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Serbia considers purchase of Rafale jets from France, president says

Vergennes

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BELGRADE, April 11 (Reuters) - Serbia plans to purchase Rafale multipurpose fighter jets from France, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday, which experts saw as the latest sign of Belgrade distancing itself from its traditional military supplier and ally Russia.

Serbia, now a candidate to join the EU, has been under pressure from Europe to scale back its links to Moscow. It has voted against Russia three times at the United Nations since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February.


"We have been negotiating this purchase of 12 new jets for a year, and we are also looking at buying another 12 used (Western) planes from another country," Vucic told Reuters. He did not specify the type of the used planes.

Milan Karagaca of the Belgrade-based Center for Foreign Policy and a former military attache to NATO, said: "The fact that the planes are made by France could indicate Serbia ... has disconnected itself from Russia's military technology, .. politically it is a signal of approaching closer to the EU."


Serbia and Dassault Aviation discussed the purchase of the 12 Dassault Rafale jets, France's La Tribune weekly reported last week.

In 2019 Serbia bought France's Mistral surface-to-air missiles and in 2016 it acquired helicopters from Airbus (AIR.PA).

Croatia, which is an EU and NATO member and Serbia's wartime foe from the 1990s, also operates Rafale jets.

"We have an interest in this (procurement of Rafales), we are looking at the best way to pay for them without jeopardising our public finances," Vucic said without elaborating further.


Serbia's military is largely based on ex-Soviet technology. It operates MiG-29 fighters and MI-35M helicopter gunships and its air defences are mainly comprised of Russian missile systems and radars. Serbia's ground forces also use Soviet-made T-72 tanks and armoured personnel carriers.

Vucic said Belgrade is also considering buying additional ground attack planes to replace those made in the now-defunct Yugoslavia.

"There are three countries ... there's a big competition there," he said.

Serbia aspires to join the EU, but has refused to join NATO which bombed it in 1999 to drive Serbian forces out of Kosovo.

 

Viet

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Serbia also brought the Chinese HQ-22/FK-3 SAM instead of the Russian S-300/S-400 series.

Looks like Serbia is breaking its military links with Russia.
Russia is finished. The reputation is damaged beyond repair. I expect many other countries that traditionally buy Russian weapons will turn to US, NATO, Japan, Korea. Or they buy from China.
 

Beast

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Serbia also brought the Chinese HQ-22/FK-3 SAM instead of the Russian S-300/S-400 series.

Looks like Serbia is breaking its military links with Russia.
The decision to buy HQ-22 is signed long before Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nothing to do with Serbia distance themselves from Russia currently. More to do with merit of HQ-22 performance to price ratio.

different category system, can't compare this two.
I think Serbia deemed S-400 is too expensive for its performance. HQ-22 fits their budget better for best of bucks for their limited expenditure.
 

UKBengali

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The decision to buy HQ-22 is signed long before Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nothing to do with Serbia distance themselves from Russia currently. More to do with merit of HQ-22 performance to price ratio.



I know that but Serbia rejected the Russian S-300 system as they preferred the Chinese system as it offered the better price:performanace ratio.
 

FuturePAF

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Russia is finished. The reputation is damaged beyond repair. I expect many other countries that traditionally buy Russian weapons will turn to US, NATO, Japan, Korea. Or they buy from China.
Not just for reputational and performance/price reasons but due to CAATSA. CAATSA even more so in the wake of those war.

Countries looking to buy Non-western systems will now be more likely to buy non-Russian systems, and the largest supplier of non-western and non-Russian systems is China.
 

UKBengali

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Not just for reputational and performance/price reasons but due to CAATSA. CAATSA even more so in the wake of those war.

Countries looking to buy Non-western systems will now be more likely to buy non-Russian systems, and the largest supplier of non-western and non-Russian systems is China.


Yes that was also a factor as Serbia seems interested in joining the EU.

In essence the rejection of Russian arms is a statement of intent it wants to join the Western block.
 

proka89

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Yes that was also a factor as Serbia seems interested in joining the EU.

In essence the rejection of Russian arms is a statement of intent it wants to join the Western block.

More like it’s not possible to get anything from Russia considering the situation. Before the war started, Serbia ordered from Russia:
  • 3 Mi-17V5
  • 4 Mi-35M
  • 2 Ka-32
  • 2 batteries of Pantsir S1M or SM
  • Krasukha EWC (most probably Krasukha-4)
  • Repellent EWC
Some of these are already paid for. Now it’s the question if any of these will be delivered (most probably not). First issue is that we are surrounded by NATO, second issue even if we were not, right now we are probably threatened with sanctions in case we buy any kind of weapons from Russia. Recently we had issues with getting FK-3 from China, because NATO did not allow them to pass through NATO countries. Only after we voted for the ejection of Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, we were able to get what we ordered from China.
 

UKBengali

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More like it’s not possible to get anything from Russia considering the situation. Before the war started, Serbia ordered from Russia:
  • 3 Mi-17V5
  • 4 Mi-35M
  • 2 Ka-32
  • 2 batteries of Pantsir S1M or SM
  • Krasukha EWC (most probably Krasukha-4)
  • Repellent EWC
Some of these are already paid for. Now it’s the question if any of these will be delivered (most probably not). First issue is that we are surrounded by NATO, second issue even if we were not, right now we are probably threatened with sanctions in case we buy any kind of weapons from Russia. Recently we had issues with getting FK-3 from China, because NATO did not allow them to pass through NATO countries. Only after we voted for the ejection of Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, we were able to get what we ordered from China.


How do Serbs feel about the war on Ukraine?

Which side are the majority on?
 

proka89

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How do Serbs feel about the war on Ukraine?

Which side are the majority on?

Not gonna lie, most of the Serbs always go with the Russian side. And in this case if you take a look at which countries are main supporters of Ukraine, you will see that the same countries were the main supporters of all our opponents in the 90’s. But a lot of Serbs, myself included feel sorry for the people of Ukraine, we went through the wars, we know what it’s like. I have been a refuge myself, and lived in a refugee camp for almost five years. So the majority of people here are pro Russia, but we do not hate Ukraine. There are some fools and radicals like in any other country, but regular people know what war is. There is the old Serbian saying:

“In war the politicians give ammunition, the rich give the food and the poor give their children… When the war is over the politicians get back the leftover ammunition, the rich grow more food and the poor search for the graves of their children.”
 

FuturePAF

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Yes that was also a factor as Serbia seems interested in joining the EU.

In essence the rejection of Russian arms is a statement of intent it wants to join the Western block.
It’s a huge shift considering the history of Serbia, especially with everything going the way it has been for Russia. It was the last real ally of Russia in the Balkans, and the cause of World war 1, and the century of events that followed. We might see the resolution of the balkans border disputes come out of this; a viable independent Kosovo, which could be a template for the kind of solution the west may support for Kashmir.
 

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