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Serbia buys 11 Russian attack helicopters from Cyprus

Serbia buys 11 Russian attack helicopters from Cyprus Serbia acquires over 10 Russian attack helicopters (photo: Wikimedia)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced today that Belgrade has acquired 11 Mi-35 combat helicopters from Russian production in a recent procurement deal with Cyprus. The move is aimed at bolstering Serbia's military aviation capabilities, according to Reuters.

It is claimed that the governments of Serbia and Cyprus reached an agreement for the purchase of helicopters by Belgrade back in 2021 at an undisclosed price, with part of the payment made by the Balkan state through the export of its domestically produced weaponry.

"We have paid more than half to our Cypriot brothers with our weapons ... mainly ... artillery," stated Vucic.

He also announced the sale of 48 Serbian self-propelled howitzers for a total of 311 million euros to an undisclosed country, but this transaction is yet to go through their respective parliament.

It is noted that Serbia, a candidate for European Union membership, possesses one of the largest armies in the Western Balkans and still relies on former Soviet military technologies.

However, Belgrade scaled back military cooperation with Moscow after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and condemned the aggression. Unlike the EU and other Western countries, Serbia did not impose sanctions against Moscow.

The country maintains military neutrality but has joined NATO's Partnership for Peace program, designed for nations not seeking membership in the Alliance.

Serbia's position on the war in Ukraine

The President of Serbia stated that Belgrade is not opposed to selling weapons through intermediaries who may subsequently transfer them to Ukraine to resist Russian aggression.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic mentioned that Serbia is prepared to participate in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine and support its European integration by sharing its experience.