Greece and Serbia improve military co-operation
Greece is an important partner to Serbia in developing its capacities for multi-national operations, EU integration and military education.
By Ivana Jovanovic for Southeast European Times in Belgrade
Serbia's co-operation with Greece's military will help increase regional security and safety. [AFP]
According to Colonel Milan Konjikovac, acting chief of the Directorate for International Military Co-operation at the Serbia Ministry of Defence, co-operation in the defence sector with Greece has been seen in education, joint training and preparation for participation in multi-national operations.
"Military education co-operation between the two countries was established in 2003, and it is identified as a wide area of co-operation that will continue. More than 90 of our members have participated in various trainings at the Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Kilkis, in northern Greece, in the past 10 years," Konjikovac told SETimes.
"Greece is also committed to supporting Serbia's EU integration process," said Colonel Antonios Kostakis, Hellenic Republic's defence attaché to Serbia, at a recent meeting with Konjikovac.
"Greece will continue to support Serbia in the process of European integration, and it is ready to transfer experiences in the security and defence aspects of joining the European Union."
Konjikovac said Serbia could learn a lot from Greece's EU record.
"Greek experiences within the common security and defence politics of the EU, co-operation in projects of European Defence Agency and the concept of battle groups of the EU are valuable for us," he said.
Aleksandar Radic, a military analyst at the Euro-Atlantic Initiative in Belgrade, told SETimes that military co-operation with Greece is important because of geography, which could lead to other fields of improvement.
"When you go from military co-operation to military technical co-operation, which means joint work on development of military technologies and equipment, it indicates wider development and includes more interested parties, and there is a room for economic co-operation. Greece, as a NATO member, has access to the technologies, and there is a room for discussion on co-operation in some technological development," Radic told SETimes.
He added that a joint military exercise could be the best next step, which would strengthen relations between officials and soldiers.
According to Greece Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, Athens is willing to play a constructive and positive role in the western Balkans by promoting good relations and co-operation to help create an "oasis of security" for all people living in southeast Europe.
Konjikovаc said that Serbia's military co-operation with regional states contributes to the development of good relations and improvement of security and stability.
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This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.