Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic announced Thursday that he had accepted the resignation of Health Minister Marek Kraichi, following disagreements in the ruling coalition over the purchase of the Russian “Sputnik V” vaccine.
Speaking of Kraichi, Matovic said: “This man, who stands beside me with all the ministers, has worked tirelessly for more than 12 months in the face of the epidemic.”
In early March, Slovakia received the first batch of the “Sputnik V” vaccine from Russia, which caused a sharp reaction by the leaders of the right-wing parties affiliated with the ruling coalition.
The parties tried to persuade the prime minister to resign, but they did not find an understanding from the head of state, Suzana Shabutova, and then those parties sent an ultimatum to the government, “the continued cooperation of the coalition, or the resignation of the Minister of Health who issued the permission to use the Russian vaccine.”
Shabutova said: “Since the decisive reason for the minister’s resignation from our coalition partners is the purchase of the Russian vaccine, I believe that this resignation should take place after the start of the use of” Sputnik V “in Slovakia.”
She indicated that she was subjected to “pressure” for a long time with the demand for the dismissal of the Minister of Health, stressing that “every mistake in the government decisions made during the epidemic was blamed on Kraichi” and described the resignation request of the Minister of Health as “neither human nor moral.”
The Slovak Prime Minister secretly negotiated receipt of the vaccine from Russia, as his coalition partners previously prevented the decision to deal with the Russian vaccine on the pretext that it had not been registered with the European Medicines Agency yet.