Spain says unaware of deal to produce Russian COVID-19 vaccine


(Adds deal being negotiated, details)

By Inti Landauro and Joan Faus

MADRID, March 10 (Reuters) - The Spanish government is unaware of any contract to domestically manufacture Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, it said on Wednesday, after Moscow's RDIF sovereign wealth fund said it had struck deals in Spain, Italy, France and Germany.

"At the moment we are not aware that any contract has been formalised for manufacturing in Spain," the Spanish Health Ministry said in an emailed statement.

The French Industry Ministry had said on Tuesday no company in France had signed such a contract, appearing to contradict the head of RDIF, which markets the vaccine internationally and announced the deals earlier in the day.

The Russian Embassy in Madrid tweeted late on Tuesday that Spanish company IberAtlantic was negotiating a potential deal with RDIF and Spanish biopharmaceutical group Zendal to produce Sputnik V at Zendal's laboratory in the northwestern region of Galicia.

A Zendal spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny the talks, saying the company had received several proposals regarding vaccines but that they remain confidential until negotiations are concluded.

A representative for IberAtlantic, which is an international investment advisory company and is also based in Galicia, was not immediately available for comment.

Its chief executive Pedro Mourino told local newspaper Faro de Vigo last week there was a "close collaboration" with Zendal regarding the potential production of Sputnik V in Spain.

An agreement to produce the Sputnik V vaccine in Italy was confirmed by both RDIF and the Italian-Russian chamber of commerce on Tuesday but will need approval from Italian regulators.

An Italian government source said its industry ministry had not been informed of the deal, describing that as "legitimate" and "in line with market dynamics".

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) began reviewing Sputnik V for possible approval last week.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Joan Faus; Writing by Nathan Allen and Joan Faus; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Alison Williams and Philippa Fletcher) ((n.allen@thomsonreuters.com; +34 617 792 131;)) Keywords: HEALTH CORONAVIRUS/SPAIN VACCINES (UPDATE 1)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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