The distrust that exists between the EU and Russia derives from the problems related to the transparency of communication on the vaccine. The lower is the level of transparency on the part of the producer, in this case Russian producers, the greater is the distrust among potential buyers. The EU is used to function according to transparent rules. Consequently, if Russia does not provide a sufficient volume of information, there are suspicions that the vaccine is used for other purposes than to stop the spread of the virus, Dionis Cenușa, a political scientist, researcher at the Institute of Political Sciences at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, stated in IPN’s public debate “Coexistence”, “war” or “diplomacy” of vaccines in the world? Impact on Moldova”.
According to him, owing to the distrust in the Russian vaccine, the EU’s expert agent is now verifying the efficiency of this vaccine. There are a number of reasons behind this distrust, rated also to the freezing of the relations at international level and to political cases where there is a lot of tension.
The EU is an international organization consisting of national states. When Russia avoids the EU and tries to communicate with the national governments so as to promote its vaccine, this makes Brussels suspicious, and also because the media financed by the Kremlin broadcast distorted information about Brussels’ efforts to contain the pandemic, about other vaccines, etc.
There is also massive intolerance among European officials of the information coming from Russian officials who discredit the vaccines used in the EU, including AstraZeneca. Even if the EU is transparent as regards the quality and adverse events after immunization, the pro-Kremlin press interprets these efforts in an unconstructive way, favoring the Russian vaccine.
In another development, Dionis Cenușa said the Russian Federation calculates, depending on the situation in a particular country, when the vaccine should get to that country and it does not go only to the quality of vaccines, which is limited. “In Armenia, the Sputnik V vaccine was approved at the start of February, but the delivery of the vaccine was discussed officially by the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of Russia only yesterday. It is a period of about two months. There is a similar period in the case of Moldova. The leader of the PSRM Igor Dodon earlier said that the vaccine was to be shipped to Chisinau this week, but now he says this should come by end-May. Besides the production aspects and origin of the vaccine, the relations between the producer country, in this case the Russian Federation, and the political ecosystem in the county that can benefit from the Russian vaccine also matter,” noted the expert.
The public debate “Coexistence”, “war” or “diplomacy” of vaccines in the world? Impact on Moldova” is the 181st installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is implemented with support from the Hanns Seidel Foundation.