Regional governor: Hamáček boasted of securing 1 million Sputnik V vaccine doses

A regional governor has gone on the record alleging that Interior Minister Jan Hamáček boasted of having secured 1 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Pardubice Governor Martin Netolický, a fellow Social Democrat, was quoted by Seznam Zprávy and later confirmed the information to Internet television channel DVTV.

On Wednesday, Hamáček said he was filing a civil complaint against Seznam Zprávy over an article in which multiple sources said he considered negotiating with Moscow for anti-coronavirus vaccines in exchange for Prague’s silence over the alleged involvement of Russian agents in the deadly Vrbětice explosions of 2014.

But according to Netolický, Hamáček boasted that having secured the Sputnik V doses would boost support at the ballot box for the Social Democrats, of which he is party chairman.

Netolický said the conversation took place on April 15, which is the same day Seznam Zprávy reported a meeting took place at the Interior Ministry during which Hamáček told several senior diplomatic, judicial and other officials of his intention to travel to Moscow to negotiate a silence-for-doses deal.

A few days earlier, Tomáš Petříček was sacked as foreign minister ostensibly for having sought the Social Democrat party chairman post, and Hamáček temporarily was serving the top Czech diplomat. Opposition parties have branded Hamáček a “traitor” and are calling for a thorough investigation into the matter.

Author: Brian Kenety