Nigel Farage has landed a stinging broadside against the Merkel-Macron axis after it emerged the European leaders had spoken with Vladimir Putin in a desperate attempt to source more Covid vaccines.
Yesterday, the German chancellery decided again to ban use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The under-55s will be given alternative jabs.
Meanwhile, in France, where bizarrely the Oxford jab is banned for the over-55s, the Kent variant of coronavirus is ripping through the population, prompting despairing doctors to write not one but two open letters to the public, warning them of the awful Covid storm ahead.
All the while, the EU, which is buying up jabs on behalf of Germany and France, cannot get enough of the British jab developed at Oxford University. The dire situation has seen independent-minded Eastern European countries like Hungary set up their own unilateral vaccine procurement programmes, inviting contracts from Russia and China.
Big hitters France and Germany are now looking to do the same, even though the Russian vaccine was dismissed by France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as a “propaganda tool” just days ago.
“In terms of how it is managed, it (the Sputnik vaccine) is more a means of propaganda and aggressive diplomacy than a means of solidarity and health aid,” said Le Drian on Friday.
The Kremlin hit back, with a spokesman saying, “we absolutely disagree with the fact that Russia and China are using the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines as tools of influence.”
Le Drian is not alone in suggesting there is an ulterior purpose for the Sputnik shot. So far, it has been produced in relatively small quantities and given out by the Kremlin to friendly countries here and there on a scale not comparable with AstraZeneca’s output which should reach the billion mark.
But that won’t come for some time, the EU is still seething over its reduced commitment of jabs from the Anglo-Swedish pharma giant, which is only able to provide 70 million of the 180 million doses originally promised, prompting last night’s call with Putin, which has been labelled as a discussion over vaccine “cooperation”. The friendly move towards Moscow is a startling turnaround following years of anti-Russian rhetoric, which has seen Nigel Farage and other influential Brexiteers shockingly accused of involvement in Russian meddling in western democracies.
The Brexit legend took the opportunity to highlight the lack of principle being exercised by Merkel and Macron.
“For years I was slandered in the EU Parliament for ‘Russian Collusion’,” tweeted Farage. “Now France and Germany want the Sputnik vaccine.
“The hypocrisy is incredible.”
In 2018, Eurofanatic MEP, Guy Verhofstadt accused Farage and other anti-EU MEPs of acting as “fifth columnists” against the Eurofederalist project, and in the same breath connecting them with the Kremlin.
The former Belgian prime minister said a “circle of evil around our continent” stretched from “Putin, Erdogan, and on a bad day – and that’s every day at the moment – even Trump”.
Turning to Farage and his allies, Verhofstadt, who was the EU Parliament’s Brexit coordinator at the time, went on to say: “But our problem runs deeper than that, deeper than only foreign policy or external security. Europe has a fifth column in its ranks. Let’s be honest.
“I call them the cheerleaders of Putin: Le Pen, Wilders, Farage. They’re doing only one thing: they take Kremlin money, they take Kremlin intelligence.
“Like Arron Banks, the good friend of Nigel Farage here, who colluded with Russians to make Brexit happen. Together with government leaders like Orbàn, Kaczynski, Salvini: these people have only one goal and that is to destroy Europe, to kill our liberal democracy.”