Bobo Lo, an expert on China-Russia relations and former deputy head of mission at Australia’s embassy in Moscow, said both Moscow and Beijing saw an opportunity for geopolitical gains in the pandemic, winning favor and influence for their autocratic systems.
“It’s useful to them to point out that the West is being selfish in limiting the distribution of vaccine to developing countries,” he said. “This is a really convenient narrative for both Beijing and Moscow.”
There is also a darker side to Moscow and Beijing’s vaccine cooperation. In recent months, Russian disinformation efforts have tried to undermine confidence in US and UK vaccines, such as those made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca, according to Judyth Twigg, professor of political science at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Former diplomat Lo said both Russia and China had an interest in discrediting the US-led world…