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Russia’s coronavirus vaccine is alluring for Eastern Europe, creating a headache for the EU

March 2, 2021


As the European Union struggles to ramp up its rollout of coronavirus vaccines across the 27 member bloc, Russia’s Covid shot is proving alluring to its friends in Eastern Europe, creating another potential rift in the region.

The Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia have all expressed interest in procuring and deploying Russia’s “Sputnik V” vaccine, a move that could undermine an EU-wide approach to approving and administering coronavirus vaccines.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Sunday that his country could use the Sputnik V vaccine even without approval by the EU’s drugs agency, the European Medicines Agency.

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