Ukraine says Russia's Sputnik vaccine is not enough to enter country

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FILE PHOTO: A medical worker fills a syringe with Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) vaccine as she prepares to vaccinate a Russian Army service member at a clinic in the city of Rostov-On-Don

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine will not allow foreigners inoculated with the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik into the country if they do not also provide a negative test for the coronavirus, the border service said on Thursday.

Current border crossing rules require a negative COVID-19 test or documentary proof of inoculation with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization.

"In the last two days, there have been cases of foreigners trying to enter from abroad at checkpoints across the state border of Ukraine with documents on immunisation with the Sputnik V vaccine," the border service said in a statement.

"We emphasize that such a document does not give the right to enter Ukraine, as this vaccine is not included in the WHO list," it added.

Ukraine, one of Europe's poorer countries, has lagged behind many of its neighbours in securing vaccines for its 41 million people, asking European Union states for help while refusing to buy Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

In February, Ukraine formally banned registration of Russian-designed vaccines against the coronavirus.

Ukraine started COVID-19 vaccinations in late February and around 1.4 million first shots had been given by June 10.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Mike Collett-White)