diplomatic stumbling block.
Another controversial topic has been the incarceration of Navalny, who spent several months in Berlin suffering from poisoning.
Putin responded to Merkel and Macron’s concerns about the anti-Kremlin activist. The Russian president also confirmed his willingness to “restore normal unpoliticized contact with the EU if the EU demonstrates interest in doing so,” according to the Kremlin.