Serbia Received Russian Air Defense Systems "Pantsir-C1"

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President Vučić presupposed that this would not lead to the US sanctions imposing since Belgrade did not hide the intention to purchase Russian systems. Serbia received an advanced air defense system from Russia, despite the threat of US sanctions against this Balkan country which is officially seeking EU accession. Serbian President Alexander Vučić said on Sunday to the government television channel Prva that the Pantsir-C1 system was proposed for purchase by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Buy the Pantsir, it has shown the best efficiency in Syria,” Putin said, according to Vučić, during one of their recent meetings. “This anti-aircraft system is very effective against drones which are crucial in modern warfare,” Vučić said. Despite the aspiration to join the EU, Serbia, under the populist leadership of Vučić, strengthens military-political relations with Russia. Serbia promised not to join NATO and refused to join Western sanctions against Russia connected with its policy towards Ukraine. The West is watching with dismay how Russia is arming Serbia amid increasing tension in the Balkan after surviving the devastating war in the 1990’s. NATO intervened in the situation in Serbia to stop the bloody Serbian repressions against Albanian separatists in Kosovo in 1999. US officials are openly talking about imposing sanctions against Serbia should Moscow continue to sell weapons to this country, especially weapons that could jeopardize the security of neighboring NATO member countries. Vučić expressed hope that there would be no sanctions, since he openly spoke about the purchase of the “Pantsir”. In his opinion, the threat of sanctions is connected, first of all, with the possible purchase of S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, which have a much wider range and are more offensive in nature. On Saturday, two of the six purchased Russian complexes were delivered a few days after Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoiygu visited Belgrade, where he announced that military cooperation between the two countries had reached a fundamentally new level. "Pantsir" is a fast-firing missile system designed to protect against cruise missiles, drones and low-flying aircraft in a radius of about 20 kilometers.