Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Russia are in the process of finalizing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the joint production of COVID-19 vaccines, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has said.

The MoU will lay the basis for medium- and long-term cooperation in the field of health and short-term cooperation in the joint production of vaccines, therapeutic drugs, and diagnostic equipment, Marsudi disclosed at an online press conference following a meeting with her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The chief of the Indonesian Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM) has visited Russia to get first-hand information on the facilities used for the production of the Sputnik V vaccine, she said.

The two countries have cooperated in dealing with COVID-19 since the start of the health crisis, with Russia delivering drugs and medical equipment to Indonesia, she added.

“President Joko Widodo and President Vladimir Putin held phone talks in March, 2020 (to discuss) cooperation in handling the pandemic,” Marsudi said.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov expressed his country's readiness to strengthen cooperation with Indonesia not only in supplying vaccines, but also in relocating a Russian plant to produce vaccines in Indonesia

"Basically, both Russia and Indonesia believe that the entire international community should have access to vaccines," he remarked.

He also welcomed the initiative to promote scientific cooperation between the two nations in other areas, including the fight against the coronavirus.