EU governments are considering launching talks with Sputnik V developers and it will take requests from four EU states to start the process, as Reuters reports, citing EU diplomatic and official sources.
The EU official said Italy was considering using the country’s biggest vaccine-producing bioreactor at a ReiThera plant near Rome to make Sputnik V. Hungary and Slovakia have already bought the Russian shot, the Czech Republic is interested.
Brussels has been criticised for the bloc’s slow vaccine roll-out at a time when former member Britain is easing restrictions as its inoculation programme gathers pace. Italy is intensifying lockdowns, hospitals in the Paris region are close to being overloaded and Germany has warned of a third wave.
"If Sputnik V were to join the EU’s vaccine arsenal, it would be a diplomatic triumph for Russia, whose trade with the bloc has been hamstrung for years by sanctions over its annexation of Crimea and its intervention in eastern Ukraine.It would also risk dividing the bloc between those states dead set against giving Moscow any kind of win and those in favour of showing that Brussels can cooperate with the Kremlin," the message reads.
The EU has signed deals with six Western vaccine makers and launched talks with two more. It has approved four vaccines so far but production glitches have slowed its inoculation campaign and some member states are seeking their own solutions.
As we reported earlier, Marek Krajci, the Slovakian Healthcare Minister resigned due to the scandal that occured in the Parliament. It appears that the official procured Sputnik-V, the Russian vaccine from Covid-19 - secretly, without informing his partners in the parliamentary coalition.
The politicians initially demanded resignation of Igor Matovic, the Prime Minister. However, they managed to agree on Krajci's resignation. It was the condition to save the coalition in the Slovakian Parliament. Healthcare Minister's resignation will be taking place gradually.