(ZEROHEDGE) – Alexei Navalny is on hunger strike, prompting European governments to again criticize the Kremlin for alleged human rights abuses (both the U.S. and EU slapped more sanctions on Russia over Navalny's alleged "poisoning" and are now complaining about Russian troop movements near the Ukrainian border) and demand his release. But while they publicly bash President Vladmir Putin, European leaders are quietly negotiating with his government to try and get their hands on supplies of "Sputnik V".
At this point, the U.S. has tried to pressure friendly governments into rejecting the vaccine to no avail. With Washington hogging most of its supplies, asking allies to pass up desperately needed vaccines to help further a geopolitical agenda was simply too big an ask. Despite Brussels' scorn, Russia has struck a production deal with Italy, – while Hungary and Slovakia have already approved the vaccine for use on adults.
And pretty soon, France and Germany, the EU's two largest economies, might defy bureaucrats in Brussels and approve "Sputnik V" as well.
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