Serbia has suspended all arms exports for 30 days to meet the needs of the Serbian army and increase the country’s combat readiness. It is reported by AP with reference to Defense Minister Milos Vucevic.
According to him, this is necessary against the backdrop of increased tension in the Balkans. “This does not mean that Serbia is going to fight or calls for war, but we are considering all the risks and security challenges,” the minister said. After 30 days, the decision to suspend exports will be reviewed.
Serbian authorities imposed a temporary moratorium on arms exports days after the US imposed sanctions on Serbian intelligence chief Alexander Vulin. In Washington, he is believed to be involved in illegal arms deals. In addition, the United States accused Vulin of helping Russia pursue a policy of destabilizing the situation in the Western Balkans. Serbia vowed to investigate US claims.
He became the first high-ranking Serbian official to fall under US sanctions since Aleksandar Vucic took over as Serbian president in 2017.
Vulin opposes anti-Russian sanctions. In 2022, he accused the US of blackmailing Belgrade. First, according to Vulin, the West will demand that Serbia impose sanctions, then it will demand “just arm” Ukraine, and then “just give infantry for conflicts” with Russia, the official said.
Vučić has repeatedly stated that Serbia is under pressure because of its refusal to impose sanctions against Russia. The President, in an interview with Pink, said that the United States would not impose sanctions on Vulin if Serbia agreed to impose restrictions on Russia.
In early July, Vučić said that Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti was planning to stage an attack on the Serbs as soon as Ukraine launched large operations as part of its counter-offensive. After that, Vucic said that the Serbian population of Kosovo «is being subjected to the most cruel torture and persecution in the last 15 years.» He demanded respect for the rights of the Serbs in the republic and ensure their safety. The Serbian President also called on the international community «to become more concretely involved in all these issues.»