"Financial Times": Serbia indirectly exported ammunition to Ukraine worth 800 million euros

Ammunition/Photo: Maxim Stukonozhenko / Alamy / Alamy / Profimedia

"Financial Times" published estimates that Serbia indirectly, through other countries, exported munitions to Ukraine worth 800 million euros since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Kiev, MIA's correspondent from Belgrade reported.

Estimates shared with the Financial Times, reported by the British newspaper in an article titled "Serbia Fingers crossed that its ammunition ends up in Ukraine," show that Serbia is discreetly increasing its ammunition sales to the West by bolstering Ukraine's defenses, even though it is only one of two European countries that did not join the Western sanctions against Russia.

As reported last night by Radio Free Europe (RSE), that newspaper points out that the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, confirmed that the information about the value of the ammunition is mostly correct, and presented the sale as a business opportunity.

Vucic is quoted as saying that Serbia exports its ammunition, that it cannot export to Ukraine or Russia, but that it has many agreements with the Americans, the Spanish, the Czechs and others.

- What they do with it is ultimately their business, Vucic said according to the newspaper.

Vucic said that he does not know where the exported grenades go and that it is not his job, that it is his job to ensure that Serbia works legally with its ammunition and that this ammunition is sold. He also said that Serbia has friends in both Kyiv and Moscow and that they are brothers of the Slavs.

When asked if the number is approximately correct, Vucic said that it is about earnings made in a period of two or three years, not in one year.

Vucic said that Serbia has a golden opportunity because its weapons are cheaper than in the West and added that the volume of total ammunition exports could increase.

According to diplomats and analysts, Serbia's participation in the export of ammunition to Ukraine is sufficiently hidden that official data does not show it.

The Kiel Institute for World Economics, which monitors support for Ukraine, has not directly tracked Serbia's activities and found no systematic evidence of Belgrade's contribution, said Christoph Trebesch, who heads that effort, the Financial Times reports.

The newspaper recalls that Vucic resisted the pressure of the West to adopt a regime of sanctions against Russia and that he allowed the continuation of Russian flights to Russia, although he declares that he is in favor of Serbia becoming a member of the EU.

- Europe and the United States have been working for years to distance Vucic from Putin, a Western diplomat told the Financial Times, adding that a key player in this is the American ambassador Christopher Hill, who arrived in Belgrade a month after the beginning of the Russian invasion.

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