Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month.
The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik, the newly-appointed Russian ambassador to Cambodia.
In the Facebook post, Hun Sen congratulated Russia on developing its vaccine. He said it would help the world in its fight against the disease, which has disrupted the economies, societies and relations between many of the world’s countries.
The post read: “In the meantime, Samdech Techo [Hun Sen] requested Russia to provide a Covid-19 vaccine to Cambodia to help with the containment of the virus in the country.”
In mid-August, less than two months after vaccine trials started, President Vladimir Putin announced that his country had developed a Covid-19 vaccine named Sputnik-V and approved it for use in Russia. The country plans on vaccinating its people next month.
But some experts expressed concern about the safety of the vaccine because the trial period was so short. The UN also insisted that Russia respect the international principles of developing any potential vaccine.
However, Cambodia’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine previously confirmed that Cambodia would take a Covid-19 vaccine from any country only if it was recognised and approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
During the meeting with Borovik, Hun Sen mentioned the aid provided to Cambodia by the Russian government and its people in the past, especially during the 1980s when Cambodia was in a crisis after its liberation from the Khmer Rouge, the genocidal Pol Pot regime.
At that time, very few countries officially recognised Cambodia.
Hun Sen regarded that aid as a main contributor to Cambodia’s path to peace, stability and development. He made special mention of aid given to the education sector, which helped Cambodia improve its human resources. The aid encouraged Cambodia to thrive and prosper, he said.
The newly-appointed Russian ambassador told Hun Sen that relations between Cambodia and Russia have been good for 64 years. Next year will be the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The ambassador stated that in his diplomatic mission to Cambodia, he would try his best to strengthen the two countries’ existing bond of friendship. He vowed to help the two countries cooperate, especially on human resources, the economy, culture-sharing and diplomacy.
Borovik also applauded the celebration of the 27th anniversary of Cambodia establishing its Constitution.