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Sputnik V "okay" - Slovakia wants further talks with Moscow

The Slovak government is preparing to discuss the possible use of Russia's anti-coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V with Moscow after it was successfully tested in a Hungarian laboratory.

Slovak Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský said he would speak to his country's experts and "the Russian side about further developments on this issue". At a press conference, he confirmed that the results from the Hungarian laboratory were "OK".

Hungary offered Slovakia assistance in inspecting the Russian-made vaccine after the Slovak State Institute for Drug Control said it had not received enough information about the Russian vaccine from its manufacturers to assess its benefits and risks.

The regulator also said the doses it received from Russia would be different from those that the European Union Medicines Agency, EMA, has long been scrutinizing.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which sells Sputnik V abroad, called this statement "fake news". He said the Slovak Medicines Agency tested the vaccine in a laboratory that was not part of the official network of EU-approved laboratories.

The RDIF welcomed the results of the tests in Hungary and said it had asked the Slovak Medicines Agency to apologize for spreading false information about Sputnik V.

In the meantime, Russian experts have also tested the doses of the Sputnik V vaccine that had been delivered to Slovakia. Lengvarský said he is awaiting the results of these tests and Russian approval for further use before making any decisions.

After Hungary, Slovakia would be the second member state of the European Union to already use Sputnik V without it having previously been approved for the EU by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

A secret deal to buy 2 million Sputnik V vaccine doses for Slovakia, which was initiated by then Prime Minister Igor Matovič, sparked a political crisis in March that resulted in the Prime Minister being forced to vacate his post.

more on the subject - Russia demands that Slovakia return the Sputnik-V vaccine

(rt de / ap)