from 05.04.2021 to 11.04.2021

1. Attempts to discredit Sputnik V vaccine will intensify – expert – 10.04.2021 (

2. ‘Great working relationship’ will allow Russia & US to travel ‘further out into space together,’ senior NASA official tells RT – 09.04.2021 (

3. Despite no EU regulatory approval of Sputnik V, Germany to hold bilateral talks with Russia to plan purchase of Covid-19 vaccine – 08.04.2021 (

4. ‘Speaks volumes about meddling’: Kremlin slams new US envoy post to halt Nord Stream 2 – 08.04.2021 (

5. Kremlin concerned about possible resumption of full-scale military activities in Ukraine – 09.04.2021 (

6. Russia hopes EU to certify its vaccine soon – 08.04.2021 (

1 Attempts to discredit Sputnik V vaccine will intensify – expert 

The campaign to discredit the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V launched in the West will build momentum but it will not be able to undermine positions of the pharmaceutical, the board chairman of the Foundation for the Support and Development of the International Discussion Club Valdai, Andrei Bystritsky, told TASS.

"Attempts to prejudice the vaccine will continue but since it relies on facts and fairly sound evidence of its efficiency, this will not make possible to indeed ruin or undermine its position. On the contrary, its positions will become stronger, despite all these attacks," the expert said.

There are no signs indicating that attempts to play with vaccine on the political stage will stop, Bystritsky noted. The discrediting campaign will build up only and one should be ready to that. There are forces driven by political, commercial and other interests that will make use of this, the expert noted.

The vaccine shows itself well, has numerous obvious advantages, and is among the top global coronavirus vaccines, Bystritsky said. "Nevertheless, attempts to play on this field will take place because the opinion of the expert medical community is one thing and the internal political struggle in certain countries or the attention at the international stage is a different thing," he noted.

"Therefore, the struggle will continue on the one side but it will be very difficult, on the other side, to seriously undermine positions of Russian vaccines, not merely the Sputnik V but others as well, because everything is done scrupulously, responsibly and highly rationally," the expert said.

2 ‘Great working relationship’ will allow Russia & US to travel ‘further out into space together,’ senior NASA official tells RT

Despite their disagreements on Earth, Moscow and Washington enjoy friendly relations in outer space and their continued cooperation will help advance human exploration of the cosmos, a NASA administrator told RT.

“We have a great working relationship with our Russian counterparts. We love working with them. We’ve worked together for a long time now,” said Kenneth Bowersox, acting Deputy Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA, while visiting Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Bowersox added that both countries understand each other’s “weaknesses and strengths,” and that while sometimes they don’t see eye-to-eye on certain matters, like in any friendship they find ways to resolve their differences.

On Friday, a Russian-made Soyuz rocket carrying two Russians and one American launched from the Kazakh cosmodrome and is expected to dock at the International Space Station later today.

The manned capsule carrying the crew is named after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who on April 12, 1961, became the first person to orbit the Earth.

When asked about the upcoming 60th anniversary of the historic space mission, Bowersox, a former astronaut himself, said that it was a “wonderful” experience to be in Kazakhstan and see the launchpad used by Gagarin to make his flight.

He noted that it must have been “very, very hard” for Gagarin to take the “first step” for human space exploration and that there was equally difficult work ahead. Bowersox expressed hope that Russia and the United States would continue to “support each other” so that they could go “further and further out into space together.”

Although the United States has been looking to the private sector to help develop rockets for its space program, it still turns to Russia’s Roscosmos for regular manned missions. Last week, Moscow and Washington inked an accord to renew their decades-old partnership in space. The agreement states that both nations are committed to working together in the name of “the exploration and the use of outer space for peaceful purposes.”

3 Despite no EU regulatory approval of Sputnik V, Germany to hold bilateral talks with Russia to plan purchase of Covid-19 vaccine

Germany has made plans for bilateral talks with Moscow over possible deliveries of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, should the European Union opt to verify the Russian jab, with a view to Berlin receiving doses as fast as possible.

