Bulgaria’s 45th National Assembly voted on May 7 to reject a decision that would have paved the way for talks on deliveries of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.
Tabled by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the resolution would have mandated the government to “undertake all necessary actions to secure Russian Covid-19 vaccine and the access of Bulgarian citizens to it.”
The proposal was rejected with 83 votes in favour, 69 opposed and 56 abstentions. In addition to the socialists, the proposal was backed by cable television presenter Slavi Trifonov’s ITN party, as well as several MPs from other parliamentary groups.
This was the second time that BSP tabled a resolution on Sputnik V in Parliament, having had an earlier proposal rejected in the previous legislature in March.
At that time, the 44th National Assembly instead gave the Cabinet a mandate to discuss vaccine deliveries with manufacturers outside the EU and European Economic Area, once their jabs have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The question of EMA approval was the topic of heated debate in Parliament and several MPs argued that without such approval, even if the BSP proposal were to pass, the Sputnik V vaccines could not be used under the existing Bulgarian legal framework.
Bulgaria’s outgoing Health Minister Kostadin Angelov also made that point on April 29, saying that such a resolution would put the Health Minister in a position requiring them to break the law.
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