Russia Starts First Delivery of MiG-29 Fighter Jets To Serbia

Elias Hubbard
October 3, 2017

Russian Federation has started the delivery of six MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia, a move that could worsen tensions with neighboring states. The remaining warplanes are due to arrive by the end of the week. "We are glad to make our military more powerful, well-organized and up-to-date", said the Serbian Labor Minister Aleksandar Vulin, as quoted by the media.

The other four fighter jets will be delivered to Serbia by Friday, the Serbian government said in a statement.

Russian Federation is handing over six MiGs for free which Serbia will then upgrade. The upgrading of the combat aircraft was reported to be carried out for Serbia in three stages at the price of 180-230 million euros ($211-270 million).

According to reports earlier in the year, the delivered to Serbia aircraft were to undergo maintenance works either in Russia or to be taken care of by a team of Russian specialists in Serbia.

Russian Federation has also promised the delivery of 30 battle tanks and 30 armored vehicles to Serbia, which was at war with its neighbors Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s during the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

"We will continue to protect our freedom and independence", Vucic said.

Serbia's archrival, NATO-member Croatia, is shopping for a new fighter to replace the nation's aging MiG-21s. The two leading contenders for the planned contract reportedly include Israeli version of American Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Swedish Saab's JAS-39 Gripen.

Serbia has resisted NATO's eastward expansion.

Defense Minister Vulin told journalists at the airport that on July 4 Russian Federation stated its intentions to begin delivering warplanes to Serbia starting on October 2.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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