During the handover ceremony of 4,680 Pfizer vaccines in northern Macedonia at the Tabanovce border crossing, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated that Serbia has no interest other than to show its friendship with northern Macedonia, adding that a friend is someone who wants stay close to you at times, in illness and not just in health.
Northern Macedonia and Serbia on Sunday reaffirmed in a unique way the friendship split between the two countries after Serbia donated 4,680 of its Pfizer vaccines to help health authorities in northern Macedonia. Serbian President Aleksandar Vuiqi udhët traveled to the Tabanovce border crossing to personally deliver the vaccines to Zoran Zaev under very severe weather conditions with snow, wind and severe cold, thus expressing the sincere cooperation, friendship and assistance between neighbors is irreplaceable for nations.
In his remarks later, the Minister of Health of Northern Macedonia Venko Filipce stressed that the contract for distribution of vaccines finally ended on Friday evening, while yesterday the tripartite documents were signed and today the vaccines will be supplied in suitable refrigerators in Skopje. The procedure within the framework of the Drug Agency and the immunization of doctors and medical staff should be completed tomorrow, so that it can start on Wednesday at the hospital set up at the Clinical Center. The rest of the total shipment of 8,000 vaccines is expected soon.
Zaev and Vucic gave short speeches, during which the Serbian president constantly rubbed his hands due to the cold and wind. For Zaev, the vaccines represent an expression of “friendly and neighborly hand and first aid for the citizens of Northern Macedonia until the vaccines we have ordered arrive”. According to Zaev, this gesture shows that countries are bound by the best values and never forget cooperation, friendship and solidarity.
“Our meeting today is the result of cooperation and tradition in the region to give first aid to our first neighbor, and this act strengthens relations between Serbia and Northern Macedonia, which were already friendly,” Zaev said. He thanked Vucic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic for “helping people and our public health system”. Zaev thanked MPs Ivan Stolikovic and Miroslav Jovanovic who through their contacts with the Serbian authorities contributed to the realization of this donation of the Pfizer vaccine.
“We are proud to be a member of NATO, but we are also aware of the lack of vaccines in the world. We are a small country together with all the countries of the Western Balkans that made efforts and signed agreements with Pfizer and Sinofarm from China. “At the end of the week, we expect vaccines to arrive from China to our country,” Zaev said in response to a question.
Aleksandar Vucic made similar remarks. “I am happy that we were able to help,” he said, with a clear allusion to the government of another neighboring country, and made it clear that “Serbia has no other interests than to show friendship with Northern Macedonia.” ” We are not interested in anything but the friendship that moves forward and the growth of economic cooperation. ”
He added that “a true friend is one who stands by in a difficult situation, in illness and not only in health. I think these vaccines will be enough for most doctors in the red areas. He also expressed deep gratitude: “I thank once again my brother the Macedonian people, all the citizens of Northern Macedonia, dear Mr. Zaev who fought for your people to get vaccines faster.”
Later, answering questions from reporters, Vucic said they had to give special guarantees to Pfizer as under the agreement they had no right to distribute the vaccines in any way. “That’s why we had to give special guarantees to Pfizer about how the vaccines were delivered and that the vaccines remain intact. That was the reason behind the delay in their arrival, “Vucic explained.
He also explained that it was impossible for him to go to “Tabanovce” due to the snowstorm, located about 400 km from Belgrade, “however last night we saw that we had completed all the procedures and talked immediately with Prime Minister Zaev; “I said let’s meet so that people can get the vaccines as soon as possible, because I don’t care if I like it today or not.”
This brief ceremony put an end to the slightly larger epic of Pfizer vaccines from Serbia, the delivery of which had previously been delayed due to specific requirements set by the manufacturer. These are the only vaccines that have arrived so far in northern Macedonia. Chinese Sinopharm vaccines are expected to arrive in the coming days.