Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu arrived in Belgrade on Friday morning to meet with the Serbian officials, and attend the celebration of WW2 Belgrade Liberation Day.
On October 20, 1944, the city was liberated following the Belgrade Offensive in which about 3,000 Yugoslav and 960 Soviet Red Army soldiers were killed.
Vulin’s ministry announced on 16th October that the airforce will take part in the aviation part of the ceremony, adding that at the end of the event visitors can watch the performance of the avio-acrobatic Russian group, Strizi.
Shoigu was welcomed with military honours at the capital’s Nikola Tesla Airport by Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin.
The Russian official will also attend the presentation of a part of Serbian Army’s operative capabilities, which will mark the 73rd anniversary of Belgrade’s liberation.
Later in the day, Shoigu and Vulin will place wreaths at the Monument to the Liberators of Belgrade, and at the Monument to the Soviet Soldier, and visit the Temple of St. Sava, where they will meet with the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Irinej.
Shoigu’s visit comes after Russia has started the delivery of six MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia, a move that could worsen tensions with neighbouring states.
Serbian media say that two of the warplanes were transported, disassembled, on a Russian cargo plane that landed at a military airport near Belgrade on Monday afternoon. All six are to arrive by the end of this week.
Moscow is handing over the MiGs for free, but it is estimated that the overhaul of the secondhand aircraft will cost Serbia some 200 million euros ($235 million.)
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