Vaccine production of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine will begin this summer in Europe, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) told CNN on Tuesday.
A spokesperson from the RDIF said they had brokered deals with production facilities in Italy, Spain, France and Germany to manufacture Sputnik V.
The Russian sovereign wealth fund had struck a deal with Swiss-Italian company Adienne to produce Sputnik V in Italy, the spokesperson said.
The Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce released a statement on Monday welcoming the deal, which would see Italy becoming the first EU country to produce the Russian vaccine.
They statement added that production could start as early as July 2021, and will create new jobs and allow Italy to control the entire production process. The partnership could see production of 10 million doses by the end of the year, the Italian-Russian Chamber of Commerce said.
The news follows an announcement last week that the European Union’s vaccine regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has begun a rolling review of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine.
The rolling review came after complaints about the European Commission’s slow vaccine deployment led member states to unilaterally approve the Russian vaccine.
Earlier on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov criticized remarks by EMA Chairwoman Christa Wirthumer-Hoche, who compared the idea of emergency authorization of Sputnik V to "playing Russian roulette.”
Sputnik V developers also posted on Twitter, demanding an apology from Wirthumer-Hoche, saying that "her comments raise serious questions about possible political interference in the ongoing EMA review."
"Sputnik V is approved by 46 nations,” the developers added.