Thanks to Oleg Firer, Grenada and other CARICOM states get the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to combat COVID-19
Oleg Firer, Grenada’s ambassador in the Russian Federation, facilitated the agreement between the two states. Russia will supply up to 1 million Sputnik V doses to the Caribbean to combat the pandemic.
Russia will help the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to combat COVID-19. Up to 1,000,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine will be sent to Grenada. From there, the product will be distributed across the region. Grenada will be in charge of the regulatory approval of Sputnik V and its logistics. This country will become the local centralized distribution point for the vaccine.
The agreement that facilitates the registration and distribution of Sputnik V in CARICOM has become a significant diplomatic achievement. H.E. Oleg Firer, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Grenada in the Russian Federation, put a lot of effort into making this initiative come to life. Nickolas Steele, minister for health and social security of Grenada, has characterized Sputnik V as a ” credible option”.
A Brief History of Russian-Grenadian Relations
Diplomatic relations between Grenada and the USSR were established in 1979. But in 1983, they were severed at the initiative of the Governor-General of Grenada. That year, a state coup took place on the island. The revolutionary military council came to power. Then, the American invasion followed (Operation Urgent Fury).
In 2002, the official Russian-Grenadian relations were successfully restored and have been strengthening ever since. Currently, there is no Russian Embassy in Grenada, so Russia’s interests in this island state are represented by the Embassy in Guyana. Grenada’s diplomatic mission in Moscow is the only fully accredited mission of CARICOM in the Russian Federation.
Until 2017, there was no Grenadian ambassador in Moscow. When Oleg Firer was appointed to this position, it came as a surprise to many. Mr.Firer is not a professional politician. He is a versatile entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience. Moreover, he was not born in Grenada and he started to run a business in this country not so long ago. Yet his contribution to the national wellbeing, healthcare, economy and infrastructure turned out to be so impressive that he was granted Grenadian citizenship.
The Prime Minister of the island state got to know Mr.Firer well and suggested that he should lead a diplomatic mission. At first sight, this might have looked like an unexpected decision. But in fact, modern business and politics have a lot in common. When representatives of two states meet, they discuss not the ideology but highly pragmatic matters, such as investments, exchange of technologies or healthcare supplies. From this perspective, hardly anyone could cope with the ambassador functions better than Oleg Firer.
Mr.Firer Biography: from the USSR to the Caribbean
Oleg was born in 1977 in Ukraine, which was a part of the Soviet Union back then. He speaks fluent Russian, so it was only natural for him to choose Moscow as the destination of his diplomatic mission. In 1989, Oleg’s family migrated to the US. His parents were not connected with politics or big business, so the boy started to earn his daily bread at the tender age of eleven. For some people, that would be just a part-time job. But Oleg quickly realized that he found his vocation. He had a knack for making money, convincing people and delivering his ideas to others. After he finished school, he passed college admission exams but preferred to focus on work instead. By the time he was 17, he was already the general manager for a chain of electronic stores.
Oleg Firer gained massive experience in the sphere of online payment options. He has also tried himself at real estate, gambling, entertainment and now, he is interested in electric vehicles. He has launched a thriving Star Capital company and in 2015, became a Board Member for StarTeleMed.
StarTeleMed promotes remote medicine and provides on-demand healthcare delivery services. The Grenadian government invited Oleg to the Caribbean to explore the potential of remote medicine in the region. He successfully completed this mission. Besides, he saw exciting opportunities in developing blockchain technologies in CARICOM.
In 2017, Oleg became a Board Member of Star Development Limited in Grenada. This company is concentrated on private investment and development business. The same year, Mr.Firer was appointed Board Member of the non-profit St. George’s Club in Grenada. This community facilitates networking on the regional level.
Currently, Oleg lives in Moscow with his family. He has a wife and two daughters. He is very much involved in Grenada’s economy, healthcare and technological progress. Without any doubt, this prominent man will do a lot of good to the island state in the future — especially given that he is just 43 years old.
The Advantages of Sputnik V
The product was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow. In August 2020, the Russian Ministry of Health registered it as Gam-COVID-Vac.
Foreign countries started to vaccinate their citizens with Sputnik V in February 2021. The authoritative medical journal The Lancet states that the efficiency of this product reaches 91.6%. Unlike some of its alternatives that have been used internationally, this vaccine has caused no unusual side effects so far.
The demand for Sputnik V comes from all continents. Foreign buyers will receive over 1.2 bln doses of the Russian vaccine. It has already been registered in over 50 countries. Over 20 countries have started to use it.
One dose of Sputnik V consists of two injections, Ad5 and Ad26. The time interval between them is three weeks. Both of them are administered in the deltoid muscle. After a double injection, people develop a longer immunity against COVID-19.
The governments and residents of CARICOM countries are looking forward to feeling the benefits of Sputnik V. Only thanks to international collaboration, the world will be able to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreement that facilitates the supplies of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to the Caribbean is a milestone in Russian-Grenadian relations. At the same time, it is just one of the numerous achievements that Oleg Firer has made for this island state. Thousands of people are grateful to this prominent entrepreneur and diplomat — and the future looks decidedly bright for him.