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Izvestia: Slovakia divided over Russian vaccine supplies

Further deliveries of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to Slovakia are in jeopardy.

Some parties said they would probably withdraw from the coalition government following the prime minister’s decision to purchase the Russian-made jab, Izvestia writes.

Slovakia is the second member of the European Union to approve Sputnik V.

The first batch of the inoculation arrived there on March 1. In total, the East European country expects to receive two million doses by June.

Hungary purchased the medication earlier.

Disputes over Sputnik V supplies broke out in Slovakia in early March.

Deputy Prime Minister Veronika Remisova, who heads the centrist For the People party, a partner in the coalition, did not rule out withdrawing from the center-right ruling collation because the prime minister had moved to purchase an external provider’s vaccine in breach of the government’s decision. Foreign Minister Ivak Korcok, who is a member of the Freedom and Solidarity party, went as far as to call the Russian vaccine a tool in a hybrid war. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova also raised her voice against Sputnik V. Prime Minister Igor Matovic, in turn, slammed that position as political populism.

“Slovakia is highly polarized. There are parties that stand for cooperation with Russia and movements that strongly oppose it,” head of the Department for Central and Eastern European Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Europe Lyubov Shishelina noted.

“Eastern European countries are facing the same question: we seemed to have moved away from Russia so why are we going back? All in all, it’s not about the vaccine but the overall situation around its deliveries.”

“In particular, a campaign to collect signatures for an early election is underway in Slovakia, which is why so much attention is being paid to the vaccine that the prime minister has brought to the country,” the expert emphasized.

Source: TASS

Header: Michael Schaffler – Bratislava, Slovakia. Unsplash