“After being ‘abandoned’ by the European Union, many countries in the Balkans began to turn to China and Russia to buy vaccines.” On February 2, the Financial Times reported on the vaccine crisis in the Balkans.
According to the report, after being rejected by European countries, some countries in the Balkans that have been committed to joining the European Union began to turn their eyes to the east.
Among them, Serbia, which has also received the inactivated coronavirus vaccine of the Chinese National Pharmaceutical Group and the Russian “satellite-V” vaccine, has become the “vaccination champion” in Europe in one fell swoop.
A medical worker in Belgrade, Serbia, provides guidance to Belgrade people who are about to be vaccinated against the Chinese biological coronavirus vaccine of the Chinese national pharmaceutical group.
The article said that with the resentment within the European Union over the repeated postponement of coronavirus vaccination, Serbia has made a great leap in vaccination, becoming the country with the highest per capita vaccination rate in continental Europe.
However, instead of using a vaccine made by Western countries, the EU alternate country in the Balkans turned to China to use the inactivated coronavirus vaccine developed by China Biological, the Chinese national pharmaceutical group, becoming the first European country to use this vaccine, which is currently being followed by its Balkan neighbors. .
The article quoted Serbian President Alexander Vučić as saying, “The world is now like the Titanic that has hit an iceberg.
The rich only care about saving themselves and their relatives, and we will sink with the Titanic. This may not be their intention, but it is not particularly important to them. “
The article said that Vučić made this statement last week when explaining his decision to buy a Chinese vaccine.
Vučić, on the one hand, began negotiations on the purchase of an EU-approved vaccine. On the one hand, we should hurry up to buy Chinese and Russian vaccines.
On January 16th, local time, the first batch of 1 million doses of coronavirus vaccine produced by China National Pharmaceutical Group arrived in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, and Vučić also went to the airport to welcome the vaccine.
The article analyzed that although the EU had previously provided 70 million euros to six Balkan countries committed to joining the EU for vaccine purchase, the EU member states’ own vaccine procurement and vaccine shortage caused four of them to have not received any months after some EU countries started vaccination Vaccine.
Some frustrated Balkan countries turned their eyes to China and Russia in the east to ensure that scarce vaccines were supplied.
Some government officials in the region warned that this practice could damage the reputation of the EU in the region.
A North Macedonian government official said that some people might take advantage of the situation, claiming that China and Russia had extended a helping hand in difficult times, while Western governments fled.
But Serbia’s approach is gaining support from other countries in the region, which have confidence in the vaccine distribution plan deployed by the EU.
According to the report, Serbia’s neighbors Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and NATO allies North Macedonia and Montenegro have not received a dose of vaccine so far.
North Macedonia and Montenegro officials announced last week that North Macedonia and Montenegro will purchase vaccines from Russia and China respectively.
On January 31, Zhang Zuo, the Chinese ambassador to North Macedonia, also said in an interview with the North Macedonian media that China has provided formal channels of contact with Chinese vaccine enterprises to North Macedonia in response to inquiries, and suggested that North Macedonia be willing to provide assistance if necessary.
North Macedonian government officials told the Financial Times: “We had hoped to buy Western vaccines to show that we are also a member of the West.
And we initially even ruled out the possibility of negotiating with China and Russia.
But he also said that the North Macedonian government is now unable to stand it, and it is increasingly difficult for the government to find a reasonable explanation for the delay inoculation of the vaccine.
“Since Hungary and other European countries have begun to vaccinate the Chinese National Pharmaceutical Group, it is difficult to explain to the public why we are still waiting for Pfizer. Moderna and AstraZeneca’s three EU-designated coronavirus vaccines,” the administration official said.
Montenegro’s Minister of Health, Jelena Bolovinić, said that Montenegro will seek to buy 50,000 doses of Russian “satellite-V” vaccine in addition to the recent signing of 150,000 doses of Chinese vaccine.
In mid-January, the Bosnia and Herzegovina government said that it would start simultaneous negotiations with China and Russia and Pfizer.
The two countries have been waiting for the supply of vaccines promised by the Coronavirus Vaccine Implementation Plan (COVAX) but have not yet obtained the promised vaccine.
It is reported that the EU has imposed exemptions on Balkan countries, so that these countries will not be affected by the new ban set by the EU to ban the export of vaccines to non-EU countries.
But Adi Serimach, an analyst at the think tank Eurostabilization Initiative, said that the EU was extremely disappointed that the EU could not provide even a symbolic number of vaccines to these EU candidates.” They don’t expect to get a vaccine at the same time as EU member states, but they want at least a clear timeline to determine when they can get it, but now they feel like they’ve been abandoned by the EU.” Adi Serimatch said.
According to foreign media previously publicly reported that the leaders of major EU member states have also frequently turned to “goodwill” to China and Russia vaccines because Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have delayed delivery to the European Union.
German Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said in an interview with the German media Frankfurt Report on January 31 local time that as long as it is approved by the European Union, Germany will not use the coronavirus inactivated vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group and Russia’s “satellite V” coronavirus vaccine. There will be any obstacles.
Asked about the relevant questions on February 1, French government spokesman Atal also said, “we don’t look at the nationality of the vaccine”, and once the European Union Drug Administration approves a vaccine, France will conduct tests “without considering its nationality”.
On February 2nd local time, German Chancellor Merkel also made a statement in an interview program in Germany. Merkel said that Serbia used China’s coronavirus vaccine, so vaccination was faster.
She immediately said that the EU is open to any vaccine for COVID-19, “We sincerely welcome any vaccine company to apply to the European Drug Administration.”