NATO military presence in the Black Sea intensified following the 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government is visibly uninterested in the fact that vaccination campaigns have already started across every European country. Instead of solving the health crisis, Ukraine is rather interested in creating tensions with Russia.
This pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative is aimed discrediting the Ukrainian authorities that, as all other governments, are fighting to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
On January 29, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's parliament) has overwhelmingly voted to ban the approval of vaccines that are made in Russia.
While Ukraine did ban the use of the Russian-made vaccines and the Ukrainian parliament's move is indeed associated with pro-Kremlin aggression in eastern Ukraine, the narrative, according to which the country's leadership is against solving the health crisis by using vaccines, is false.
At the same time as the Verkhovna Rada voted to impose restrictions on vaccines made in Russia, it also voted to fast-track the process of registering vaccines from the United States, the European Union, China, India and Mexico.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, Ukraine hopes to receive 8 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the first half of 2021(opens in a new tab): Ukraine participates in the global COVAX Facility, which has been set up to provide COVID-19 vaccines. The COVAX mechanism is part of the Accelerated Access Initiative(opens in a new tab), which was also launched by WHO. COVAX is led by three organisations: the World Health Organisation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
Ukraine had also held talks with all possible vaccine manufacturers(opens in a new tab) and suppliers and already issued budget funds for the purchases.
Pro-Kremlin disinformation actors have run systemic efforts to undermine public trust in Western-developed vaccines. See previous cases here.