PM tells why Serbia decided to acquire Russian MiG-29s

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic says Serbia is not abandoning its policy of military neutrality, while the country's strength lies in "not changing its policy."

Source: Beta, Tanjug
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(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

"I'm not one of those who when he goes to Moscow says one thing, but then another in Washington," he told state broadcaster RTS late on Thursday, adding:

"In Moscow I say that we are on the European path, in Washington I say that we will not impose sanctions on the Russian Federation. It's our policy."

Vucic said that Serbia will receive six MiG-29s from Russia "completely free of charge," and will only pay for the air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, "which we want to have."

With these six warplanes, Serbia will have a total of ten MiG-29s in service, "and will over the next 14 years will be the absolute leader in the region."

The prime minister said the acquisition's purpose is to protect cities, villages and bridges, not to conduct any kind of offensive wars and conflicts.

"We do this to protect our children and to guarantee their future. We have lost many Serbian heads," said the prime minister.

He added that he "asked for MiG-29s" on several occasions when he spoke with President of Russia Vladimir Putin, because he "cares about the future of Serbia."

"The kind of fate our people experienced in 1995 and 1999 will not repeat," said Vucic, adding that Serbia has "learned from its mistakes and will have a different and better future."

Speaking about domestic politics, Vucic said that if early parliamentary elections are held, they will coincide with the presidential ballot in the spring.

He announced a meeting for Monday, December 26, that will "resolve everything regarding the Serb List" - some of whose members have returned to the Kosovo Assembly despite Belgrade's opposition.

Vucic also said that cabinet minister and Movement of Socialists leader Aleksadar Vulin enjoys his "full trust."

"This is not about his party. Both the foreign factor and some Albanians have been involved in this," Vucic said.

Serb representatives in the Kosovo government previously ccused Vulin of "showing political hypocrisy at a a crucial moment" and "confirming his alliance" with Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa, because he failed to expel from his party those Serb representatives who returned to the Assembly.

Director of the Serbian Government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric said on Thursday there was "unity" among the representatives of Serbs in Kosovo - but that there are "individual sold-out politicians running into Mustafa's embrace."

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