Analysis 30 May 16

Serbian Army Inches Closer to NATO

Serbian neutrality rests on a delicate balance between East and West but an escalation in military cooperation with NATO runs counter to public opinion and risks upsetting Russia.

Sasa Dragojlo, Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Belgrade
The Serbian army has participated in a series of joint military exercises. Photo: Serbian Ministry of Defense.

While Serbian leaders, including Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, issue reassurances that the country will not join NATO, a recent series of military agreements and exercises with the Western military alliance challenges assertions by Serbian leadership that the country remains “militarily neutral”.

Many see Serbia’s increasing logistical cooperation and strategic ties with NATO as an overt shift away from traditional ally Russia that defies public opinion, as well as a move that violates Serbia’s constitutionally mandated neutrality.

To further complicate Serbia’s neutrality juggling act, parallel with the recent drills with US and NATO allies, Belgrade on May 18 signed an agreement with Russia setting out an agenda for military cooperation between the two partners through 2016.

But that equilibrium may not last. Some analysts argue that as NATO expands and relations between Russia and the western military bloc worsen, Serbia will have to choose between NATO, which bombed the country less than 20 years ago, or preserving its long-standing alliance with Russia.

Subscribe to Balkan Insight Premium to read the full article.

Please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber.

Buy Premium Subscription

Our Premium Service gives you full access to all content published on BalkanInsight.com, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Choose your subscription today and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.

Buy Premium Subscription

If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest News from the Balkans

19 Jan 18

Russia Slaps New Ban on Bosnian Apples

19 Jan 18

Duma Slates Moldova's Ban on Russian TV Shows

19 Jan 18

Djukic Trial for Tuzla Massacre Delayed Again

19 Jan 18

US Seeks to Revoke Bosnian's Citizenship

Premium Selection

leader-of-eu-greens-slams-bulgaria-over-ski-resort-expansion-01-18-2018
19 Jan 18

EU Green Leader Condemns Threat to Bulgarian National Park

The European Greens co-president Ska Keller tells BIRN of her grave concerns for the future of the UNESCO-protected Pirin National Park, after Bulgaria's government approved plans to expand the ski resort there.

vucic-visits-kosovo-to-benefit-politically-experts-say-01-18-2018
19 Jan 18

Vucic Visiting Kosovo to Profit Politically, Experts Say

Saturday's planned visit to Kosovo by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic – following the assassination of Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic – is being seen as a point-scoring exercise.

18 Jan 18

Murder Puts Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue in Doubt

17 Jan 18

How Rich Are the Balkans’ Top Politicians?