Slovakia’s political crisis, triggered by Sputnik V, deepens

PRAGUE (AP) — The political crisis in Slovakia has deepened after a member of the ruling coalition demanded a reconstruction of the Cabinet. The crisis was triggered by a secret deal to acquire Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine orchestrated by the country’s prime minister despite disagreement among his coalition partners. Prime Minister Igor Matovic has often clashed with his coalition over how to tackle the pandemic but the current crisis is the most serious problem it has faced. Matovic has defended the deal to acquire 2 million Sputnik V vaccines, saying it will speed up the vaccination program. But it was condemned by Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok, said the purchase cast doubts on his country’s clear pro-Western orientation.