(Bloomberg) -- Russia is pushing ahead with plans to make its Covid-19 vaccine in Europe, securing a deal to produce the Sputnik V shot in Italy amid additional talks in Germany and France.Adienne Pharma & Biotech SA signed an agreement to manufacture the vaccine at its production site in the Milan region, Antonio Francesco Di Naro -- the founder and president of the Lugano, Switzerland-based company -- told Bloomberg in an interview.The deal with Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF is the first European production agreement for the vaccine. While Russia was first to approve a vaccine for the general public and promoted it as a way to help end the pandemic globally, it has been slower than some rivals to scale up output.The shot is under review by authorities in the European Union, which has struggled to ramp up inoculations amid a lack of supply. The sluggish rollout has prodded some countries to consider their own purchasing deals in a challenge to the bloc’s solidarity.“There are many Italian regions which are enthusiastic about having Sputnik, they would also want to produce it,” Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive officer of the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund, told Italian Rai3 television on Sunday. “We have a partnership in Germany. We’re talking to several French companies.”Russia has had contact with IDT Biologika GmbH, according to a report by German broadcaster MDR. The company, based in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, wasn’t immediately available to comment. IDT signed a letter of intent last month to help AstraZeneca Plc boost supply of its vaccine.Dmitriev, who is in charge of Sputnik’s international roll-out and backed its development, said in the Italian TV interview that production in the country could start in June. The timing depends on approval from Italian regulators, and Di Naro said he couldn’t set production targets as of now.The deal comes as Prime Minister Mario Draghi pledged to speed up Italy’s fledgling vaccination campaign amid a new rise in infections from the disease that’s led to more than 100,000 fatalities in the country.Draghi blocked the export of AstraZeneca’s vaccine earlier this month after the company sharply reduced planned deliveries to the EU. He was the first European leader to use the recently-introduced powers, highlighting the sensitivity in the region over the supply of Covid-19 shots.European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday lashed out at manufacturers for failing to uphold their commitments as countries in Europe struggle to step up the pace of inoculations.The bloc has administered 9.35 doses per 100 people, compared with nearly 28 for the U.S. and more than 35 for the U.K., according to Bloomberg’s Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker.The European Medicines Agency said March 4 that it started a rolling review of Sputnik V to test compliance with safety and quality standards, the first major step in gaining approval for use in the European Union. The Russian vaccine started to gain broader international recognition after The Lancet medical journal published peer-reviewed results of interim trials showing 91.6% efficacy.Despite the progress, it’s unclear what role political tension would play in the distribution of the Sputnik vaccine in Europe. Tensions between Russia and the EU have deteriorated further in recent months, especially after the jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny.In a sign of the tensions, the shot’s developer took to Twitter to demand an apology from an EMA official over comments that “raise serious questions about possible political interference” in the agency’s review.Christa Wirthumer-Hoche, EMA’s management board chairwoman, told Austrian broadcaster ORF late Sunday that national emergency authorizations are like “Russian roulette.”(Recasts, adds comments from Russian sovereign wealth fund chief)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.