Serbian President Says Balkan Nation Seeking More Warplanes
July 26, 2020
The president of Serbia says the Balkan nation is seeking to purchase more warplanes.
Aleksandar Vucic accused the United States and other Western countries of arming Serbia's NATO neighbors and Kosovo, a former province of Serbia.
"The Americans, Turks, and Germans are taking care of their beloved child," Vucic said on July 26, referring to Kosovo. He said Washington recently delivered a number of armored vehicles to Kosovo's security forces.
Vucic did not say what Serbia intended to buy, but pro-government media have reported that Belgrade has officially requested 20 unspecified military aircraft. Reports have said that, if Washington does not deliver the fighters, Belgrade will likely turn to Russia for Sukhoi-25 military jets.
Serbia has recently received a sophisticated antiaircraft system from Russia, which has also provided fighter jets, attack helicopters, and armored vehicles. Another Serbian ally, China, has delivered military drones.
U.S. officials have in the past spoken openly about introducing sanctions against Serbia if Moscow sends more arms to the country, especially those that could jeopardize the security of neighboring NATO-member states.
Based on reporting by AP
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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