Russia has rebuffed accusations that its spies stole the “blueprint” for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and used it to create its own Sputnik V jab.
It’s “scientific nonsense”, the head of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund), was quoted as saying.
This week, British security services alleged that Russian spies stole and hacked UK’s Covid vaccine data, according to a report in The Sun. Several other reports alleged that UK security services told British ministers they had solid proof against Russia.
However, RDIF called it “fake” and a “blatant lie”, the report said.
“There is no merit [to these claims] and we’re very clear about this,” Kirill Dmitriev was quoted as saying to CNBC on Wednesday.
“This report is complete scientific nonsense, it has zero merit and frankly it’s a lie,” he added.
Russia’s Sputnik jab uses similar technology to the AstraZeneca-Oxford designed vaccine.
The security teams are sure it was copied and it is understood the data was stolen by a foreign agent in person, the newspaper claimed.
Last year, spies blamed Russian president Vladimir Putin, saying they were “more than 95 per cent” sure that Russian state-sponsored hackers had targeted British, American and Canadian bodies developing a Covid vaccine, it added.
Dmitriev called the report “nonsense from anonymous sources” and said the accusations were part of a “smear campaign against Sputnik V because some politicians don’t like Russia and because some big pharma companies, who are afraid of the success of Sputnik V, continue to attack Sputnik V and Sputnik Light (its one-dose booster shot) from day one, so we’re used to these attacks”, he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe.”
He added that the country wants to partner other vaccine producers and is ready for a joint clinical trial taking place with AstraZeneca (to determine if mixed Covid vaccine doses work, the report said.