North Macedonia, Serbia and Albania agreed to re-initiate free border crossing of their citizens without mandatory COVID-19 PCR tests, as well as free medical treatment of patients in the respective countries that are part of the Berlin Process.
North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, accompanied by the Health Minister Venko Filipche, had a video meeting with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, and the Prime ministers of Albania and Serbia, Edi Rama and Ana Brnabić.
Prime Minister Zaev informed that the agreement also includes the assistance that the countries will provide for one another if the health systems in these three countries are overloaded. Zaev provided a plastic explanation for the significance for the citizens if this happens.
“If a citizen of North Macedonia becomes sick and needs to be treated in Albania or Serbia, then our neighboring countries will cover the treatment and our citizens won’t have to pay from their own funds. This will be for the citizens of Albania and Serbia if they happen to need help while visiting Macedonia. These are moments of solidarity, rational thinking, and support we will provide for each other,” concluded Prime Minister Zaev.
He also stressed that the work on coordination to provide COVID-19 vaccines for the citizens of these three countries is underway.
“We shall provide support for each other and shall provide help if the health systems in our countries are overloaded. We are opening green corridors for the travel of our citizens and the economic operators that will lessen the consequences of the COVID-19. The citizens are those that are bearers of the economy to move between the three countries without the need for a mandatory PCR test i.e. they will be freed from an administrative and financial load. They will be adhering to all measures for protection which are almost identical in all three countries,” Zaev said.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić said that this cooperation has a tremendous significance and the memorandums that were signed today will help the countries to function even in conditions of a global pandemic.
“By simplifying the procedures, we are allowing a better development of the economy which is of key importance in this period, as we are expecting the consequences on the economy as a result of the coronavirus crisis,” said Vučić.
The Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama said that he is happy because of the signing of today’s agreements that are helping the freedom of movement for the citizens of North Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia. According to Rama, with tomorrow’s summit in Sofia, a new phase of close collaboration between the states is starting when this initiative and cooperation will include Kosovo. Other countries from the Western Balkans region are expected to participate.