The government of Nicolas Maduro announced on Saturday that the first batch of 100,000 Spatnik V vaccines, 10 million agreed with Russia, arrived in Venezuela.
The cargo arrived at Micatia International Airport, which serves Caracas, which was diverted from Moscow on a flight by Venezuelan state airline Conviasa.
Vice President Delzi Rodriguez told reporters that “we are proud of the Russia-Venezuelan cooperation” amid US sanctions to try to oust Maduro from power, calling the move “a criminal siege.”
“This is the result of fruitful work between the two countries,” said Sergei Melik-Bakhtasarov, Russia’s ambassador to Caracas.
Venezuela participated in Sputnik V clinical trials.
The site represents 1% of the total amount agreed with Russia in November by a Caribbean government delegation to Moscow.
Maduro said health workers would be given priority to be vaccinated, but activists from his political party also said: We are Venezuela.
The Socialist president predicts that the mass vaccination process will begin in April.
Neither Caracas nor Moscow specified when the next batch would arrive.
In addition to the 10 million doses agreed with Russia, Venezuela has set aside 1.4 to 2.4 million AstraZeneca vaccines through the World Health Organization (WHO) Kovacs organization.
However, those levels did not reach Venezuela because the country had not paid its debt to the World Health Organization, and the UN was unable to assess the impact of sanctions on human rights. Special Rapporteur Alena Dohan said Friday. The first payment period expired on Tuesday.
The Maduro government has restricted access to foreign government accounts, with blocked funds, and its control is with opposition leader Juan Guide, who has been recognized by the United States and fifty countries as president of Venezuela.
With a population of 30 million, Venezuela has 132,259 confirmed cases and 1,267 deaths from Govt-19, according to official figures, which have been questioned by organizations such as Human Rights Watch.