Serbia receives another arms delivery from Russia despite international sanctions on Ukraine

Serbia has received another arms delivery from its ally Russia despite international sanctions on Moscow over its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Serbian populist President Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday presented a Russian anti-drone system for electronic jamming known as Repellent that he recently said “is in our hands.” He spoke ahead of Serbia’s national day on Thursday.

“This is the Repellent. It’s not as strong as Krasukha, but it’s excellent,” Vucic said, referring to a Russian ground-based electronic warfare system. The delivery reached Serbia a few months ago, even though the country’s airspace is almost surrounded by NATO member states that have agreed to Western sanctions against Russia. Serbia is the only European country that has refused to align with European Union sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago. It is also the only European country that continues signing cooperation agreements with Moscow. Serbia has been told that it must comply with sanctions if it wants to join the EU. Most of the recent Serbian military buildup comes from Russia. Other materials come from China and some European arms and aircraft manufacturers.

Most of Vucic’s talk about potential threats has been focused on Kosovo. This former Serbian province declared independence after NATO intervened to stop a bloody Serbian crackdown against ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999. “If someone tried to carry out an aggression against Serbia as it happened in 1999, technically they would not be able to carry it out in the same way,” Vucic said. “They would have to attack from outside, from a distance, from the Adriatic or Mediterranean Sea, with cruise missiles.”