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Serbian and US paratroopers to hold joint exercise

Serbian and US paratroopers will take part in a joint exercise, General Tod Wolters, who heads NATO’s Allied Air Command, has announced.

Source: Beta

Beta is reporting this on Thursday, citing Voice of America, which carried a Reuters report.

About 100 members of the US army will participate in the exercise, at the invitation of the Serbian government, the agency said.

“They will actually get their paratroop wings as a result of these activities. These are confidence-building activities - relationships that will last for a lifetime. And they will certainly enhance the technical expertise of the Serbs,” Wolter is quoted as saying.

"Any NATO-related activities in Serbia are a red flag for Russia, which worries about NATO expansion in the former communist east," the report continued, adding that "Moscow has also sought to bolster military ties with Belgrade with the donation of six MiG-29 fighter jets."

Serbia is described as "performing a delicate balancing act between Russia and the West, rejecting calls by US officials to pick a side."

According to Reuters, Orthodox Christian and Slavic Serbia "has natural affinity with Moscow, but is keen to join the EU" - and "although the EU is Serbia’s single largest trade partner and investor, Russia controls its oil and gas supplies."

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