A new batch of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in Serbia from Russia. President Aleksandar Vucic personally welcomed the shipment in the Belgrade airport on Sunday evening. Tanjug news agency broadcasted the shipment arrival aboard an Air Serbia flight live.
"Today is an important day," Vucic told reporters, speaking about the arrival of the new batch. "Russian friends executed everything perfectly on time and we are eternally grateful to them." "I would especially thank President Putin, I am exceptionally grateful to him for the help to Serbian people and Serbia," the leader added.
Vucic also expressed hope that Serbia would be able to produce the Russian jab in the country before the end of the year, TASS reports.
The ceremony was attended by Russia’s Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, Serbian Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar and head of inter-governmental committee for cooperation with Russia Nenad Popovic. It is expected that the vaccine shipment will be sent to the Torlak Virology Institute upon the arrival in Belgrade and later be distributed around the country.
Earlier on Sunday, Popovic announced the coming arrival of a new shipment of the Russian vaccine following phone talks with Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov. Popovic recalled that Serbia would receive all purchased vaccine doses until end of April.
The Russian vaccine enjoys great popularity among Serbians. Serbia’s Ambassador to Russia Miroslav Lazanski earlier said that 85% of Serbians who made inoculation appointments want to get the Russian jab.