MOSCOW, 4 Mar – RIA Novosti. Prime Minister of Slovakia Igor Matovic joked about the conditions for the supply of the Russian vaccine against COVID-19 Sputnik V to the country, which caused a scandal in Ukraine.
During an interview on Radio Expres, the Prime Minister of Slovakia was asked what he promised Russia in exchange for the Sputnik V vaccine. Matovich jokingly replied that he had agreed on the transfer of the Transcarpathian Ukraine. At the same time, he immediately indicated that no one had put forward any conditions.
The country's foreign ministry demanded an official apology from the Slovak prime minister. According to the Foreign Ministry, Matovich's words “directly affecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine” are “categorically unacceptable and negatively affect the friendly and good-neighborly atmosphere” of bilateral relations.
Also, the Foreign Ministry summoned the Charge d'Affaires of Slovakia in Kiev Matus Korbe, protesting over the “incorrect statements” of the prime minister.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Slovakia Yuriy Mushka said on Facebook that he had visited the country's foreign ministry, where he also “expressed concern” about Matovich's remarks.
In turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba reacted sharply to Matovich's joke. “Let him exchange for several regions of Slovakia,” he wrote on his Twitter.
At the same time, Kuleba expressed the opinion that the Prime Minister of Slovakia with his “incorrect statements” spoils very friendly and sincere relations between the countries.
Purchase of Russian vaccine by Slovakia
The first batch of Sputnik V vaccine was delivered on Monday from Moscow to the city of Kosice in eastern Slovakia. As Prime Minister Matovic said at a press conference at the airport, it was decided to purchase the Sputnik V vaccine without waiting for its registration in the EU, since, according to the Prime Minister, “there is no time for delay, there is not enough vaccines in the country, every day from Dozens of our fellow citizens are dying of COVID-19. “
According to Johns Hopkins University, which summarizes data from federal and local authorities, as well as the media and other open sources, since the beginning of the pandemic in Slovakia, 314,359 people have been infected with coronavirus, 7,489 people have died.
The Sputnik V vaccine was registered by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation in August 2020, it was developed by the Gamaleya Research Center for Electrochemistry. This vaccine was the first in the world to prevent COVID-19. The scientific journal Lancet has previously published the results of the third phase of clinical trials “Sputnik V”, confirming its high efficiency and safety. The vaccine has been approved in over 30 countries.