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13 Nov, 2020 16:27

Russia & Hungary consider JOINT production of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine

Russia & Hungary consider JOINT production of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine

Budapest is set to receive its first samples of the Sputnik V vaccine next week, Russia’s industry and trade ministry has said, revealing that the two countries are considering joint, Hungarian-based production of the shots.

The announcement was made on Friday following talks between Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

Manturov confirmed that the first batch of vaccine samples will be delivered next week, while Szijjarto said that the Hungarian government has decided to simplify the process of certification for medical products, citing the urgency of the coronavirus situation.

Moreover, the two countries are considering launching joint production of the vaccine. 

Also on rt.com No Sputnik V for you! EU insists only ‘approved’ Covid vaccines allowed after Orban says Hungary is in talks with Russia & China

“A respective production site is currently being prepared in Hungary. Thus, Hungary may become the first country in the European Union to begin the production of the Russian vaccine,” the ministry said in a statement.

Budapest first revealed it was in talks with Russia and China over procuring a Covid-19 vaccine late in October. The move has put additional pressure on the already strained relations between Hungary and the EU. The EU Commission warned Budapest that only EU-approved Covid-19 vaccines will be certified for use by member states and threatened Hungary with repercussions. 

Hungary has defied the EU’s threats, however, insisting it has the right to procure whatever vaccine it pleases. Speaking to RT earlier this week, Szijjarto said Budapest “will not allow anybody to put pressure on us not to negotiate with eastern counterparts,” and even dismissed what he called a “rumor” that EU member states are unable to buy vaccines from outside the bloc as “absolutely not true.” 

The minister also called upon countries worldwide to cooperate in wake of the pandemic, instead of “over-politicizing” the vaccines issue and attacking each other. 

“The more vaccines the better,” Szijjarto said, explaining that the country was open to purchasing any working vaccines, regardless of where they were produced.

Also on rt.com Covid vaccine relief is imminent, Orban promises, but restrictive measures to tackle soaring infections are reintroduced

Compared to other European nations, Hungary has been relatively spared by the pandemic so far, registering some 130,000 cases and around 2,800 deaths. 

That figure is still quite sizable for the 9.8 million nation, though, and it has recently experienced a surge in new daily cases. 

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban warned on Monday that unless anti-coronavirus action is taken swiftly, the country’s healthcare system might get overwhelmed with the flow of new patients.

“If the number of people infected increases at such a rate, hospitals will not be able to cope with the burden on them, so the number of illnesses will have to be reduced; mask-wearing is no longer enough. Restrictive measures are needed,” Orban said, adding that while the vaccine relief was close, it was still several weeks away. 

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