Slovak Premier Says He Is ‘Willing’ to Step Down to Quell Crisis

Slovakia’s prime minister said he is willing to resign if his ruling partners meet several conditions, a step closer to ending weeks of coalition turmoil triggered by his decision to purchase coronavirus vaccines from Russia.

Prime Minister Igor Matovic demands that the leader of a junior government party Freedom and Solidarity, Richard Sulik, leave his post of economy minister, according to his comments broadcast on the Sme newspaper’s website. Matovic also said that Freedom and Solidarity must give up one of its ministries and that he wants to stay in the cabinet.

The four-way ruling alliance has been rocked by infighting and personal animosities among its leaders since taking power a year ago. The latest feud emerged earlier this month when Matovic said Slovakia will get 2 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia, skirting the usual approval from Slovak and the European Union drug regulators.

The move drew a rebuke from President Zuzana Caputova and his coalition partners who said the premier had made the deal behind their backs and that it threatened to undermine the EU and NATO nation’s foreign policy orientation.

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