The president of Serbia contradicts himself: “There are no Serbian weapons there, nothing from Serbian production,” President Aleksandar Vucic denied this week that in addition to Russian and Turkish weapons, grenades and rockets from Serbian weapons factories were used in the resurrected war in Nagorno-Karabakh. come: “We want peace. They are two friendly nations, ”he added, referring to Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In the Caucasus, heavy fighting continued for the fourth day in a row. Both states have officially declared a state of war.
In mid-August, Vucic announced a very different message in response to Azerbaijani criticism of Serbian arms transfers to Armenia. Serbia sold “ten times more weapons” to Azerbaijan than to Armenia, he said at the time.
If Serbia wants an arms industry, it has to sell its products to someone, even if that offends “someone”. “I am only interested in our factories and our arms industry,” stressed Vucic.
Azerbaijan and Serbia have been linked by a Strategic Partnership Agreement since 2013. But as early as in mid-July, Baku’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs angrily summoned Serbia’s ambassador after the village of Agdam had been shelled with Serbian shells by Armenian forces.
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Private arms dealers on the move
This week, the Azerbaijani military portal azeridefence.com was again outraged by the bombing of Serbian-made air missiles in the Füzuli region: “The Armenians hit our settlements with missiles bought by Serbia,” the portal wrote.
Serbian Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic confirmed the approval of arms exports to Armenia in July rather embarrassingly: as the country is not subject to any UN sanctions, Belgrade has made no “formal legal” mistakes.
The Belgrade web portal nova.rs expresses itself more drastically: “Armenians and Azerbaijanis kill each other with the weapons of the arms dealers from Vucic.”
Russia, Turkey and Israel are considered the main suppliers of the military equipment currently fueling the conflict in the Caucasus. But whether in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan or Nigeria: more and more cheap grenades and rocket launchers from Serbia, usually state weapons factories, are also reaching fields of tension via third countries – as now in the Caucasus.
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Belgrade points out that under no circumstances will export licenses be issued for war zones. But it is striking that private arms dealers from the job of government party SNS have largely taken over the lucrative export activities from the state-owned company “Yugo-Import” in recent years.
Is the president misinformed?
According to the newspaper “Danas”, the arms deliveries from Serbia to Azerbaijan were made directly by the producers and those to Armenia were almost all made through the firms of arms dealer Slobodan Tesic. The U.S. Treasury Department has placed him on its sanctions list as an unwanted person for corrupt business practices.
According to Belgrade military analyst Vlada Radulovic, Serbia has supplied weapons to both sides of the Karabakh conflict in recent years and there is no doubt that they will be used in the current war as well.
Either the president is “misinformed or he speaks untruth,” nova.rs meanwhile, on his claim that Serbian-made military equipment is by no means in use in the Caucasus: “Vucic denies the facts: our weapons are cracking in Karabakh.”