Russian arms deliveries to Serbia worry both EU and NATO

  • Redakce ESJ
  • 12.10.2017 08:37

The delivery of six Russian MiG-29 fighter jets including armaments to Serbia from Friday 6 October triggered concerns in the EU and NATO. The general tightening Russian-Serbian cooperation includes more frequent joint Russian-Serbian military exercises in addition to the supplies of military technology and has been causing similar reactions since 2016.

The Serbian Army uses largely Soviet or Russian technology and is therefore dependent on Russia for spare parts. In January 2016, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitrij Rogozin announced plans to supply modern military equipment to Serbia, including S-300 anti-aircraft systems. Serbia has also expressed interest in Russia's modernised T-90AM tanks. The Kosovo issue also links Serbia and Russia, since Moscow has long supported Belgrade's stance on Kosovo‘s illegitimacy. Russia skillfully uses the topic of Kosovo to strengthen its influence in the Balkans and, on the contrary, reduce NATO's credibility in the eyes of Serbs. Serbia is also dependent on Russia in regards to energy security since Russia makes up 80 % of Serbia's total gas import. On the other hand, Serbia is also cooperating with the Alliance and is among EU candidate countries which could be greatly complicated by the country's relations with Russia.

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