Moscow, January 5: Russian President Vladimir Putin German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday held a meeting to discuss the possibility of joint production of COVID-19 vaccine. Both the leaders discussed the matter over the phone. The Kremlin also issued a joined statement regarding the development.

The Kremlin in a statement said, "Issues of cooperation in combating the coronavirus pandemic were discussed with an emphasis on the possible prospects for joint production of vaccines." An agreement was reached between the two countries for further discussing the matter. COVID-19 Vaccine Sputnik V Likely to Offer 2-Year Protection Against Virus: Developers.

According to a report by AFP, Putin and Merkel also discussed the resolution of between Kiev and pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. Notably, the conflict has been at a standstill since 2015 after peace accords were signed.

Mass vaccination drive has been started in Germany and Russia to break the chain of transmission instead of imposing lockdowns. A total of 265,986 people have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus in Germany, the country's Robert Koch Institute said. Among those vaccinated as of Monday were more than 114,600 residents of nursing homes and around 123,100 medical staff, Xinhua news agency.

Germany is using Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine against the virus. The vaccination drive started in Germany from December 27, 2020.  Meanwhile, Over 800,000 people received the vaccine against the deadly virus in Russia till Sunday. Sputnik V: Belarus Becomes the First Foreign Nation to Administer Citizens with Russian COVID-19 Vaccine.

Notably, Russia was the first country to register a vaccine against coronavirus. Putin in August last year made the announcement regarding this. On August 11, 2020, the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology was registered by the Ministry of Health of Russia.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 05, 2021 06:20 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website