Russian Embassy in Zagreb under siege due to the vaccine

Thousands of Croatian citizens have contacted employees of the Russian Embassy in Zagreb these days in search of a Russian coronavirus vaccine.

Source: Beta
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Ilustracija/Tanjug/AP Photo/Darko Bandic
Ilustracija/Tanjug/AP Photo/Darko Bandic

However, the Croatian authorities have not yet sent an official request for the purchase of Sputnik V, Vecernji list writes today.

The paper states that the Russian embassy is "under siege" by Croats and that it answers dozens and dozens of questions from Croatian citizens sent by phone or e-mail every day about how to get the Russian vaccine.

Citizens, including Russian citizens in Croatia, are asking if they can get vaccinated at the Russian embassy or buy a vaccine there, where and how they can get the vaccine, while some ask if they can travel to Russia and receive Sputnik V, the Zagreb daily writes.

"Of course, we would like to help, but we do not vaccinate, nor do we procure vaccines," the Embassy told Vecernji List, adding that only Russian citizens are vaccinated in Russia.

According to the Russian Embassy, the import of any drugs into Croatia requires appropriate permits from state bodies and competent institutions of the European Union.

However, the list's interlocutors point out that "the embassy is ready to make all efforts to intensify the bilateral dialogue and to resolve the issue of delivery of Russian-made vaccines as soon as possible, if there is an initiative of the Croatian authorities."

"Unfortunately, so far we have not received any official request from the Croatian side regarding the purchase of the Russian vaccine," they say in the Embassy, adding that the embassy staff has not been vaccinated yet, because they do not go to Russia due to problems with direct travel.

According to the information of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, foreign diplomats residing in Croatia will be vaccinated according to the schedule in Croatia, which first includes medical workers, tenants at nursing homes, over the age of 65 and vulnerable groups.

The paper states that great interest in the Russian vaccine arose after the results of the third phase of the clinical trial of Sputnik V were published in the Lancet magazine in early February. It is reminded that the production of Sputnik V was criticized mostly because of the speed, the desire to get results immediately and the lack of transparency.

Russian Ambassador to Croatia Andrej Nesterenko recently pointed out in an interview with Večernji list that they are ready to consider specific details of the delivery of doses of satellite V to Croatia, if it so requests.

The text reminds that only Hungary procured Russian vaccines in the EU, while some other countries have shown interest, but for now they are waiting for the decision of the European Medicines Agency, which must first receive an application from the manufacturer.

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