REUTERS

Russia is making efforts to conceal the involvement of the 48th Central Research Institute, which is part of the defense ministry, in the development of the Sputnik V vaccine candidate for COVID-19, Ukrainian media reported.

The facility is a biological weapons developer that has been sanctioned by the U.S. government, therefore any information about its involvement in the work on the vaccine would hinder potential exports, Censor.net reported citing Guildhall.

"The Russians are trying in every possible way to hide the involvement of the 48th Central Research Institute at the Russian Defense Ministry in the development of the alleged Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for a number of reasons. Since Soviet times, this institute has been involved in the development of various kinds of offensive biological weapons, and, in general, the fact that it came under U.S. sanctions is quite natural. The fact that this facility participated in the development of the vaccine affects exports to other countries," military-political observer Oleksandr Kovalenko told Guildhall.

Read alsoWHO lists Pfizer vaccine for emergency use"The emergence of the coronavirus coincided with the accident that occurred in Russia in the Vektor laboratories in September 2019. While China was the first to record the coronavirus, a big question is where the virus comes from," the expert says.

"It was the officials with the 48th Central Research Institute who took part in the aid effort to Italy, which in fact, given the lack of actual aid, looked more like an intelligence mission. And here it is not about the Russians' attempts to find out some secrets in a NATO Ally's territory, but rather about the will to gain access to the 'genetic material' of those infected because the highest peak of infections was recorded in Italy. And then the vaccine appeared soon. There is a direct connection between representatives of this facility with the peak of ascertainment rate and the appearance of the vaccine," the expert said.

Earlier, Kovalenko wrote on Facebook that information about the developer of the Russian vaccine against the coronavirus, the 48th Central Research Institute at the Russian Defense Ministry, had completely been removed from Wikipedia.