Greece Acknowledges Sputnik V Vaccine, Welcomes Russian Tourists
Greece will recognise Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in its vaccination certificate, making it easier for Russian tourists to travel and spend their summer holidays in Greece.
During a visit in Moscow, Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis assured Russians that Greece's national vaccination committee includes the Russian vaccine as an equivalent to European vaccines for travel purposes.
"There is, therefore, no issue for Russian citizens who are vaccinated to come without having to undergo a screening procedure and additional tests," Theocharis said.
The EU Green Pass regulation due to be adopted soon does not recognise vaccines not approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, it is flexible enough to allow EU member states to recognise these vaccines, such as Russia's Sputnik V, on a bilateral level.
Greek politicians recently bickered over the Russian vaccine.
Tsipras, the leader of the main opposition Syriza party (European Left), called on the conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (European People's Party) to follow the example of other EU member states and order the Sputnik V vaccine.
The Greek prime minister reacted negatively to Tsipras' suggestion, opposing any purchase negotiation outside of the EU framework. He also added that there are no vaccines available from Russia.
Reacting to EURACTIV's article, the Russian company tweeted: "Sputnik V confirms that even given requests from 59 other countries, it can supply Greece already in May with vaccine for 500,000 people. Together we are stronger!".
Tourism is a key element for the Greek economy as it produces one-fifth of the country's GDP and thousands of seasonal jobs per year. In 2019, for instance, Greece saw a record of about...