Russian Sputnik V vaccine splits Slovakia ruling coalition

PRAGUE (AP) — Slovakia faces a political crisis over a secret deal to acquire Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine orchestrated by the country’s prime minister despite a disagreement of his coalition partners. The country’s prime minister has defended the move, saying Tuesday it was made in the public interest amid a surge of infections in one of the hardest hit European Union countries. He says the point is the vaccine “saves lives.” Slovakia is only the second European Union country to use the vaccine after Hungary. It has not been approved by European Union’s drug regulator, a reason why two parties in the coalition government are against its use.