RDIF announces partnership with VTB United League and support for the "Sport without Covid" initiative

AK&M, 17.09.2021

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, the sovereign fund of the Russian Federation) announces the conclusion of a partnership agreement with the VTB United League, an international club basketball tournament among professional teams from Eastern Europe, and the implementation of the joint initiative "Sport without Covid".

Participation in the VTB United League partner program and the joint initiative "Sport without Covid" are aimed at supporting the safe return of spectators to basketball arenas, the full-fledged exit of basketball and other mass sports from the pandemic, including through vaccination with the world's first registered vaccine "Sputnik V", which was invested by the RDIF.

The Foundation pays great attention to supporting the safety of sports events during the pandemic. Thanks to investments in the production of a unique Russian-Japanese diagnostic system EMG, which provides coronavirus diagnostics in 30 minutes with very high accuracy both in stationary and in portable mini-laboratories that have no analogues, a contribution was made to ensuring the safe conduct of the Tinkoff games of the Russian Premier Football League. In 2020, several RPL clubs signed an agreement on cooperation with EMG and the use of portable laboratories for rapid testing of football players.

The development of sports and support of a healthy lifestyle in Russia is one of the key priorities in the investment activities of the RDIF. Together with the American company UFC, the Foundation develops the mixed martial arts (MMA) industry. In addition, in partnership with the UFC and the Russian Fitness Group (RFG), which manages the largest network of World Class fitness clubs in Russia, a network of clubs under the world-famous UFC Gym brand is developing in Russia.

Sergey Ivanov, Honorary President of the VTB United League, Chairman of the RDIF Supervisory Board, said:

"Last season we all witnessed the devastating impact of the coronavirus epidemic on sports events both in Russia and around the world. Due to the anti-weed restrictions imposed, sports fans – and basketball fans, not least - were deprived of the opportunity to attend matches and cheer for their favorite teams. The only way to bring the fans back to the stands, and with them the festive atmosphere, is mass vaccination.

As Chairman of the RDIF Supervisory Board, I can say with confidence that vaccination with Sputnik V, an investor in the development and production of which was the Foundation, is the best way to defeat the pandemic, which means that the sports stands are fully filled again. The Russian vaccine is recognized as an extremely effective and absolutely safe drug, it has already been approved in 70 countries, where more than 4 billion people live, and contributes to the return to normal life around the world. I am sure that the League's cooperation with the RDIF will help bring this moment closer in the upcoming season."

Sergey Kushchenko, President of the VTB United League, said:

"Together with the RDIF, we are participating in the "Sport without Covid"campaign. In the upcoming season, the League will promote the idea of vaccination in the participating cities of the league on the territory of the Russian Federation. I am sure that thanks to this initiative and our new partner-RDIF – we will be able to fill the arenas again, and fans will be able to watch basketball live."

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, commented:

"It is impossible to imagine the resumption of mass sports events without protecting the health and safety of athletes and spectators. In this regard, vaccination plays a key role. One of the most effective and safe vaccines in the world, Sputnik V, has been developed in Russia and registered for the first time in the world, which already protects millions of people.

RDIF is pleased to become a partner of one of the most spectacular and prestigious international club basketball tournaments. The joint initiative "Sport without Covid" contributes to overcoming the pandemic and further active development of sports in Russia."