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

Premium Selection

rtanj-serbia-s-magic-mountain-10-12-2017
23 Oct 17

Rtanj: Serbia’s Magic Mountain

Even if you aren’t into the stories about aliens, ancient pyramids and wizards, Rtanj mountain is great place to explore.

bosnia-s-hero-town-dies-on-its-feet-10-20-2017
23 Oct 17

Bosnia’s ‘Hero Town’ Dies on its Feet

Drvar once thrived on its timber industry and its reputation as a symbol of the Partisan struggle against Nazi occupation- but now it is withering away.

23 Oct 17

Croatian Top Economists Back Move to Join Euro

20 Oct 17

‘Political War’ in Moldova Threatens Army

19 Oct 17

EU Mulls Lower Roaming Charges for Balkans