If only one of 5,000 coronavirus vaccines that Serbia donated to Bosnia and Herzegovina saves a life, then it is worth it, Croat member of BiH Presidency Zeljko Komsic told reporters following the meeting of BiH tripartite Presidency and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who arrived in Sarajevo on Tuesday to hand over the donation.
Komsic said that this might spark various comments, but he asked all those listening to this news about one thing: “If only one of these 5,000 vaccines, or potentially 10,000, saves a life to someone in BiH, then it is worth it.”
Vucic also addressed reporters, explaining that the donation is sufficient for the immunisation of 10,000 persons and that this delivery is intended for the citizens of the Bosnia's Federation (FBIH) entity.
As for the comments on the vaccine producer (AstraZeneca made in India), Vucic said Serbia will have five producers available soon and deliver any vaccine that BiH citizens want.
The officials also discussed further cooperation between the two countries. According to Vucic, he asked his hosts to consider a summit that would gather all administrative levels of authority from BiH and Serbia as well as businessmen and entrepreneurs from both countries.
“In the spirit of trust, cooperation and openness, to see how and in which way to open the borders for each other, to have our phytosanitary inspections working 24/7, to open passage for our trucks and to increase salaries and pensions for our citizens,” said Serbian President.
He stressed that his visit was not about the vaccines only but about trust.
“We need each other the most because we live next to each other and we have no one else to rely on. Because today, when we expected the help of much more powerful countries, we are relying on each other, because we in Serbia cannot be happy if people in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Bijeljina are not happy too,” Vucic noted, adding that only together the countries will grow stronger and speak with one voice towards Brussels and the rest of the world.
Serbia and BiH together have the highest growth rate in Europe and they can catch up with the developed countries if they trust each other, he stressed, adding: “This will be Serbia’s policy.”
Addressing the reporters, BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik said the relations of the two countries are good but burdened with some open issues.
He welcomed the Serbian President’s idea about the BiH-Serbia summit.
“We accepted it and will formalise that idea. This is how we will reach a solution to improve the relations between BiH and Serbia, and all those having an interest in coming to the Serbian market,” he added.
Bosniak Presidency member Sefik Dzaferovic assessed Serbia’s donation as an “act of solidarity” at the moment when all global, multi-lateral mechanisms failed to work.
He stressed that good neighbourly relations are in BiH’s interest and that it is necessary to “finally start relaxing the relations.”
“Vucic's visit was not only about delivering this donation. To me, it was more than that and I said why. We must start relaxing the relations, people are leaving both BiH and Serbia, they are leaving for well-organised systems, to the West. It is about time to open our dialogue based on these principles. No more tensions, no more empty talks, BiH is an integral country and we will build it in the interest of all its peoples and citizens,” concluded Dzaferovic.