Serbia linked to Ukraine arms exports in leaked US paper

Serbia linked to Ukraine arms exports in leaked US paper

Serbia, one of Russia’s key European allies, has pledged to arm Ukraine or has done so already, according to a leaked US document.

The secret Pentagon document says a majority of European countries are providing weapons or training to Ukraine while other US papers say Kyiv is facing critical weapons shortages.

Ukraine is angered by the leaks which detail Ukrainian battlefield deployments. 

The leaks also expose Washington’s limited expectations for Ukraine’s chances of recapturing large swathes of territory during its imminent spring offensive.

In a chart entitled “Europe. Response to Ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict”, the Pentagon document says Serbia declined to provide military training to Ukraine but was committed to supplying weapons. 

The chart examined 38 European countries’ responses to Ukrainian requests for military aid to counter last year’s invasion.

It said Serbia had the capability and political will to provide further weapons.

Serbia has not commented on the leak. 

Serbia is the only European country to have opposed all anti-Russian sanctions but has voted against Russia several times at the United Nations General Assembly over the Ukraine invasion.

Serbia, which has strong political, financial and cultural ties with Russia, has expressed its neutrality in the Ukraine conflict, balancing its relationship with Russia with its hopes of joining the European Union.

A Serbian survey last year reported that 66 percent of the population said they believed Russia was the country’s “greatest friend”. Russia consistently supported Serbia during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Last month Russia asked Serbia to explain documents posted on Telegram detailing exports of Serbian 122mm-Grad ground-to-ground rockets to Ukraine in November. The Serbian arms manufacturer Krusik Corp denied selling weapons to Ukraine and President Aleksandar Vucic said the report was “a notorious lie”.

The Pentagon chart detailed European responses to Ukrainian requests for aid, including training and lethal aid and the ability to provide assistance, with only Austria and Malta listed as “no” in all categories.

Both countries have provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The Pentagon has made no comment as it tries to track down the sources of the leak.



President Aleksandar Vucic and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Picture credit: Kremlin 




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