EU solidarity crumbles: Bavaria sidelines Merkel and Brussels to sign Russian vaccine deal
Sputnik V vaccine financier discusses support from EU leaders
Markus Söder, the state’s minister-president, took decisive action as criticism of Brussels’ handling of the vaccine rollout continues. On Wednesday he signed a preliminary contract for the delivery of Sputnik V jabs, which will kick in once the Russian-made shot is approved by the European drug regulator.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is in the process of examining the application for approval of the Sputnik jab.
Following a meeting of his cabinet, Mr Söder said batches of the vaccine would arrive for distribution immediately after the green light is given.
As Europe’s healthcare systems threaten to buckle under the third Covid wave, Bavaria has reported a rise in infections.
As a result, the state government has decided to push back the easing of restrictions by at least two weeks.
Markus Soder sidelined Angela Merkel to sign a Sputnik vaccine deal with Russia (Image: GETTY)
Markus Soder sidelined Angela Merkel and the EU (Image: GETTY)
Mr Söder said he expected millions of Sputnik shots to pour into Bavaria this summer to help boost the state’s rollout.
He explained: “If Sputnik is approved in Europe, the Free State of Bavaria will get additional vaccine doses through this company – I think this will be 2.5 million vaccine doses – probably in July to increase the additional vaccination capacities in Bavaria.”
Mr Söder is the leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
If given the go-ahead, the Sputnik vaccines will be produced at a plant in the Bavarian town of Illertissen.