The puzzle of French expatriates living in Russia

Authorities are sounding the alarm in the face of the

French expatriates living in Russia are visibly forced to over-vaccinate. Indeed, France only authorizes four vaccines in its vaccination schedule and has ruled out the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. A real headache for our fellow citizens who are established in Russia. Testimony.

While many anti-Covid-19 vaccines administered around the world are recognized by the World Health Organization, France only authorizes four of them. While the vaccination pass should come into force soon, French expatriates who live in Russia tear their hair out.

“France does not recognize the Russian vaccine, but offers no other solution”

In expatriate memory, Denis* has never experienced such an ubiquitous situation. His life and that of his family has been turned upside down since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Bitten with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, the members of this family, who live in Moscow, find themselves in a Kafkaesque situation. The Russian vaccine does not currently allow them to access the French health pass. Even less to the vaccination pass when it will be required in France. They had no choice but to receive the Sputnik vaccine.

In Russia, Pfizer or Moderna, recognized in France, are not available. And the Quai d’Orsay did not hesitate to ask the French community to turn to local vaccines. A paradox. These French people seem to be hostages of a geopolitical vaccine.

France does not recognize the Russian vaccine, but offers no other solution. Other European countries such as Finland and Germany have brought vaccines to Russia for their expatriates. The worst thing is that it is known that the staff of the French Embassy have been vaccinated with Pfizer », Says by telephone and with spite our interlocutor. Around 3,000 French people live in Moscow. Some have turned to the embassy, ​​which does not respond. Others even sent letters to the ministries concerned, which remained unanswered.

The solution in Croatia!

For the Christmas holidays, Denis, his wife and children remained in Moscow, reluctantly. They would have been forced to isolate themselves for ten days in France when it was practically the duration of the stay, planned for a long time. An additional frustration for the children who wanted to see the grandparents.

Without the four vaccines authorized by France – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Jansen – it is impossible to have a complete vaccination schedule, so no health pass. And by mid-January, the vaccine pass will not be accessible either.

Until now, expatriates who returned to French soil vaccinated with Sputnik still had the possibility of presenting a negative antigen or PCR test to access places where the health pass was compulsory. Soon, with the vaccine pass, there will be no other solution than to multiply the vaccine doses.

I would like to be vaccinated in France, but it is difficult to get an appointment. In addition, I would have to lie, because as I am already vaccinated with two doses of Russian vaccine, I am not entitled to receive another vaccine explains Denis, who has lived in Russia for 28 years. He should very soon find the solution by getting himself and his family vaccinated, free of charge and without an appointment, in Croatia. A situation ” ridiculous ” according to him, who wonders if the French authorities have ” measure ” the problem.

“I still have all my family in France”

We have lived in Russia for a very long time and we have always put forward the values ​​of France. I never intended to apply for Russian citizenship, but now I’m thinking. It’s easier to travel to France for a Russian than for us. It’s scandalous, I still have all my family in France. Am I a second-class French citizen? “, he protests.

Between his vaccines in Russia and those that will be carried out in Zagreb, he will total four doses before the two boosters necessary for each vaccine. ” I’m going to gamble with my health so I can visit my parents! It’s not normal “, he concludes.

On January 11, the spokesperson for Muscovite expatriates, Franck Ferrari, adviser to the French in Moscow, sent a letter addressed to Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, in charge of French people living abroad. ” The French in Russia do not have the luxury of being for or against vaccination, they have simply been abandoned “, He wrote in this letter that RFI was able to consult.

* name has been changed