Vucic: Serbia is not yet able to receive Pantsir SAMs and air defense systems ordered from Russia
The Serbian authorities have ordered the third air defense missile system “Pantsir” and electronic warfare systems from Russia, but are still unable to receive them, said the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
At a live-fire exercise “Maneuvers 2022” on November 3, Vucic specifically praised the Kornet anti-tank missile systems purchased from Russia. He said then that Western countries were obstructing the supply of weapons that Serbia had purchased in the East and, at the same time, delaying the receipt of weapons purchased from them.
The Serbian leader said on Sunday that ten years ago, Belgrade had one MiG-29 in flying condition, while now it has 14 upgraded fighters, armed with both air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles.
“Unlike back then, we have two Pantsir-S1 systems, we also ordered a Pantsir ME, but that can’t come to us now… I also want to tell people that we have ordered (an electronic warfare system – ed.) Krasukha and (a mobile radio suppression system – ed.) Repellent,” Vucic said on TV Pink.
Serbia is the largest importer of Russian arms and military equipment in Europe. In 2022-2023, Belgrade planned to buy four Mi-35 helicopters, three Mi-17, and 11 Mi-35s used in Cyprus.
In December 2021, the Kornet anti-tank guided missile system, purchased in Russia, arrived in the country. Over the past few years Russia has handed over to Serbia 30 upgraded T-72MS tanks, 30 BRDM-2 armored vehicles, seven Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters and six MiG-29 fighters. Belgrade also bought a battery of Pantsir-S1 rocket launchers. Vucic stated that the country wants to have a Russian S-400 system, but cannot afford it yet.