Wednesday, May 15

Serbian, Hungarian leaders attend navy show in Serbia

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The populist leaders of Serbia and Hungary noticed a Serbian navy train Saturday, an occasion seen as a show of deadly firepower amid the conflict in Ukraine and tensions within the Balkans.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrived in Serbia on a beforehand unannounced go to. He was greeted by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who mentioned he was glad “to once again welcome a great friend of Serbia.”

“Serbian-Hungarian relations are at the highest level in the history of our countries,” Vucic wrote on Instagram.

Both leaders have maintained political and financial ties with Russia regardless of its aggression in Ukraine. Their relations with Moscow have been a sore spot with different European nations and with the U.S.

Although Serbia formally seeks membership within the European Union, Vucic has refused to affix worldwide sanctions towards Russia or publicly condemn the conflict in Ukraine.

And whereas Hungary is a member of each the EU and NATO, Orban has criticized war-related sanctions on Moscow. His authorities additionally has mentioned it might not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he had been to enter the nation regardless of him being the topic of a world warrant for alleged conflict crimes in Ukraine.

Saturday’s train at a navy airport on the outskirts of Belgrade included low passes by Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets and Mil helicopters, in addition to a show of a lately delivered Chinese anti-aircraft missile system and drones.

Serbia’s navy buildup has raised issues amongst a few of the nation’s neighbors, which concern it might threaten the delicate peace within the area that was engulfed in a bloody conflict within the 1990’s.

Vucic mentioned he and Serbian navy commanders had been watching how the conflict in Ukraine is being carried out and planning future purchases of navy {hardware} accordingly.

“Serbia has never had a stronger army in its history,” Vucic mentioned.

The train got here a day earlier than native elections in a Serb-populated northern area of Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Serbia doesn’t acknowledge Kosovo as a separate nation.

The elections on Sunday have triggered ethnic tensions and fears of attainable incidents. Many Serbian voters deliberate to boycott the votes.

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