Russian and Turkish officials began discussions on cooperating in the development of a vaccine against COVID-19, an outbreak that has gripped both countries.
A statement by Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) said service’s head Anna Popova met with Turkish Deputy Health Minister Emine Alp Meşe on Friday through a video call. The two discussed the development of a vaccine and drug as well as ways to combat the pandemic.
“The Turkish side expressed readiness to work in cooperation for vaccine development. It is decided to arrange discussions for exchange of information between Turkish and Russian scientists to that extent,” a statement by the Russian agency said.
Officials from both countries also discussed drafting a scientific and technical cooperation agreement.
Turkish scientists and pharmaceutical companies are working on developing a locally made vaccine and drugs to treat COVID-19. The country’s top scientific body, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), set up a platform to coordinate anti-coronavirus projects. Russian scientists have been working on a vaccine as well as the number of coronavirus cases rose to more than 325,000 in the country. A Russian state-run laboratory announced on Friday that they gave tentative approval for a potential vaccine they tested on themselves.