First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Jan Hamáček says Prague is no longer considering purchases of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine against the backdrop of a diplomatic row with Moscow.

That is according to the Ukrainian media outlet European Pravda, referring to Lidove Noviny on April 20.

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Former Minister of Health Roman Prymula, who is now an adviser to the Czech president, earlier told CNN Prima News that the use of the Russian vaccine in the Czech Republic was not yet on the agenda.

"I agree with the professor on this. Our only way is to focus on vaccines that come via the EU and are certified by the European Medicines Agency [EMA]. I believe this can be also discussed with our allies," Hamáček said.

Noteworthy, a few days ago he was planning a trip to Russia, where the vaccine supplies for the Czech Republic were to be discussed. However, the visit was canceled when the Czech Republic announced Russia's involvement in an explosion at its arms depots in 2014 and expelled Russian diplomats.

Czech accusations against Russia

  • Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced there were well-founded suspicions of the involvement of Russian special services in the explosion of an ammunition storage facility in the Czech Republic in 2014.
  • The Czech Foreign Ministry says it is expelling 18 Russian diplomats believed to be intelligence operatives in retaliation for the explosion, which killed two people.
  • Meanwhile, the Czech police put on the wanted list two Russian citizens who used passports in the name of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov during their visit to Prague and the Zlín District on October 11-16, 2014.
  • According to Czech media reports, an explosion at an ammunition depot in the Vrbětice complex in the Czech Republic in 2014 was most likely staged by Russian agents to disrupt arms shipments, in particular, to armed forces of Ukraine.