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How the Sputnik vaccine brought down Slovakia’s Prime Minister

March was a dark month for Slovakia. Covid cases and deaths in the country were among the highest in Europe, while political tensions reached breaking point this week with the resignation of Prime Minister Igor Matovič, after the country controversially purchased Sputnik V vaccine doses. Following disputes within the ruling coalition over the decision to depart from the EU’s vaccine strategy, Matovič agreed to trade places with the Minister of Finance, making him the first European leader to fall victim to ‘vaccine diplomacy’ amid concerns about a shift eastward in Slovak foreign policy. Matovič’s fall is particularly painful given the wave of optimism which swept him to power in last year’s