While the European Union bloc, which includes 28 countries, is fighting for the early start of the use of the anti-COVID vaccine, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is increasingly attracting Eastern European states. According to CNBC, this could lead to a potential split in this political area.
The Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia have expressed interest in the purchase and introduction of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, which may hinder the implementation of a unified European approach to the introduction and operation of the coronavirus vaccine.
Czech Prime Minister Babis said Sunday that the use of Sputnik V is possible even without the approval of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Austria also expressed its readiness to purchase and joint production of the Russian vaccine – this was announced after a telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. On Monday, Slovakia became the second European country to announce the purchase of the Sputnik V vaccine, providing 2 million doses of the vaccine.
Hungary, not afraid of criticism from Brussels, was the first European country to purchase a batch of Sputnik V vaccines in January without waiting for EMA approval. According to the Moscow Times, the country is expected to ship 2 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine over the next three months.
The turn towards Russian vaccine comes amid widespread dissatisfaction with the slow roll-out of vaccinations in the EU.
Production problems and bureaucracy – and, in some countries, vaccine hesitancy – have also been a stumbling block to deployment.
As earlier reported by News Front, on Thursday, March 4, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) began a consistent examination of the registration dossier of the Russian vaccine against the Sputnik V coronavirus, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said. The agency will test the vaccine against EU standards for efficacy, safety and quality.Former Armenian President accused Pashinyan of criminal inaction during the war