Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said he supported the idea of a waiver on patent protections for coronavirus vaccines as Russia registered its fourth virus jab called Sputnik Light.
A campaign to lift patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines picked up steam on Thursday, with French, German and EU leadership saying they were ready to discuss a proposal by US President Joe Biden, before Putin added his support.
"We are hearing from Europe an idea that, in my opinion, deserves attention namely, to remove patent protections from vaccines against COVID-19 altogether," Putin said during a televised meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova.
"Russia would of course support such an approach," Putin said, urging Golikova to work out the logistics.
"As I have said many times... We should not think about how to extract maximum profit, but about how to ensure people's safety."
Supporters of waivers for vaccines argue that poor countries are struggling to get inoculation drives underway while rich countries protect the intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical giants.
Russia has registered three coronavirus vaccines, and on Thursday approved a fourth, a single-dose version of its Sputnik V jab called Sputnik Light.