"Serbia to send US-trained deminers to help Russians"

Two issues are currently causing "static on the line" between the US ambassador and Serbia's defense minister, the Belgrade-based daily Blic is reporting.

Source: Blic

According to the newspaper, the US administration has objections to "certain moves" made by the Serbian MoD, the first of which concerns Serbian Army deminers who will be deployed next year.

Blic states that over the past months, the US had set aside "considerable financial means" to educate and train Serbian deminers - whose first assignment the field will be "none other than in Syria, and on the Russian side."

The daily is citing an unnamed source who said the US is now "considering whether to even continue with the program of sending Serbian Army members to America for training."

According to the US, the second issue is Serbia's "understanding of military neutrality."

"Military maneuvers where Serbia is taking part with the Russians have caused the Americans' suspicions, and they are also worried about the acquisition of arms from Russia," the source said.

On the other hand, continued the article, "the Russians have reason to complain" - considering that Serbia has signed a cooperation agreement with NATO that grants diplomatic immunity and freedom of movement to NATO soldiers - a privilege that the staff of the Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center in Nis does not enjoy.

The paper recalled that a public "clash of opinions" between US Ambassador Kyle Scott and Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandra Vulin occurred because the latter recently "publicly stood with General (Vladimir) Lazarevic, who has been convicted of war crimes in Kosovo in 1999 by the Hague Tribunal."


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