Serbia to purchase MiG-29 jets from Russia amid strengthening of relations between Belgrade and Moscow

Serbia plans to purchase Russian MiG-29 fighter jets, TASS reported.

During Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic’s visit to Moscow on Wednesday, he plans to discuss the purchase of six MiG-29s.

“We are in talks to purchase six planes. So, we will have ten MiG-29 planes and it will mean an enhanced level of security for our citizens,” Tanjug quoted Vucic as saying.

The Serbian Prime Minister also plans to discuss the modernization of the country’s existing Russian-made aircraft.

On Monday, Anatoly Punchuk, the deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), said the aircraft would be delivered in March or April of 2017.

During last week’s meeting between Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, the former noted that modern fighter jets were needed to counter the threat from Croatia, the European Union’s newest member.

Though Serbia is formally seeking EU membership, Belgrade has grown increasingly close with Moscow over the last several months.

“Serbia will never become an anti-Russian state and we will never join sanctions against Russia,” Dacic stated last week.

Regional tensions in the former Yugoslavia have grown tense as of late following a coup attempt led by Serbian nationalists against the pro-Western government of Montenegro.

  Serbia, Russia, Aircraft