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Coronavirus

Slovak Premier, Government Resign Over Russian Vaccine Deal

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Slovakia’s prime minister and his government have resigned to end the political crisis triggered by a secret deal to buy Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

The country’s president has accepted the resignation of Igor Matovic and asked Eduard Heger from Matovic’s Ordinary People party to form a new government.

The crisis erupted when a secret deal became known at the beginning of March involving Slovakia’s agreement to acquire 2 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. The populist prime minister orchestrated the deal despite disagreement among his coalition partners.

Heger served as the finance minister in the outgoing government. It is the first European government to collapse due to its handling of the pandemic. But the move will keep the current four-party coalition in power and avoid the possibility of an early election.

President Zuzana Caputova could swear the new Cabinet in as soon as this week.

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