Saturday, June 24, 2017

MiG-29s to be delivered to Serbian Army "very soon"

Rogozin (L) is seen with Vucic on Friday morning (Tanjug)
Rogozin (L) is seen with Vucic on Friday morning (Tanjug)
Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin said on Friday in Belgrade that he expects Russian military equipment to be delivered to Serbia very soon.


Rogozin arrived here for the inauguration of President Aleksandar Vucic, and was the first to meet with him this morning, when he "proposed cooperation in aviation industry."

Vucic expressed his gratitude for "the good engagement in order to procure military equipment" that will allow the Serbian Army to carry out necessary modernization.

Media reports recently said that Russian President Vladimir Putin told Vucic the MiG-29s would be at the disposal of the Serbian military by mid-July at the latest, after a previous date of delivery was postponed.

After his meeting with Vucic today in Belgrade's Villa Mir, Rogozin announced on Twitter that Serbia and Russia would next year mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad - the ceremony will be held in Belgrade, with participation of top officials.

Sanctions and Stalingrad

Dimitry Rogozin said on Friday that in the end, Serbia, which did not "fall" for blackmail and threats, will turn out to have been right when it decided not to impose sanctions on Russia.

After his meeting with Vucic, Rogozin said that in Brussels and Washington are already concluding that their sanctions did not achieve any effect.

"We don't hold a grudge but we remember well. We highly value this strong position of Serbia, which is primarily guided by the will and desire of the Serbian people and the traditionally close relations between the two countries. We value this and bear it in mind as a basis for further development of close political and economic relations," Rogozin explained in a statement to TV Pink.

He stressed that President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin decided to send a delegation headed by him because he chairs the mixed commission on the Russian side.

Rogozin added that Russia should not have a lower level representative, especially considering the personal relationship between Putin and Vucic, as well as relations between the two countries.

"In recent years, the work of the Serbian government, under Vucic, has been focused on maximum improvement in relations with Russia, resulting in an increase in trade and exports of agricultural goods by 20 percent, as well as increases in tourism. This is all the merit of President Vucic," he underlined.

Rogozin pointed out that all issues between the two countries have been resolved within a special group dealing with strategic issues, while all topics have been covered.

He conveyed that he informed Vucic about the decisions made by Russia regarding military-technical cooperation, and that Russia was preparing to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad. The Russian official said he hoped that Vucic would be able to visit Volgograd (former Stalingrad) next year.

"We have received the proposal of the Serbian leadership to mark the anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade together with President Putin, which speaks of the high level of relations between our countries, and that we never forget the feats of our ancestors. Serbs and Russians never wanted to surrender without a fight," Rogozin emphasized.

"We wish luck and success to the new president of Serbia in the difficult task of steering the Serbian ship through the stormy sea of ​​Balkan and European politics. We highly appreciate Serbia's independence, as well as its balanced relations with the EU and Russia," Rogozin concluded.

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