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Thursday July 25, 2024

Serbia ammunition sales likely aiding Ukraine: FT

By AFP
June 24, 2024
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic seen in this undated image. — Reuters/file
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic seen in this undated image. — Reuters/file 

BELGRADE: Serbia has sold hundreds of millions of dollars of ammunition to western countries that have likely helped Ukraine´s fight against Russia, President Aleksandar Vucic said in an interview with the Financial Times.

Russia and Serbia have traditionally been close. But the Financial Times reported on Sunday that exported ammunition that ended up in Ukraine through third countries is estimated at around 800 million euros, a figure that the Serbian president acknowledged in the interview was largely accurate.

“This is a part of our economic revival and important for us. Yes, we do export our ammunition,” he said.

“We cannot export to Ukraine or to Russia ... but we have had many contracts with Americans, Spaniards, Czechs, others. What they do with that in the end is their job,” he added.

Serbia has long walked delicate diplomatic line. It has simultaneously sought to join the European Union, welcomed Chinese investment and remained on largely friendly terms with Moscow since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Serbia is one of only two countries in Europe, with Belarus, that have not joined European sanctions against Russia.

But Belgrade has condemned the Russian invasion at the United Nations.

Serbia has been reliant for years on support from Russia and China to prevent the UN from recognising Kosovo as independent state, following its secession from Serbia in 2008.