U.S. improves relationship with Serbia


Elizabeth Boyle, Staff

Image of President Biden and President Vučić.

In Southeast Europe there is a small country called Serbia. Serbia is approximately the size of South Carolina and has roughly 7.2 million people. Serbia is a neutral country that has alternated between close communications with major East and West powers. 

Recently, Serbia has captured the attention of U.S. national security experts. Last year Serbia received Chinese military aviation equipment. They were the first to be given the CH-92A combat drones armed with laser-guided missiles. China has been working on improving its drone technology to continue its economic growth  by being a part of the European defense market. China has invested in Serbia to help with coronavirus relief and sustainable energy projects. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as his brother.

Serbia has also received MiG-29 fighters which were donated by Russia. The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a twin-engine fighter jet developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s.. Moscow has maintained a close relationship with Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Russia has also sold Serbia the Pantsir S1 short-range air defense systems. This system uses 57E6 missiles to defend against fixed-wing planes and rotary-wing helicopters that may be a threat to the country. President Vučić has spoken of his close personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

This week a U.S. Special Forces team, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, arrived in Belgrade to train with the elite Serbian counterterrorism units. The U.S. Special Forces will be focusing on helping train the Serbian military to be able to handle potential threats. 

Seeing as Russia and China currently have strong ties with Serbia, the U.S. is making an effort to improve its relationship as well. By helping the Serbian military, the U.S. could see an increase in trade and military ties with Serbia. Serbia welcomes U.S. support as it tries to become a member of the European Union through economic growth, modernization and a Western-focused international stance. 


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