During Serbia's Parliament session on Wednesday, an MP of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) asked Dragan Solak, United Group's Founder and Chairman of Advisory Board, how many ventilators, protective gear and medicines had he donated to the country since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, despite the Group had donated over a million Dollars.
„My question is for people like (an opposition leader) Dragan Djilas, for people like Solak, for people like (N1 News Director) Jugoslav Cosic, how many ventilators, protective suits, medicines did they give?,“ Aleksandar Martinovic asked.
He then said that „Dragan Djilas’ budget“ was close to „the budget of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and my question and the SNS question -to all those who frighten people every day how (President Aleksandar)Vucic will poison them with some American vaccine – is what have you done to help the citizens of Serbia.“
The assistance of the United Group of one million Dollars – in medical equipment for health centres in Serbia and donations in money – was delivered in full to Serbia’s Government.
Nova.rs recalled that the United Group ordered and paid for the equipment for Serbia on March 15, but that humanitarian aid was ignored by state officials and media close to the authorities.
The Group’s statement said in May after the last contingent of medical equipment arrived in April, it had donated 570,000 Dollars to Serbia’s people for the fight against COVID-19, provided 250,000 masks, 8,800 sets of tests, 440 thermometers and 7,000 goggles.
Besides, an additional 221,500 masks worth 67,000 Dollars and 600 litres of alcohol were donated to the Kragujevac Clinical Center in central Serbia.
The Group added that „we note with regret that while we were among the first to order and pay for equipment for Serbia on March 15, the United Group’s humanitarian action was hidden from citizens and ignored by state officials and media close to the authorities, with organised a campaign to deny our support to people in Serbia.“
The denial of support continued during the ceremony at the Kragujevac CC, when the management thanked numerous donors who helped during the coronavirus pandemic, but not to the SBB Foundation.
The CC director Predrag Sazdanovic later said that he „forgot“ to mention everyone.
The director of the SBB Foundation, Jovana Lukic then said that it was unusual that he managed to forget these donations, mostly because SBB had been installing cables and other equipment at the Center since last year, according to the donation agreement.
The realisation of this donation is worth about 60,000 Euro just in the equipment.
„We are not surprised by this situation, given that the United Group’s donation of more than one million and sixty-seven thousand Dollars was not reported by any media close to the Government. Civil servants even told untruths about how the United Group and its founder Dragan Solak had not donated anything,“ Lukic said in May.
„Unfortunately, politics has intervened in humanitarian activities in Serbia to split the donors as suitable and unsuitable. Despite the Government’s obstructions, we will continue to help Serbia’s people. SBB and SBB Foundation will complete the donation of the infrastructure that has already been set up and will provide visitors and employees of CC Kragujevac with free internet and television,“ Lukic at the time.
Nova.rs and N1 operate within United Media, which is a part of the United Group.