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Moscow, Russia. Photo: MTI/EPA/Jurij Kocsetkov

Hungary has received a draft contract to procure Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday.

Szijjártó told MTI that he had held phone talks with Mikhail Murashko, the Russian health minister, who is also the co-leader of the Hungarian-Russian inter-governmental economic mixed committee.

“Time is of the essence,” Szijjártó said, adding that Hungary was in need of a swift supply of a large quantity of a safe and effective vaccine against coronavirus. The virus is claiming around 100 lives every day and the restrictions put in place are costing the economy some 10 billion forints a day, the minister said.

Experts of Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYEI) are currently in Russia analysing the manufacturing process of the Russian vaccine, he said.

On Thursday, they are scheduled to hold talks with representatives of Russia’s health authority, he added.

Meanwhile, lawyers of the National Public Health Centre (NNK) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are also hard at work in connection with the draft purchase agreement for the Russian Covid vaccine which the Russian Direct Investment Fund has sent to Hungary, Szijjártó said. The draft agreement could serve as the basis for Hungary receiving shipments of the vaccine, he added.

If after inspecting the vaccine’s manufacturing process and reviewing its documentation the drug authority grants approval for emergency use of the Russian vaccine in Hungary, the government can sign the contract and agree on the supply of a large quantity of a safe vaccine to the country, Szijjártó said.

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Source: MTI

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