The contract between the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the government in Budapest was made on Friday, in a meeting between Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó.
According to Murashko, Hungarian experts visited the Gamaleya Institute, where the formula was invented, and conducted a thorough examination of vaccine production sites. The scientists also had the opportunity to review clinical trial results.
“Many countries today approve the use of the Russian Sputnik V, and we are actively cooperating with the World Health Organization,” Murashko told the press.
In response, Szijjártó called the announcement of the agreement “a great honor,” assuring Hungary’s citizens that experts from the country’s own National Institute of Pharmacology and Food Safety reviewed the entire process themselves.
On Thursday, it was revealed that Budapest had approved Sputnik V for emergency use, despite it not yet being deemed safe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
On January 8, Hungarian President Victor Orban complained that the European Union was being too slow to make any decisions, putting citizens’ lives at risk.
“Unfortunately, the EU purchases vaccines very slowly, so Hungary continues negotiations with Israel, Russia, and China,” Orban said. Two weeks later, his country approved Sputnik V for use.
In late December, US-state media RFE/RL reported that Hungary wouldn’t take Russia’s vaccine.
Hungary’s decision to register the vaccine followed in the footsteps of Turkmenistan, Paraguay, Algeria, and Bolivia, all of which also opted to do so in January. Thursday also saw the United Arab Emirates approve the jab, citing “the results of its effectiveness.”
Hungary will receive 2 mln doses of the Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V to inoculate 1 mln people, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said at the talks with Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov on Friday.
“Indeed, we have received a copy of the agreement signed by the Russian side. In accordance with the agreement, we will get access to a batch of the vaccine to vaccinate 1 mln people, which means the issue is potentially about 2 mln doses considering the fact that it is a two-component vaccine,” he said.
The vaccine will be delivered to Hungary in three stages, the minister explained, adding that the country expects to receive 300,000 doses during the first month, 500,000 doses – in the second month, and 200,000 – in the third month.
“Unfortunately, vaccines are supplied to Hungary very slowly, which is why it was very important for us to reach an agreement with the Russian side to be able to acquire respective medications from an independent source in large volumes,” he said.
Russian Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko said following a meeting with Szijjarto earlier on Friday that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) had entered into a contract on supply of the Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V with the Hungarian side.
The Hungarian online media outlet Index reported earlier this week that the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition had completed examining the documentation on the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and approved its use.
Meanwhile the Russian Direct Investment Fund confirmed on Thursday that the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition of Hungary had approved Russia’s Sputnik V.
Hungary became the first EU country in November 2020 where Sputnik V samples were supplied for trials.