In the Greek parliament, a debate was held between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and opposition leader Alexis Tsipras over the purchase of vaccines, including the Russian drug Sputnik V, RIA Novosti reported.
In accordance with the demand of the opposition part of parliament, Mitsotakis presented on Friday a national plan to combat the pandemic, as well as its consequences for the country’s economy. Tsipras did not hold back his emotions when assessing the European Union’s actions on vaccines and called their shortage a major failure of the EU. In his opinion, the Greek government should not have waited for the protracted approval of the drugs, but should have taken effective steps to purchase them:
Do you understand how many people we could save if, from the beginning of the year, instead of coming here to mock me, you accepted the invitation to sit down at the table to discuss this important issue and seek solutions?
However, the head of government reminded him of how such actions ended for the Slovak ex-prime minister, who was forced to resign after the outbreak of a scandal over the purchase of Russian vaccines. In addition, Mitsotakis noted, he is not sure whether there is enough Sputnik V for export, although he stressed that he is convinced of its quality:
We pressured Europe to approve Sputnik. And Europe should buy, if there is no serious doubt, that there is production capacity in Russia, and the Russian vaccine, and distribute it in the same way as other vaccines.
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian vaccine is effective for all variations of the coronavirus. EMA (European Medicines Agency) started the examination procedure for Sputnik V on 4 March. After the study, it must give permission for the use of the vaccine in the EU countries. According to optimistic forecasts, the process should be completed in May, but there is no more precise date yet.
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, has already announced her intention to purchase the drug even if there is no general order from the European Union. A similar decision by Igor Matovic, Prime Minister of Slovakia, ended with his resignation. True, he is accused of the fact that the head of government did not consider it necessary to inform the president and his colleagues about the purchase of vaccines.
Meanwhile “Sputnik V” continues its triumphant march across the planet. It has been approved, registered and approved for use in 60 states, with a total population of more than one and a half billion people.