Slovakia will sell or donate unused Sputnik V vaccines

Finance Minister Igor Matovič, who orchestrated the purchase, might face an attempt to oust him.

Sputnik V vaccination in SlovakiaSputnik V vaccination in Slovakia (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubco)

Slovakia will sell or donate 160,000 unused doses of the uncertified Sputnik V vaccine before they expire.

The decision was adopted by the cabinet at its June 23 session.

Slovakia received 200,000 Sputnik V doses in early March, but it took three more months to launch the registration with the vaccine. Altogether 14,214 have registered for the vaccination with Sputnik V, and 8,004 people have already been vaccinated. The Health Ministry is ready to stop the registration after June 30.

“Given the persisting serious epidemiological situation and the need for mutual cooperation with countries to slow down the spread of Covid-19, we propose to donate a certain number of Sputnik V doses to the Western Balkans countries as part of the material aid,” reads the document approved by the cabinet, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

At the same time, the vaccines will be sold to countries that show an interest. So far, only Argentina has offered to buy some doses.

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SaS agrees with the proposal

The Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party which criticised the purchase of the Russian vaccine considers the cabinet decision wise. It was supported by all three ministers nominated by the party, said its chair Richard Sulík, as reported by TASR.

Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korčok (SaS nominee) added that a preferable option is to sell the vaccines, but if there is no one to buy them, it is better to donate them than to let them expire.

“If there are countries that use them and help their citizens to reduce the risk that concerns us all, it’s necessary to support them,” Korčok said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Matovič to face ousting attempt

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A group of opposition MPs who belong to the non-parliamentary Hlas party meanwhile started collecting signatures to summon a special session to recall Finance Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO), who orchestrated the purchase of Sputnik V when serving as the prime minister.

They talked about a scandal, pointing to the fact that if Slovakia fails to sell the unused doses, the damage caused may amount to some €20 million, as reported by TASR.

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