NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that each of the bloc’s member states individually decided which COVID-19 vaccines should be used in their country.
“It is not for NATO to recommend what kind of vaccines different NATO allies should use, this is ultimately a decision that has to be taken by individual allies,” Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger when asked about the use of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in some NATO member states.
According to the NATO chief, there is still a great demand for vaccines worldwide.
Slovakia, a NATO member state, received the first batch of Sputnik V on March 1. The purchase was initiated by Igor Matovic, the country’s prime minister at the time, and former Health Minister Marek Krajci.
The decision to purchase the Russian vaccine without the approval of the European regulator received massive backlash, which resulted in Krajci and Matovic resigning from their posts.
The new cabinet, headed by Eduard Heger, was approved on April 1, and Matovic took the post of deputy prime minister and head of the Finance Ministry.