The Hungarian government has said it is in talks with unnamed countries to pursue bilateral agreements to recognize Covid-19 vaccine certificates after Budapest elected to administer non-EU approved jabs.
Speaking on Thursday during a regular press conference, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas told reporters that Budapest was coordinating with other, unnamed nations, around the mutual acceptance of vaccination certificates.
Gulyas said discussions would take place with any country that was open to the idea and would allow for the free movement of people among participating nations.
The comments come as Orban announced on his Facebook page on Thursday afternoon that he had been on a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping. His Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto suggested that the topic of conversation was pandemic cooperation.
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While Hungary is an EU member, and its citizens will be able to use the ‘green certificate’ for travel across the 27-nation bloc when it launches, the country has also been administering vaccines that have not been approved by the European Medicines Agency.
The EU’s ‘green certificate’ will only allow people to move around the bloc if they have recently recovered from Covid, provided negative test results, or have been vaccinated with an approved shot.
Hungary is the only country in the EU to authorize the use of the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines. As of Tuesday, Budapest had received 3.5 million shots from Russian and Chinese producers in addition to 3.6 million vaccines under the EU procurement program.
As of Thursday, nearly 40% of the country’s population have been vaccinated, considerably more than most other EU nations.
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