Why does Serbia want more Mig fighters?

Belarus has agreed to donate four MiG-29 fighters to Serbia, Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin told the Politika daily on 21 April.

mig apr 25 2018 3.png

They “will be overhauled and modernised under the same model as the six aircraft received from the Russian Federation”, Vulin said.

In October 2017 Russia transferred six decommissioned MiG-29s to Serbia under a multi-year agreement covering long-term logistics, the general overhaul, and modernisation of the entire Serbian MiG-29 fleet.

Minister Vulin added that this delivery makes up the fleet of 14 MiG-29 fighter jets under Serbian Army, thanks to the supplies of six MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia and four such warplanes from Belarus.

The Serbia defense minister said that while visiting Moscow in April he had had talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu on supplies of four Mi-35 combat helicopters, four Mi-17 transport helicopters, T-72 tanks, BMP-2 armored infantry carriers and missile defense systems.

Now the warplanes are to be modernized in three stages. The country plans to spend a sum from 180 million to 230 million euro for these purposes. Along with MiG-29 fighter jets, Russia’s assistance to Serbia will include 30 T-72 tanks and 30 BRDM-2 combat patrol vehicles. Apart from that, the sides are discussing supplies of Buk-M1 and Buk-M2 missile systems and Tunguska surface-to-air gun and missile systems. Earlier, Belarus announced its plans to hand over to Serbia in 2018 eight MiG-29 fighter jets and two Buk missile systems on condition that Belgrade pays for their repairs.

Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin called off his visit to an annual memorial service for the victims of a World War Two extermination camp held in Croatia on Sunday after Croatia said he was not welcome.

The two ex-Yugoslav republics began trading barbs last week when a Croatian delegation cut short a trip to Serbia after a Serbian radical lawmaker and convicted war criminal shouted insults at them and tried to rip up the Croatian flag.

The delegation’s visit had been part of an effort to heal ties between the two neighbors, hostile to each other since Croatia fought a war of independence from Yugoslavia in the early 1990s in which around 20,000 people were killed.

The EU would defend Croatia. Unless it was busy elsewhere.


one view

Since the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Croatia and Serbia have never had better economic relations than today. 
Croats are buying Serbian products in all forms, shapes, and sizes – from home-made ajvar (Balkan pepper relish) to pop music.
Serbs are also considered to be the top tourists on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, outspending people from countries like Austria. So the ‘barbaric enemies at the gates’ theory for these weapons purchases doesn’t seem that plausible.

Another thing is that because Croatia joined NATO in 2009 and the EU in 2013, this doesn’t really seem like a local or regional issue. To put it bluntly, matters are not really decided in Zagreb anymore – and any problem that Belgrade might have with Washington or Brussels will not be resolved with military helicopters.

That was the main reason why Croatia entered NATO – because the principle of collective defence means that we should not have to worry too much about what Serbia is doing, and if worries do surface, we have back-up. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/blog/this-balkan-arms-race-will-bankrupt-us-all-04-11-2018





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