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28 May, 2021 15:05

Belarus to erect vaccination tents at border for foreigners who wish to enter country to get Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 jab

Belarus to erect vaccination tents at border for foreigners who wish to enter country to get Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 jab

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has revealed new plans to re-open his country’s borders for residents of foreign countries who wish to receive a vaccination against Covid-19 with the Russian-made Sputnik V jab.

The Belarusian leader revealed this plan on Friday at a meeting with heads of governments of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a nine-member bloc of former Soviet Union member nations.

“I have agreed with the President of Russia that Belarus will open several crossings at the border and set up tents there if necessary,” Lukashenko said. “We have enough of these points on the border to accommodate people from Poland, Lithuania, and other countries. And especially Ukraine.”

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Many of Belarus’ neighbor states are struggling with their Covid-19 vaccine programs. This problem is particularly acute in Ukraine, where just 0.3% of the population is fully vaccinated against coronavirus. 

“Although their governments behave indecently towards Belarus, you can see the demand for Sputnik V in Western countries, and there are a lot of people trying to get to us,” Lukashenko claimed. “We need to help our neighbors, especially the Ukrainians. You see what’s going on there.”

READ MORE: 'The worst city in Europe for vaccinations': Moscow's mayor frustrated at lack of rush to get Covid-19 jabs in Russian capital

According to Johns Hopkins University’s Covid-19 tracker, Belarus has also not had the most successful of vaccination rollouts, with just 2.88% of the population being fully inoculated. However, the country’s president is in no rush to make getting the jab obligatory.

“The main thing for us now is to protect the elderly and people who are most prone to coronavirus,” he said. “We push them to [get the injection], but we don’t insist on it. There is no mandatory vaccination, and there will never be.”

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