Slovakia to Sell or Donate 160,000 Doses of Sputnik V Vaccine

Slovakia to Sell or Donate 160,000 Doses of Sputnik V Vaccine

Bratislava, June 23 (TASR) – Slovakia will sell or donate 160,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, mainly to Western Balkans countries, as the Government on Wednesday decided in favour of the sale and donation of the Russian vaccine based on bilateral agreements with third countries.

Argentina, for instance, has expressed its interest in purchasing the doses, while Bosna and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Albania are interested in receiving them as a donation.

A total of 14,214 people in Slovakia had applied for inoculation with Sputnik V as of Tuesday (June 22), with 8,004 of them actually vaccinated to date.

Leader of the coalition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party and Economy Minister Richard Sulik noted on Wednesday that SaS finds the Government’s decision to sell or donate Slovakia’s Sputnik V vaccine doses to third countries reasonable.

“I’ve said several times that the purchase and the management of the purchase of the Russian-made vaccine was one big blunder. But we’ve got to look forward and decide what we should do with the jabs before their expiry date. That’s why the SaS ministers agreed to sell or donate them,” noted Sulik.

Independent MPs operating in the extra-parliamentary Voice-SD party are beginning to collect signatures to initiate an extraordinary meeting at which they want to express no-confidence in Finance Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO). Independent MP Richard Rasi said that the reason is the use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Rasi talks about a “scandal” because if the remaining vaccines cannot be sold, Slovakia will suffer damage worth almost $20 million. MPs also reproach Matovic for not submitting a compensation law or a tax-levy reform.

Rasi pointed out that the Russian vaccine was imported to Slovakia at a time when we had a shortage of vaccines. “At that time, Matovic claimed that he wanted to vaccinate half a million Slovaks with Sputnik V, and therefore his [health] minister [Marek] Krajci [OLaNO] ordered two million doses of the vaccine,” stated Rasi, criticising the late start of vaccination with this vaccine.

Rasi also pointed to the problem with the publication of the Sputnik V supply contract. “We learnt from the contract that this Matovic’s operation would cost us almost $20 million. And we learnt that we would have to pay for these vaccines regardless of whether we take them or not,” said Rasi, noting that to date we haven’t seen an addendum to the contract that would say something different. “I’ll be very surprised if they can be sold for the amount we bought them for,” he added.