Argentina unhappy with Sputnik V. The Kremlin is nervous

Argentina may mercilessly bury Sputnik V

Russia and Argentina are in dispute over the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The dispute has reached the point when officials started voicing threats in public. The Argentines are threatening to terminate the contract for the supplies of the Sputnik vaccine while asking Russia not to consider it a threat. 

Argentina is one of the most obvious examples to prove the international success of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine. The authorities of the country initially relied on the use of the Russian vaccine for mass vaccination, and, until recently, they were quite happy with it.

Not that long ago, The Nation, an Argentine newspaper, published a letter from the adviser to the President of Argentina Cecilia Nicolini to the administration of the Sputnik V maker, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). In the letter, she claimed that Argentina did not receive 18.734,185 doses (5.5 million doses of the first component and 13.1 million doses of the second component). Nicolini said that the situation reached a critical point, and the contract could be terminated unless the delivery schedule was coordinated. 

Interestingly, the letter was dated from July 7th, which means that it was published in the paper two weeks after it was written. Needless to say that such a letter would never be published without the knowledge of the Argentine authorities. This suggests that the situation has not improved. 

After the publication in The Nation, Cecilia Nicolini commented on the situation and urged not to be too dramatic about it. According to her, the letter was not a threat at all. She also said that cooperation between Russia and Argentina was still positive, despite the difficulties that Russia was facing in terms of supplies not only to Argentina. 

At the same time, however, Nicolini did not specify what the letter actually meant when Argentina warned Russia of its intention to terminate the contract with the Sputnik V maker. Cecilia Nicolini  did not deny the threat that the Argentinian authorities made in the letter. 

On Friday, July 23, Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that there was a delay in the supplies of the Russian vaccine to Argentina. At the same time, he added, this was not a disruption of supplies. 

"There is no disruption, there is a delay, hard work is underway. <...> There has been a delay, RDIF is in contact with its counterparties in order to resolve inevitable problems that arise," Peskov said.

According to him, Russia will fulfill its obligations to supply vaccines to foreign markets. Yet, vaccination against coronavirus of Russian citizens will be an unconditional priority for the Russian authorities. 

It is worthy of note here that in June, Argentine laboratory Richmond launched the production of Sputnik V. The laboratory receives ingredients for the production of the vaccine from Russia. It appears that the Argentine laboratory has not been able to reach the scale of production that would satisfy the country's needs in the vaccine. 

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Author`s name Anton Kulikov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov