Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Serbia Denies Sending Weapons to Ukraine in Wake of US Document Leaks

 Serbian Defense Minister Milos Vucevic has denied reports that Serbia has delivered lethal aid to Ukraine, saying that Serbia "did not, nor will it be selling weapons to the Ukrainian nor the Russian side". Vucevic was responding to a Reuters report that Serbia appeared on a Pentagon briefing slide on European positions on aid to Ukraine as committed to supplying lethal aid or already having done so. The slide appeared as part of the widely covered leaks of US intel in recent weeks, allegedly by an Air National Guardsman. The report also comes a month after other documents and videos appeared in a Russian Telegram channel showing what appeared to be Serbian-made 122mm Grad rockets arriving in Kyiv, which remains unconfirmed. Vucevic admitted it was possible that Serbian equipment could have "magically appeared" in Ukraine, but stressed that any such appearances would have nothing to do with the Serbian state. 

Serbia is officially a neutral party to the conflict, has historically close ties to Moscow, and has to this point declined to join the sanctions regime against Russia. However, analysts have also noted that Belgrade's desire to join the European Union has placed it in a difficult position in regard to Russia and continues to recognize Ukrainian sovereignty at the pre-2014 boundaries. 

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