Hungary’s Medical Aid Reopens Bosnia’s Wounds

Amid a row in Bosnia over whether aid was being sent to the country on a selective basis, Hungary on Thursday sent a plane load of 200,000 masks and 10,000 protective suits.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who accompanied the shipment, met Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic in Sarajevo and was due to Milorad Dodik, Serbian member of the Bosnian state presidency, later on in Banja Luka.

Turkovic recently wrote to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell and to Szzijjarto expressing appreciation for their assistance, but also complaining that countries were sending aid selectively to only one of the two entities in Bosnia, Republika Srpska, which she said was not in line with the principle of the equality of all citizens in Bosnia.

Turkovic was referring mainly to Hungary and Russia, but also to Croatia, which has announced it will send financial assistance to the Croat community in Bosnia.

After the Croatian government decided to send 5.6 million euros to assist the fight against the coronavirus epidemic in Bosnia, it said the money would be transferred to the University Clinical Hospital in the ethnic Croat stronghold of Mostar.

The promised donation to Mostar Hospital angered some members of the public and politicians in Croatia, who interpreted it as a political favour for the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, the main Croat party in Bosnia, whose sister HDZ party governs in Croatia.

Health Minister Vili Beros defended the move, saying Croatia had a constitutional obligation to protect and promote the rights and interests of Croats living outside the country.

The Hungarian embassy in Sarajevo has since clarified that half its assistance will be sent to the Federation entity in Bosnia and half to the...

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