Slovakia claims that the doses of Sputnik V she received "did not have the same characteristics and properties" as a version approved by a respected UK medical journal.
Russian vaccine diplomacy suffered a setback on Thursday when Slovakia, one of the few countries in Europe to order its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, said the doses purchased differed by version favorably reviewed by a respected UK medical journal.
A statement from The Slovak regulator of drugs questionin g the Russian vaccine suggested potentially serious quality control problems in the manufacture of Sputnik V and threatened recent progress made by Russia in gaining acceptance for its product.
Much of this progress is based on a peer-reviewed article published in The Lancet in February that gave the Russian vaccine a boost. He said Sputnik V had a 91.6% effectiveness rate against Covid-19, an endorsement Moscow used to increase confidence in the vaccine and bolster the The Kremlin 's Hand in Vaccine Diplomacy .
The Slovak regulator, the State Institute for drug control, however, said in a statement that batches of vaccines imported into the Eastern European country had "not the same characteristics and properties" as the version of Sputnik V reviewed by The Lancet.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund that financed the development of Sputnik V and conducted aThe campaign for its use abroad did not at the core of the Slovak agency 's statement but qualify it as "disinformation" and "fake news". In a series of contemptuous Twitter posts , the fund accused the state regulatory agency of having committed an "act of sabotage", claiming that Slovakia had violated the terms of its contract and demanding that the doses be returned.
The dispute follows a harsh political battle in Slovakia that began last month when Prime Minister Igor Matovic, who was last week forced to resign , announced that he had negotiated a secret deal with Russia for 200,000 doses of Sputnik V. The deal scandalized other members of a coalition governmenttion fragile, which accused Mr. Matovic of having succumbed to a Russian "tool of hybrid war" and of plundering the European Union, of which Slovakia is a member.
Mr Matovi c, who exchanged jobs last week with the finance minister in an attempt to save the government from collapse, met with Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, in Moscow on Thursday . Image