Russian, Serbian leaders discuss cooperation, MiG-29 fighters

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

BELGRADE, October 8. /TASS/.

The Russian-Serbian relations, as well as the Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum), Moscow had presented to Belgrade, were topics of the telephone conversation on Saturday between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic. The Serbian leader told about the conversation in an interview with the Kurir newspaper on Sunday.

“We spoke about all topics, which are important for relations between Serbia and Russia, about the Russian MiGs, about all our earlier agreements. He [Putin] was very kind and expressed gratitude to the Serbian people and Serbia. The conversation lasted for 20-25 minutes, and all the time we spoke in Russian, honestly speaking, the translator reacted once or twice. I greeted Putin on the 65th birthday and wished to him good health, political success both in solving problems in the world and in further development of relations with Serbia,” Vucic said, adding the Russian president thanked him personally for development of relations between Serbia and Russia.

Earlier, the Serbian leader’s press service reported a telephone conversation between the presidents of Serbia and Russia. “President Vucic greeted President Putin on the 65th birthday. Vladimir Putin said the international situation is such that Serbia is in a complicated position, but he is confident, the Serbian people, like always in their history, will demonstrate their character and led by President Vucic would overcome all problems,” the report reads. The Kremlin’s press service said on Saturday about the fact of a telephone conversation, though did not give further details.

The presidents agreed contacts and a meeting soon to continue expanding cooperation between Serbia and Russia in all spheres, press service of the Serbian leader said.

Earlier, Serbia received six Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia on an earlier agreed gratuitous delivery between two countries. The six fighters were delivered by consignments of two between Monday and Wednesday (October 2-4). According to reports earlier in the year, the delivered to Serbia aircraft were to undergo maintenance works either in Russia or to be taken care of by a team of Russian specialists in Serbia. The upgrading of the combat aircraft was reported to be carried out for Serbia in three stages at the price of 180-230 million euros ($211-270 million).

During the MAKS 2017 airshow in July outside the Russian capital of Moscow, Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev said that Russia was planning to complete the delivery of MiG-29 fighters to Serbia by the end of 2017.

Besides the Mikoyan fighters, Serbia will receive as a support from Russia 30 tanks T-72 and 30 combat-reconnaissance vehicles BRDM-2. The countries also discuss systems BUK-M1, BUK-M2 systems and the anti-aircraft gun and missile system Tunguska.

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