"We've already received tentative interest and preliminary requests for 1 billion doses of the Russian vaccine and this is a very significant number, of course. It's all subject to the approval of the vaccine in different markets, it's all subject to production capabilities to produce these vaccines in different markets, but we can confirm that 1 billion is the request, actually, slightly more than 1 billion is the number of preliminary requests we've received from more than 20 countries", the RDIF head said at a press conference.
According to Dmitriev, the third phase of the clinical trials for Russia's vaccine against the coronavirus will start on Wednesday and all the information will soon be released publicly.
He also stressed that Russia is capable of producing 500 million doses of the vaccine in the next 12 months, with production expected to be conducted abroad as well and clinical trials set to start soon in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines.
"Basically, the Phase 3 of clinical trials is starting right after the registration, so basically Phase 3 will start tomorrow, we will launch it also in August, as I said, in the UAE, in Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines, hopefully also in Brazil, and those countries will participate in those Phase 3 trials. All of the data will be published for Phase 1 and for Phase 2. We will also publish the studies that the Gamaleya Institute [conducted] on animals", Dmitriev said
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin during a cabinet meeting announced that the country has registered the world's first vaccine against COVID-19, named "Sputnik V". The vaccine is expected to go into civilian circulation on 1 January 2021, according to the registration certificate.
According to Dmitriev, Russia has submitted information to the World Health Organisation (WHO) about the vaccine against COVID-19 and expects the WHO to soon add it to the vaccine list.
"It will appear shortly [on the WHO list]. As I understand, the information has been sent to the WHO, and they are going now through their procedure to update the list. Since the vaccine has been registered in Russia, and now it's official, the registration number and documents are available, we expect the WHO to update the list shortly because they did receive information from the Russian Health Ministry", he stated.
The head of the RDIF stressed that Russia is ready to cooperate on the coronavirus vaccine research with Washington.
"We do not believe this should be political and be competitive, we refer not only to Sputnik but Apollo-Soyuz, which was a joint mission with the US. We are open to sharing our technology with the US, we believe again we have a common enemy, which is the coronavirus, and we need to put aside our political difficulties", Dmitriev said at a press conference.
Meanwhile, Russia's Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov has told Sputnik that the European Union is not engaged in a dialogue with Moscow regarding the purchase of the vaccine.
"The EU itself does not interfere in scientific research in this area, Brussels is only negotiating the possibility of purchasing a vaccine in the future with a number of well-known companies, both European and from third countries", Chizhov said.
Vaccine Approval in Latin America
At the same time, Dmitriev expressed hope that Russia would receive approval for the vaccine from a range of Latin American countries by November.
"We have a great partnership with Latin America, we expect our vaccine to actually be produced also possibly in Brazil, and we believe that Latin America and Russia will have a major partnership on the vaccine going forward, and in the next couple of days we will announce a partnership with some Latin American countries...".
"We expect production in Latin America to start in November, and we will work with regulators to hopefully have approval for the vaccine in some Latin American nations by November", he said.