The Sputnik V vaccine – Photo:

Szijjarto: Saving lives can’t be political issue

Failure to globally approve the Russian and Chinese coronavirus vaccines that meet all efficacy and safety requirements can only be attributed to political reasons, Peter Szijjarto, Hungary's foreign minister, said on Facebook on Wednesday.

“But saving lives cannot be a political issue,” the minister added in a live broadcast.

Szijjarto said he would soon leave for Lyon to attend a meeting of EU foreign and health ministers to discuss the global fight against the pandemic, with special focus on assisting developing countries.

New virus variants can only emerge as long as the inoculation rate is low in several countries, the minister said, echoing the view of the WHO director-general that vaccine production is only a matter of capacities.

Szijjarto said the other reason for his visit to France would be the inauguration of a Hungarian consulate in Lyon, the centre of a region with 20,000 Hungarian inhabitants.

France is Hungary’s ninth biggest trading partner, the minister said, adding that the region of Lyon, along with that of Paris, has a key role in economic ties, as it accommodates the headquarters of several high-tech companies with major interests in Hungary.

Over the past few years French investments have helped the Hungarian economy to remain on a growth path, Szijjarto said.

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