Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Andrei Kelin, on Saturday denied allegations that his country’s intelligence services are trying to steal the coronavirus vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world, BBC reported.

On Thursday, a co-ordinated statement from Britain, the United States and Canada had said that a group of hackers known as “the Dukes” or “Cozy Bear”, with links to Russian intelligence, targeted various research bodies involved in vaccine development. In a separate announcement, Britain had also accused “Russian actors” of trying to interfere in its 2019 election by trying to spread leaked documents online.

“I don’t believe in this story at all, there is no sense in it,” Kelin told the BBC in a television interview. He claimed he had learned about the hacking collective’s existence from British media reports. “In this world, to attribute any kind of computer hackers to any country, it is impossible,” Klein added.

He said Russian pharmaceutical company R-Pharm had already entered a partnership with AstraZeneca to manufacture the coronavirus vaccine being developed at the University of Oxford, should it prove effective.

The Moscow’s top envoy in Britain also rejected accusations of interference in last year’s elections.

More than 100 vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to fight the coronavirus, which has infected over 1.42 crore people and killed 6.02 lakh globally.

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