News digest: Russia wants Sputnik V vaccines back from Slovakia

Schools gradually re-open from April 12. Slovak politicians call for de-escalation of tensions on the Ukrainian-Russian border.

Sputnik V vaccines arrived at Košice airport on March 1, 2021 (Source: TASR)

This is the Thursday, April 8, 2021 edition of Today in Slovakia. Learn about politics, business, and other notable events of the day in Slovakia in less than five minutes. If you like what we are doing and want to support good journalism, buy our online subscription. Thank you.

Unexpected trip to Moscow

Finance Minister and former PM Igor Matovič travelled to Moscow on April 8 for further negotiations concerning the Sputnik V vaccines.

He wrote on Facebook earlier that he condemns "any punitive and systematic efforts to prevent Sputnik V being used in Slovakia, and will do everything to make them ultimately fail."

Neither his coalition partners, nor PM Eduard Heger provided more information about his trip. The batch of Sputnik V vaccines that arrived in Slovakia on March 1 is still not being used. Matovič believes it to be part of a dirty game.

The official Twitter account of the Sputnik V vaccine wrote that the Russian Direct Investment Fund sent a letter on April 6, 2021, requesting the return the vaccines due to multiple contract violations so they can be used in other countries.

Finance Minister Matovič flew to Moscow for Sputnik negotiations Read more 

Schools gradually re-open

Kindergartens and the first stage of primary school (first to fourth grades) will be open for children of all parents from April 12.

Until now, schools have been opened based on a regional Covid automat warning system. Some schools also set the rule that only children of parents who cannot work from home could attend.

Parents are still required to have a negative test and students should also be tested if they are in the second stage of primary school or older.

The Ministry has promised more information on April 12, when it will announce how schools should operate from April 19.

Interview for today

"The caution that varies between generations will be even more present. If people are careful in financial issues, they will be even more so in health issues. Caution towards strangers may also increase."

Sociologist Zuzana Kusá explains in an interview, among other things, what Slovak society might look like once the pandemic is over.

Slovak society will be more vigilant after the pandemic is over Read more 

Gallery of the day

President Zuzana Čaputová welcomed Roma working on the frontline to the Presidential Palace, on the occasion of International Romani Day.

"People should not be evaluated according to their origin or skin colour, but according to the results of their activities," Čaputová said.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

Other news

  • The decline in retail sales slowed only slightly in February compared to January. Sales were 14.7 percent lower y-o-y and for the second month in a row, they reached historic lows. (Statistics Office)
  • Nine out of ten entrepreneurs consider the enforcement of the law in Slovakia to be an obstacle to doing business. According to a survey conducted by the Business Alliance of Slovakia and the Arbitration Court of the Slovak Bar Association, 80 percent of respondents report the negative impact of anti-pandemic measures on business legal certainty and according to about two thirds of respondents these measures negatively affected law enforcement.
  • Slovakia entered the proceedings in the case of the death of Jozef Chovanec. A judge in Belgium accepted the proposal of the Slovak government on March 26. By entering the proceedings, Slovakia gains the right to access the criminal file, the right to propose new investigative acts and the right to initiate prosecution in relation to the possible perpetrators.
  • The State Secretary of the Economy Ministry, Karol Galek, confirmed that the third unit of the Mochovce nuclear power plant will be put into commercial operation by the end of this year.
  • Slovak politicians call for the de-escalation of tensions on the Russian-Ukraine border. They have reassured Ukraine that Slovakia supports its territorial sovereignty.

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