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Ukraine to never register Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, health minister says

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky earlier justified the country’s rejection of Sputnik V by its alleged lack of proof of efficiency

KIEV, March 5. /TASS/. Kiev will not register Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine under any circumstances, Ukrainian Health Minister Maxim Stepanov vowed Friday.

"Under no circumstances will the Russian Sputnik V vaccine be registered in Ukraine. You will not persuade me to do it by any argument," he underscored, speaking in Verkhovna Rada (parliament).

Commenting on a lawmaker’s remark that other countries use the Russian vaccine, Stepanov claimed that "Russia did not take other countries’ territory."

The minister also disclosed that over 127,000 Ukrainians applied for vaccination. According to the ministry's statistics, 12,481 people got inoculated, 2,913 of them - in the past 24 hours.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky justified Ukraine’s rejection of Sputnik V by its alleged lack of proof of efficiency, adding that his citizens "are not guinea pigs."

On February 24, Ukraine became one of the last countries to roll out vaccination. Currently, Ukraine registered two vaccines - India’s Covishield, produced under AstraZeneca license, and Pfizer-BioNTech. Kiev expects shipment of over 100,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, some 2 million doses of Sinovac, almost 4 million of AstraZeneca vaccine and 15 million doses of US-made NovaVax.

In March 2014, following the coup d’etat in Ukraine, the Supreme Council of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence of the republic. On March 16, a referendum took place, with about 96% of voters in Crimea and Sevastopol backing reunification with Russia. On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the agreements on accession of the republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to Russia. Ukraine would not recognize the will of the Crimean people.