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Serb Part of Bosnia Gets Russian Sputnik V Shots

Αssociated Press

In this photo released by Imam Khomeini Airport City, Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines are unloaded at the Tehran s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (Saeed Kaari/IKAC via AP)

BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — A shipment of 20,000 Russian Sputnik V vaccines has arrived in the Serb-dominated part of Bosnia that has launched inoculation separately from the rest of the Balkan country.

This is the second shipment of the Russian vaccines to the Serb entity in Bosnia that has close relations with Moscow. The remaining part of Bosnia has been run by the country’s Bosniaks and Croats since the ethnic war during the 1990s’.

Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic on Monday welcomed the shipment. He says Republika Srpska, which is the name for the Serb entity in Bosnia, has moved to acquire the Russian vaccines because of delays in the arrival of vaccines through the international COVAX program.

Bosnia has threatened to sue COVAX unless the vaccines are shipped by an agreed term. The COVAX officials have said they need to make sure that Bosnia has fulfilled all the conditions first.

Bosnian Serb PM Viskovic says his government is working to acquire the Chinese vaccines as well. Bosnian Serb medical staff also have been crossing into neighboring Serbia to receive vaccines there.