India, Russia agree to fast track early mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates

#Covid-19, #India, #Narendra Modi, #Russia, #Vladimir Putin

Representational image (Reuters)

India and Russia on Monday expressed confidence that early mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates will further facilitate movement of persons between the two countries and agreed to fast track the formalities for it. The two countries also agreed to consider the resumption of direct passenger and cargo flights to their pre-pandemic capacity, said a joint statement issued after in-person talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The joint statement said that the two sides exchanged views on the COVID-19 pandemic situation and highly appreciated the ongoing bilateral cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, especially with respect to the ‘Sputnik-V’ vaccine. The leaders expressed gratitude to each other’s countries for timely assistance during the pandemic.

ALSO READ: Top virologist Gagandeep Kang backs third COVID-19 vaccine dose for immunocompromised people

India’s assistance in supplying critical medicines, including paracetamol, hydroxychloroquine, and certain antibiotics during the first phase in Russia and Russia’s assistance in providing ventilators, oxygen concentrators and other critical equipment during India’s second phase, was a humanitarian gesture well-received by both sides, the statement said. The Indian and Russian sides also expressed confidence that early mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccination certificates will further facilitate the movement of persons between the two countries and agreed to fast-track the formalities in this regard.

The two sides expressed appreciation for the efforts of relevant agencies involved in evacuation efforts as well as the transport of life-saving equipment and medicines. They noted that the air-bubble arrangement has served the interim travel needs of citizens of both countries, the statement said.

The two countries also agreed to consider resumption of direct passenger and cargo flights to their pre-pandemic capacity, it said. The day began with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu under the framework of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC).

Separately, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. Then the foreign and defence ministers of the two sides held the ‘2+2’ dialogue. Lavrov and Shoygu arrived here late Sunday night.

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