Wyeth has won approval to sell its top-selling pneumococcal vaccine Prevenar in Russia and expects to launch the product there later this year, the U.S. drugmaker said on Monday.

Wyeth, which is being acquired by Pfizer, said the product had been registered by the Russian Ministry of Health and Social Development.

Prevenar -- also known as Prevnar -- generated worldwide sales of $2.7 billion last year.

Wyeth's vaccine, like a newer rival called Synflorix from GlaxoSmithKline recommended for approval in Europe in January, offers protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae, which can cause a variety of illnesses, including meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia and otitis media.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Simon Jessop)