Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, admitted he hopes to achieve ‘herd immunity’ across the country next year. Russia’s infection rate surpasses 759,000 while the death toll is around 12,123.
Mr Dmitriev said: “There’s a general sense that for so-called herd immunity in Russia, you need to vaccinate between 40 million and 50 million people.
“So we believe we will be in good shape producing around 30 million [doses domestically] this year and then we can finalise vaccination next year.”
The second phase of the trial ended this week and will move on to the next stage in August.
Mr Dmitriev expressed hope the drug would prove successful against the deadly pandemic.
Russia aims for COVID-19 vaccine by end of year
Russia accused to stealing UK vaccine secrets
Yesterday, foreign secretary Dominic Raab warned Vladimir Putin’s spies had tried to steal British scientists’ vital research into the pandemic.
A Russian group attacked databases to steal developments to beat the virus in a move Prime Minister Boris Johnson called despicable.
The attacks are thought to be part of a drive by Mr Putin’s spies to make sure Russia becomes the first to develop a vaccine.
Pharmaceutical research organisations in the UK, US and Canada were said to have been targeted in the criminal operation, a report by the National Cyber Security Centre said.
READ MORE: Cyber attack warning: Countries are gearing up to steal COVID-19 data
Countries around the world searching for vaccine
And the cyber security experts have warned the Kremlin-backed hackers are likely to “keep on coming”.
Centre director Paul Chichester said: “We condemn these despicable attacks against those doing vital work to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“Working with our allies, the NCSC is committed to protecting our most critical assets and our top priority at this time is to protect the health sector.
“We would urge organisations to familiarise themselves with the advice we have published to help defend their networks.”
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Coronavirus cases around the world
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the attack and vowed the UK will counter the cyber attacks by working with allies.
He said: “It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behaviour the UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.
“The UK will continue to counter those conducting such cyber attacks and work with our allies to hold perpetrators to account.”
Dominic Raab condemned Russia’s spying
Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: “The attacks which are taking place against scientists and others doing vital work to combat coronavirus are despicable.
“Working with our allies, we will call out those who seek to do us harm in cyberspace and hold them to account.”
Concerns about a potential cyber attack from Russia were raised by Andy Barratt, UK managing director of cyber security consultancy Coalfire.
Mr Barratt explained how he thinks a cyber war is currently ongoing but warned Russia is likely to be the main place where a World War 3 outbreak could happen.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
He told the Express.co.uk last month: “Russia is a well-organised and crafted state in terms of its offensive capabilities. It’s not too shy about admitting it.
“They are not the wealthiest country in the G7 but they have had some significant influence.
“You are seeing people acknowledging that there is a Cold War. We are kind of hearing that commentary with the relationship with China and Russia already.
“A lot of that comes from the US, they are much more vocal about their concerns.
“We will probably start calling it the ‘Cyber Cold War’ soon and that could just be because of the Russia influence but I think we are probably already there.”