European Officials See Politics at Play in Sputnik Balkan Delay
European officials believe Russia delayed deliveries of the Sputnik V vaccine to North Macedonia for geopolitical reasons.
The reason why, according to two officials familiar with the matter, is that North Macedonia was one of three western Balkan countries to sign up to a declaration in January and to human rights sanctions in late March over opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s arrest. The Russian vaccine producer denied the allegations.
The official reason provided by Russia to North Macedonia is that postponements were caused by production and demand issues, an official from North Macedonia’s government said. A senior EU diplomat said the move was directly linked to support for the Navalny-related measures. Both spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter.
Russia has touted its Sputnik V…