Best to restore Jakarta ties as soon as possible: Abbott

Updated 01 May 2015

Best to restore Jakarta ties as soon as possible: Abbott

SYDNEY: Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Friday it would be best to restore Australia’s relationship with Indonesia “as quickly as possible” as the bodies of two drug traffickers executed two days before were set to return home.
Canberra withdrew its ambassador to Jakarta after Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 34, were executed by firing squad along with six others on Wednesday despite a storm of international criticism and pleas from their families.
“Despite the difficulties of the last few days, despite the very understandable anger that so many Australians feel, in the end, it is in everyone’s best interests that this relationship can be restored as quickly as possible,” Abbott said.
Abbott said it was an encouraging sign for the relationship that Indonesia’s ambassador in Canberra, Nadjib Riphat Kesoema, had expressed sympathy for the families of those executed.
“It’s a sign that decent people in Indonesia appreciate the anger that Australians feel at these cruel and unnecessary deaths,” Abbott told reporters in Canberra.
“And it’s a sign that, in time, the good and strong friendship between Australia and Indonesia can be resumed.” Kesoema said in a statement late Thursday that “the Indonesian people and government express our sympathies to the families and friends of the deceased”.
The ambassador added that good relations with Australia were important to his country, and Jakarta remained strongly committed to improving and strengthening the overall relationship.
Abbott said while it was a difficult moment in the Australia-Indonesia relationship, he was confident that both countries would do what was necessary to rebuild ties between the nations, which are key allies in counter-terrorism efforts.
Indonesia is also a significant economic partner for Australia, with two-way trade in goods and services reaching Aus$14.9 billion (US$11.8 billion) in 2013.
Abbott has stressed the importance of building trade ties with Indonesia, which he has said is the most important country to Australia due to its size, proximity and developing power.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said while the executions were deeply regrettable, it was “time for us to seek to move on.”
“I spoke to the family members last night and they are devastated and one can’t help but feel so deeply for what they are going through,” she told reporters.
“But we must focus on the long-term relationship with Indonesia.”
Jakarta’s execution of eight death row prisoners — seven foreigners and one Indonesian — drew worldwide condemnation with UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressing deep regret.
But Indonesia defended the killings of the two Australians, a Brazilian, four Nigerians, and one Indonesian as vital for its “war” on drugs.


Russia aims to produce ‘millions’ of virus doses by 2021

Updated 03 August 2020

Russia aims to produce ‘millions’ of virus doses by 2021

  • The Gamaleya institute came under fire after researchers and directors injected themselves with the prototype months ago
  • Scientists have told AFP that Russia will struggle to adapt the vaccine to mass production because the country lacks raw materials, adequate facilities and experience

MOSCOW: Russia said Monday it aims to launch mass production of a coronavirus vaccine next month and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.
The country is pushing ahead with several vaccine prototypes and one prepared at the Gamaleya institute in Moscow has reached advanced stages of development.
“We are very much counting on starting mass production in September,” industry minister Denis Manturov said in an interview published by TASS news agency.
“We will be able to ensure production volumes of several hundred thousand a month, with an eventual increase to several million by the start of next year,” he said, adding that one developer is preparing production technology at three locations in central Russia.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko on Saturday said the Gamaleya vaccine had “completed clinical trials” and that documents were being prepared to register it with the state.
Another vaccine, developed by Siberia-based Vektor lab, is currently undergoing clinical trials and two more will begin human testing within the next two months, Murashko said.
Gamaleya’s vaccine is a so-called viral vector vaccine, meaning it employs another virus to carry the DNA encoding of the needed immune response into cells.
Gamaleya’s vaccine employs the adenovirus, a similar technology to the coronavirus vaccine prototype developed by China’s CanSino, currently in the advanced stage of clinical trials.
The Gamaleya institute came under fire after researchers and directors injected themselves with the prototype months ago, with specialists criticizing the move as an unorthodox and rushed way of starting human trials.
Scientists have told AFP that Russia will struggle to adapt the vaccine to mass production because the country lacks raw materials, adequate facilities and experience, particularly with advanced technology like viral vector.
Some Russian officials have boasted that the country will be the first to come up with the vaccine, even comparing it to the space race to produce the first satellite in the Soviet era.
Moscow has dismissed allegations from the UK, the United States and Canada that a hacking group linked to Russian intelligence services tried to steal information about a coronavirus vaccine from labs in the West.
Russia’s coronavirus caseload is currently fourth in the world after the United States, Brazil and India.