The EU may restrict the export of vaccines to countries with a higher vaccination rate of the population, which do not share their own vaccines so that EU countries do not suffer from a shortage.
According to Politico, this was said by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
At a press conference on March 17, she threatened to restrict exports to countries that do not share their vaccines. The media took this as an allusion to the UK in the first place.
“We want to see the reciprocity and proportionality of exports, and we are ready to use any available tools to ensure this. This is a way to ensure that Europe gets its fair share,” the President of the European Commission explained, saying that she would discuss this issue with the leaders of the bloc and countries – members.
Ursula von der Ljaen noted that over the past 6 weeks, 41 million doses of vaccine have been exported from the EU to 33 other countries of the world.
“The open road must be open in both directions, and therefore we want to guarantee reciprocity and proportionality,” said the President of the European Commission. If such reciprocity is not observed, the EU “will have to think about how to make exports to countries where the vaccine is also produced, dependent on their openness.”
“We will consider whether exports to countries with a higher vaccination rate than ours is still proportional,” she added.
When asked which countries this might affect in the first place, von der Leyen said that Britain is the “# 1 destination” for the export of EU-produced vaccines.
“Over the past 6 weeks, 10 million doses of the vaccine have been exported to Britain,” she said, adding that the EU is still waiting for shipments that should have come from Britain.
She noted that the situation with the United States is different – there is no export of finished vaccines in both directions, and the supply of some components is proceeding without problems.
The UK criticized these words as a threat, saying that when introducing a vaccine export control mechanism, Brussels explained this primarily by the need for transparency.
“We expect the EU to continue to adhere to its commitments … The implementation of the restrictions will hurt global efforts to combat this virus,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman.