Serbia exported EUR 800-mln worth of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine?

In an article titled “Serbia turns a blind eye to its ammunition ending up in Ukraine”, the renowned British daily, the Financial Times, claims that Serbia exported 800 million euros worth of ammunition to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Kyiv via third countries.

The Financial Times also says that the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vučić, presented this export more as a busines opportunity, while insisting that Serbia did not take sides in the Russian-Ukrainian war: “This is a part of our economic revival and important for us. Yes, we do export our ammunition. We cannot export to Ukraine or to Russia, but we have had many contracts with Americans, Spaniards, Czechs, and others. What they do with that in the end is their job. It’s not my job to know where the ammunition will end up. My job is to secure the fact that we deal legally with our ammunition and that we sell it. I need to take care of my people, and that’s it. That’s all I can say”.

Asked if the EUR 800-million figure was a fair estimate, he said that that amount was stretched not over one year but “maybe in two or three years, something like that”,

“Vučić sweeps the fact that he indirectly supports Ukraine under the rug”, said Ivan Vejvoda, a fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

“He speaks in an ambiguous way. It is clear that he does not want to recognise this, but that he wants to keep his far-right happy, while in fact Serbia has offered massive aid to Ukraine”, Vejvoda added.

Serbia’s participation in the ammunition export to Ukraine is sufficiently veiled that official data do not reflect it, according to diplomats and analysts. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy, which monitors support for Ukraine, has not tracked Serbian activities directly and has not encountered systematic evidence of Serbian contributions, said Christoph Trebesch from the Institute.

Serbian Finance Minister Siniša Mali was also quoted as saying that the defence industry, which employs 20,000 people in the country, could expand rapidly. “I see it as a business group,” he said and added: “I think we are still way below the capacities of more developed countries, but now is the time to pick up pace”.

In April, Reuters reported, citing a confidential Pentagon document that Serbia, the only European country that refused to impose sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, had agreed to supply Kyiv with weapons or had already sent weapons.

 “The document, a summary of European governments’ responses to Ukraine’s requests for military training and “lethal aid” or weapons, was among dozens of classified documents posted online in recent weeks in what could be the most serious leak of U.S. secrets in years,” Reuters went on to say.

The document, titled “Europe|Response to Ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict”, shows the “assessed positions” of 38 European governments in response to Ukraine’s requests for military assistance. “The chart showed that Serbia declined to provide training to Ukrainian forces, but had committed to sending lethal aid or had supplied it already. It also said Serbia had the political will and military ability to provide weapons to Ukraine in the future,” the document cites.

(Beta,, 23.06.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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