Serbia Eyes French Fighter Jets in Move Away From Russian Planes

by Cristian Florescu

Serbia is in talks with France to buy at least 12 new Rafale fighter jets, President Aleksandar Vucic said, writes Bloomberg

The biggest former Yugoslav republic has traditionally relied on Russian military aircraft and technology, but may purchase as many as 24 Rafales made by Dassault Aviation SA, Vucic said in comments published on his website.

“We’ve been negotiating with them for a year about purchasing 12 new Rafales, and we’re also negotiating with another country about buying 12 used Rafales,” Vucic said, without providing more details. He spoke after attending a military exercise in central Serbia with top commanders on Saturday.

Vucic, who won re-election last Sunday, has struggled to balance Serbia’s aspiration to join the European Union against keeping friendly ties with Russia. The Balkan nation relies on Russia for natural gas, geopolitical support and some defence supplies. Serbia hasn’t joined EU sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, though it voted against Moscow in United Nations resolutions condemning the attack. 

Other defence upgrades could include adding a separate squadron of fighter-bomber jets, for which Serbia is in talks with three other countries, Vucic said. Serbia also seeks to buy Turkish-made Bayraktar combat drones, he said.

“Two days ago, in conversation with President Erdogan, I got his promise that we can jump the queue and have the possibility of buying the Turkish Bayraktars” ahead of others who ordered the drones, he said.

0 comment

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More