Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has rejected an offer from former PM Thaksin Shinawatra to help Thailand secure more COVID-19 vaccines from Russia.
Gen Chan-o-cha was responding to remarks made by the self-exiled former premier during a live broadcast on the audio-based social networking app Clubhouse on Tuesday.
Mr Shinawatra noted that Thailand’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout had been proceeding too slowly and suggested more vaccine should be sourced from many producers, not just Sinovac and AstraZeneca.
He said several high-profile businesspeople in Thailand had the capability and extensive connections to secure more vaccines with manufacturers in countries like China and Russia.
The government should ask the tycoons for help, Mr Shinawatra said, “or I could talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin, if you want”.
Asked to comment on the former premier’s s remarks, Gen Chan-o-cha said: “I won’t answer. Don’t relay a question from someone who is not in the country.”
“I don’t know him. Just leave him be.”
The Clubhouse session was hosted by the CARE group of politicians, including Dr Surapong Suebwonglee, Duangrit Bunnag and Theerat Rattanasewi.
Mr Shinawatra joined the forum under the alias of Tony Woodsome.