Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin has stated that the country has no plans to join NATO, reports RIA Novosti.
At the same time, the head of the country's defense ministry called on Serbia's partners in the international arena to respect the neutrality of Belgrade.
"We, of course, communicate with NATO within the framework of the ‘Partnership for Peace’; this is the optimal level of cooperation for us, and we are satisfied with this. We always tell our partners in NATO that we maintain military neutrality, that we do not have a desire to become part of NATO, and that this is our firm decision. While our country’s President and Commander-in-Chief is Alexander Vučić, and while I am the Minister in charge of the armed forces, we will not be part of the NATO Alliance, nor other alliances," he said.
According to a parliamentary resolution from 2007, Serbia adheres to neutrality with respect to military alliances; however, on February 12, 2016, the country's parliament ratified a document on diplomatic immunity for NATO representatives and logistics support on the territory of the Republic.
The Individual Partnership Action Plan between Serbia and NATO (IPAP) came into force in March 2015; the document defines educational and technical cooperation, joint exercises and the creation of a positive image of the Alliance within Serbian society. At the same time, in 2013, the Serbian Parliament received observer status in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
CSTO is an intergovernmental military alliance that was signed on 15 May 1992 by six post-Soviet states: Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.