The coronavirus exposed lingering divisions in the Balkans, and now Europe’s most volatile region is once again cleaving along geopolitical and ethnic lines over efforts to get people vaccinated.

The European Union has pledged to give six prospective members 70 million euros ($85 million) to buy Covid shots, but deliveries are facing delays. That’s empowered Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to leverage his links with China and traditional ally Russia into pledging vaccine donations to North Macedonia and to the ethnic Serbs in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Military personnel and members of the public queue to receive the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in the Belgrade Fair exhibition center on Jan. 19.

Photographer: Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg

The 18 million people who live in the western Balkans have been severely hit by coronavirus, with parts of former Yugoslavia recording among the world’s highest per-capita…

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