Germany’s intent to enter negotiations with Russia was announced on Thursday by Health Minister Jens Spahn, confirming a previous report by British news agency Reuters and based on unnamed sources.

"I explained on behalf of Germany to the Council of Health Ministers of the EU, that we would discuss bilaterally with Russia, first of all, to know when and what quantities could be delivered," the minister told WDR.

The EU’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is yet to approve Sputnik V. Despite it not being registered by the bloc, two EU countries, Hungary and Slovakia, have already unilaterally imported and started using the vaccine. Austria has also signaled that it will purchase doses.

Sputnik V has received praise in Germany from figures in the medical field, with the country’s vaccines agency chief Thomas Mertens calling it “cleverly built.”

Earlier this week, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov revealed that, despite deals with many other nations, the country’s domestic need for doses supersedes any plans to export abroad. For this reason, many Sputnik V doses used in other countries are produced abroad.

4 Speaks volumes about meddling’: Kremlin slams new US envoy post to halt Nord Stream 2

Washington's intention to appoint a special representative to smother the Nord Stream 2 project speaks volumes about the United States meddling in the affairs of other countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"Of course, such special representatives for a project that has nothing to do with the United States and is situated on another continent apparently [their appointment] speaks volumes about what’s called meddling in the internal affairs, in the economic interests of other countries," he said.

The Kremlin spokesman also noted that "so far the countries that are partners of the Russian Federation in this project have remained quite consistent in their intention to finalize this project and launch it."

"This project is extremely vital for European energy security and for providing Europe with energy resources," Peskov stressed.

On Wednesday, Politico, an American publication, reported citing current and former US officials, that the White House is in talks to appoint a special envoy to lead negotiations on halting the construction of the Russia-to-Germany gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. According to the publication, Amos Hochstein, who served as the special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs under President Barack Obama and was a close adviser and confidant to then-Vice President Joe Biden, was informally offered the role by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan late last month and is being vetted, but he has not yet accepted the job.

Hochstein stepped down from the supervisory board of the Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz late last year, the newspaper said.

According to Politico, his potential appointment as envoy indicates a new strategic emphasis by the Biden administration.

"There’s consensus that the thorny geopolitics surrounding Nord Stream 2 now require more dedicated attention — especially as the pipeline, which is already nearly 96% finished, races toward completion," the newspaper wrote referring to the officials.

5 Kremlin concerned about possible resumption of full-scale military activities 

in Ukraine

The Kremlin is concerned about the possible resumption of full-scale military activities in Ukraine, which would threaten Russia’s national security, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

"There are concerns that Ukraine’s civil war will resume. And if a civil war with full-scale military activities resumes near our borders, it will pose a threat to Russia’s national security," he emphasized.

"The current developments and Ukraine’s behavior in general create the risk of full-scale military activities. It is clear from various statements that Kiev does not completely reject the idea of using force to resolve its issue with the southeast," Peskov said. He noted that the situation was extremely unstable along the line of contact in Donbass.

Tensions in Donbass started rising in late February, though the parties made an agreement on additional measures to ensure the ceasefire in July 2020. Intense shooting resumed on the line of contact, resulting in casualties to both sides. Ukraine said that Donbass was to blame, while the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics stressed that Kiev’s failure to implement the July agreement was the reason for escalating tensions.

6 Russia hopes EU to certify its vaccine soon 

Russia hopes that in the near future Russia’s vaccines against the novel coronavirus will be certified in the European Union, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Thursday while speaking at the plenary meeting of the forum Northern Dimension, being held online.

"We hope that the certification of Russian vaccines may take place in the near future and it will be possible to begin systemic interaction to the benefit of all European peoples in the interests of creating a space that will be safe for all," he said.

Grushko stressed that Russia was ready for cooperation with the EU on an equitable basis in the struggle against the pandemic which, "regrettably has become a scene of political confrontations, which runs counter to the task of coping with this common threat, which knows no borders and hits people indiscriminately regardless of their citizenship".