Putin hopes WHO soon approves Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced hope for a quick approval of the country’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine by the World Health Organization, saying the move is essential for expanding its global supplies. Speaking during Sunday’s video call with Francesco Rocca, the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Putin said that receiving the WHO’s vetting is necessary to spread the Russian vaccine more broadly around the world, including free supplies. The Russian leader also argued that WHO’s approval should open the door for the Russians and others who received the Sputnik V vaccine to travel more freely around the world. Russia has Europe’s highest confirmed COVID-19 death toll, at over 281,000.