The European Commission is calling on EU countries to give corona vaccines to Ukraine. The country has not yet taken a shot.
President Zelensky is under pressure to turn to Russia for the successful vaccine developed by that big neighbour.
“I have asked our Member States to donate some of their doses to Ukraine,” said Commission Chairman Ursula von der Leyen. “On top of Covax.”
Covax is the international vaccine fund for poor countries of which the European Union is the primary lender. It has promised Ukraine, which has about 40 million inhabitants, 8 million doses.
The first Covax vaccines will come this month, Von der Leyen assured in a video address before a corona conference in Kiev.
Ukraine has also ordered 5 million doses of China’s CoronaVac. It has also secured 12 million doses of AstraZeneca and Novavax, and the Kiev government said last week. That together is not enough to give all Ukrainians the required two shots.
Ever since Kiev distanced itself from Russia and joined the EU, relations with its neighbour have been icy. The West and Russia are vying for influence in Ukraine.