Russia – AstraZeneca confirms Russia vaccine deal days after COVID-19 hacking accusations surface

Last week, Western intelligence officials pegged Russian hackers with an attempt to rip off leading research for a COVID-19 vaccine, linking the would-be thieves with the country’s intelligence services.

Russia itself denies involvement in any of those attacks—and with a new licensing deal for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot, the country says it doesn’t need the secrets anyway.

Russian drugmaker R-Pharm has signed a licensing deal with Britain’s AstraZeneca to produce and distribute doses of its University of Oxford-partnered adenovirus-based COVID-19 shot, AZD1222.

As part of the agreement, R-Pharm will export Oxford’s shot to markets in the Commonwealth of Independent States—a nine-country economic group including Russia and post-Soviet republics—the Middle East and the Balkans, an AstraZeneca spokesman said.

The number of doses included in the deal has yet to be determined, AstraZeneca said…