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Russian Official In Serbia To Discuss Arms Deal

  • RFE/RL's Balkan Service

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has visited the Serb capital of Belgrade on an official visit to discuss a possible weapons deal with that Balkan nation.

Rogozin presented Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic with a model of a Russian surface-to-air missile system, which Serbia is reportedly interested in acquiring.

Rogozin said that if Serbia had had a similar system in 1999, it would have avoided some of the worst destruction from the NATO air campaign against it.

NATO launched the military action to halt Serb aggression against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, which has since declared independence from Serbia.

Vucic told a joint news conference that Serbia will remain militarily neutral but won't allow itself to become "an easy target."

Serbia is one of Russia's staunchest allies in Europe and wants to maintain strong ties as it moves toward integration with the European Union.

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