German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has been unusually harsh in his criticism of the political intentions behind Chinese and Russian vaccine diplomacy. On the sidelines of a US trip to the state of Michigan, where Maas visited a production facility of US pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer, the SPD politician said: “We notice that China in particular is using its stock of vaccine to make very clear political demands in various countries.” The way in which the People’s Republic, but also the Russian government, were using the vaccine was “only with the intention of increasing their own influence and not necessarily to save human lives in the first place”, Maas said.
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