The Russian side did not request from Slovakia to return the shipment of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 on the grounds that Bratislava had tested the product in an unauthorized laboratory, as originally announced. Slovak President Zuzana Shapotova told reporters on Thursday. The head of the Slovak state has also spoken in favor of publishing the Sputnik V purchase agreement, which the Slovak government is hiding.
Former Prime Minister Igor Matovic, who was responsible for importing the Russian vaccine as Prime Minister, said in response that the official reason for calling for the return of vaccines is that Slovakia did not pay for the vaccines on time. Earlier, he also cited vaccine testing in an unaccredited laboratory as the reason. During his visit to Prague, Prime Minister Edward Heeger said that he, along with Health Minister Vladimir Lingvarsky, had a legal analysis of the extent to which contracts could be published.
“The public has been informed that the reason for the Russian side to submit such a request is that the State Institute for Drug Control has tested the Sputnik vaccine in a laboratory that is not accredited by OMCL. Based on the documents that have been studied, I state that this statement is not true.” The return request was a different reality. “
According to the Slovak President, more detailed information should be known after the Sputnik V purchase contract is published, the text of which includes a letter asking the Russian side to return the vaccine, aputová’s request from the Slovak Ministry of Health.
“We have no reason to hide anything, to hide anything,” Heiger said. They did a legal analysis with the Minister of Health to what extent and what parts of the contract could be posted. “Once the analysis is complete, we will follow it,” he said at a press conference after his talks in Prague.
According to previous information, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), responsible for marketing Sputnik V abroad, said that the Slovak State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL) had violated the contract by requesting to test the shipment of Sputnik V that was delivered in – the official network of laboratories of the European Union . This account was confirmed last week by Slovakian Finance Minister Igor Matovic, who was still behind the secret purchase of Sputnik V as prime minister and who had sided with Russia in the dispute.
Missing payment and documents
But in the afternoon, Matovich claimed to reporters that the official letter regarding the request to return vaccines to Russia stated that the vaccines would not be paid for. According to Matovic, Slovakia paid for the vaccines last week, but the Russian side returned the amount. Regarding the Sputnik V test, Matovi again criticized the head of the SÚKL as well as the president Čaputová, who defended the director of the Slovak Drug Agency. For example, SÚKL indicated that it had not received the required information about the manufacturer to evaluate Sputnik V and that the Russian vaccines introduced to the market may not have been the same.
SÚKL previously defended itself by saying that no one had told it that the Sputnik V could only be evaluated in an EU accredited laboratory. Despite this, the institute tried to contact the European Union laboratories, to no avail.
Last week, after talks in Moscow and Budapest, Matovi received a promise from Hungary to help Slovakia test the Russian vaccine in an accredited laboratory. In Slovakia, he said, the fifth Sputnik passed the tests.
At the beginning of March, Slovakia imported 200,000 doses of Sputnik V, and according to Matovi, a total of 2 million doses of the Russian vaccine were ordered.
The Czech Republic is also interested in Sputnik V. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Acting Foreign Minister Jan Hamacik said on Twitter on Wednesday that he will travel to Moscow on Monday to discuss the possibility of delivery of the vaccine after approval by the European Medicines Agency.
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