16:31 08 Jan 2021

Shmyhal asked European Commission to help Ukraine get vaccine

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, has actually asked the European Commission to help Ukraine obtain a coronavirus vaccine.

Shmyhal's spokeswoman Olha Kuryshko stated this in a comment to European Pravda.

"The Prime Minister addressed the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen with an official letter to promote early access of Ukrainians to vaccination. We are talking about Ukraine receiving the vaccine before March when the first batches of vaccines are expected under the COVAX program," Kuryshko said.

Earlier, Radio Svoboda reported information about Shmyhal's letter to Brussels.

"The current situation shows that we'll be able to receive the vaccine from the COVAX Fund and under bilateral agreements with manufacturers no earlier than March 2021, i.e. later than we can afford. Such an approach could lead to certain isolation of Ukraine from the EU countries, in particular those bordering with Ukraine. We need closer cooperation with the EU and the promotion of early access of Ukrainian citizens to vaccination," as mentioned in the letter from Shmyhal available to Radio Svoboda.

According to him, such interaction will be an important signal of European solidarity "for our population, our friends, and opponents."

"To coordinate the transfer of the vaccine from the EU and our other partners, we've formed a Joint Negotiating Group; we'll give its composition through diplomatic channels. In this context, I suggest that representatives of this group, the relevant EU institutions, and the member states negotiate without delay to plan possible next steps. It'll allow the Ukrainian party to ensure the needed preparedness level," Shmyhal said.

As reported, according to the COVAX program, Ukraine should receive 8-16 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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