Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Szijjarto: Hungary sends vaccines to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro

Hungary has delivered 200,000 doses of vaccines to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Montenegro each, with a view to speeding up their inoculation campaigns and contributing to the restart of their economies, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Monday.

The past “difficult” year was everywhere marked by the pandemic protection efforts, with the protection of people’s life and health, and the vaccines as a tool to that goal, seen as priorities, Szijjarto said in Sarajevo. The Hungarian government has done everything in its power to procure as many vaccines as possible and managed to restart the country’s economy swiftly, thanks to its unique inoculation campaign, he said.

Hungary’s shipment of Sinopharm vaccines is the largest sent yet either of the countries have received, Szijjarto noted.

“Hungary and the Western Balkans mutually depend on each other in economic and security issues, and also in stemming migration … This is one of the reasons we are happy to aid your pandemic protection,” Szijjarto said. “We hope that a speedy inoculation campaign will contribute to a faster relaunch of the economy and boost stability, so you can curb waves of illegal migration,” he added.

Zoran Tegeltija, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s prime minister, thanked Hungary for the shipment and said that the vaccines, which brought the total number of doses in the country to 900,000, will be used primarily to vaccinate the most vulnerable groups. The country is expecting to receive a further 2,000,000 vaccines in the second half of the year, enough for half of the population to receive both doses, he said.

As a new wave of the pandemic is expected to hit in the autumn, the vaccination drive should proceed as fast as possible until then, Tegeltija warned.

Later on Monday, Szijjarto presented the shipment for Montenegro in Podgorica.

He said the pandemic was proof that in a crisis, national measures are always more effective than international institutions end mechanisms. “We need leaders and swift decisions, and comfortable international procedures will not provide that,” he said.

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