Serbia bans weapons exports

A 30-day moratorium will allow Belgrade to prioritize the needs of its own military, Serbia’s defense minister has said

Serbia bans weapons exports

Serbia bans weapons exports

The 30-day measure will prioritize domestic security needs, Belgrade has said

The Serbian defense industry will not export weapons, equipment or ammunition for the next 30 days, focusing instead on satisfying domestic demand, Defense Minister Milos Vucevic announced on Friday.

“Our assessment at this time is that commercial arrangements can’t have priority over homeland security, so what our defense industry is making must primarily be directed to the Serbian military, in line with its needs,” Vucevic said.

The cabinet adopted the 30-day ban at the suggestion of President Aleksandar Vucic, as the commander in chief of the military, Vucevic said. He added that the export moratorium may be extended, depending on circumstances.

Vucevic told the Tanjug news agency that the allegations were “completely false.” He added that the two facilities mentioned in the allegations “by one German TV channel” actually exported up to 90 percent of their small-arms ammunition to the US.

Western media have long insinuated that the government in Belgrade was secretly selling ammunition to Ukraine, which Serbia has repeatedly denied. Last month, the Financial Times claimed a “pipeline funneling Serb ammunition to the Ukrainian front” was behind the apparent Western policy change regarding the breakaway province of Kosovo.

“I’m not a fool. I am aware that some of the arms might end up in Ukraine,” Vucic told FT. “Is it possible that it’s happening? I have no doubts that it might happen. What is the alternative for us? Not to produce it? Not to sell it?”

angry lecture from visiting Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky last week.