The Serbian president on Tuesday arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital with 5,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccines for donation.

Aleksandar Vucic was welcomed by Milorad Dodik, the chairman of the three-men Bosnian presidency, and Sefik Dzaferovic, the Bosniak member, at the Butmir Airport.

Before his departure, Vucic said he was very happy to bring the first doses of the vaccines.

“I am happy if we will save five, 10, or 20 lives. That is an important and big thing,” said Vucic, adding that Serbia had the good fortune to provide more vaccines.

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic criticized the donation saying that the vaccines were produced in India and do not yet have approval for use in the EU.

Commenting on Turkovic’s earlier remarks, Vucic said it was not about AstraZeneca vaccines, but because they were coming from the Serbian president.

“I don’t think the problem is the AstraZeneca vaccine, it’s a great vaccine. The problem is it comes from Serbia and it comes from Vucic. When they don’t know what to say, people can say anything,” Vucic noted.

For his part, Dodik said Turkovic’s remarks were “unnecessary and stupid” and that she was not the first and only one making similar remarks.

“She will not be a user of that vaccine, since we know her views on that, but we should not prevent other people, especially health workers who know the dangers of the virus,” said Dodik.

Bosnia’s Serb entity on Monday received the second jab of 20,000 Sputnik V vaccines from Russia. Republika Srpska has launched inoculation separately from the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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