The Serbian defense industry has announced a temporary halt to the export of weapons, equipment, and ammunition for the next 30 days. Instead, they will focus on meeting domestic demand, according to Defense Minister Milos Vucevic. Vucevic emphasized the importance of prioritizing homeland security over commercial arrangements during this time.
The decision to implement the 30-day ban was made at the suggestion of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who serves as the commander in chief of the military. Vucevic stated that depending on the circumstances, the export moratorium may be extended beyond 30 days.
This announcement comes shortly after Western accusations that state-owned Jugoimport SDPR had sold ammunition to Russia using components purchased in Belgium. However, Vucevic dismissed these allegations as completely false. He clarified that the two facilities mentioned in the allegations actually exported up to 90 percent of their small-arms ammunition to the United States.
For some time, Western media has been insinuating that the Serbian government was secretly selling ammunition to Ukraine, despite repeated denials from Serbia. Last month, the Financial Times claimed that a pipeline funneling Serb ammunition to the Ukrainian front was behind the apparent Western policy change regarding the breakaway province of Kosovo.
In response to these insinuations, President Vucic accused neighboring Croatia and Bulgaria of spreading fake news in order to leverage their NATO membership and encroach on Serbia’s export market share. Vucic acknowledged the possibility that some arms might end up in Ukraine but questioned the alternative of not producing or selling them.
Meanwhile, Bulgaria has announced its decision to send 100 armored vehicles to Ukraine, despite opposition from President Rumen Radev. Radev’s reluctance to supply weapons to Ukraine resulted in an angry lecture from Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky during his recent visit to Bulgaria. Bulgaria hopes to receive replacements for the armored vehicles from the United States.
The Serbian defense industry’s focus on meeting domestic demand aligns with the government’s commitment to prioritize homeland security. The temporary export ban aims to ensure that the Serbian military’s needs are met during this period. Depending on the circumstances, the ban may be extended to further strengthen Serbia’s defense capabilities.
In conclusion, Serbia’s defense industry will halt the export of weapons, equipment, and ammunition for the next 30 days to prioritize meeting domestic demand and homeland security. This decision comes amid Western accusations and claims regarding arms sales to Russia and Ukraine. President Vucic has dismissed these allegations as false and accused neighboring countries of spreading fake news. Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s decision to send armored vehicles to Ukraine highlights the complex dynamics in the region. The export moratorium reflects Serbia’s commitment to ensuring its defense needs are met while emphasizing the importance of homeland security.