EU, Russia tensions rise after Putin agrees to sell fighter jets to Serbia

In a move showcasing Vladimir Putin’s continued expansionist polices throughout Europe, Russia has agreed to send a batch of fighter jets, battle tanks and armored vehicles to Serbia.

According to Serbian Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic, during a visit by the Balkan nation’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to Moscow earlier this week Putin pledged that Russia will soon send the country six MiG-29 fighter jets, 30 T-72 tanks and 30 BRDM-2 armored vehicles.

“The president of the Russian Federation said he will sign that decree, and when it’s signed, we will act accordingly,” Djordjevic said, according to Agence France-Presse. “We are waiting for the process to be finalized in Russia and see how (the equipment) will be delivered to Serbia.”

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Djordjevic added that the jets, tanks and fighting vehicles will be donated from Russian arms reserves for free and will be “fully modernized and refurbished” in Serbia by Russian technicians for an undisclosed sum. Estimates for the cost of overhauling the MiGs alone runs somewhere around $216 million.

It is unclear how the fighter jets would make their way to Serbia – whether by flying through the air space of NATO-member countries or by being disassembled for transport via cargo planes after the approval of neighboring countries. Either way, there are concerns that the arms shipment could add to the already-heightened tensions between the Kremlin and NATO members.

“The entire Balkan peninsula will eventually be part of NATO and the European Union, but Russia right now is doing the…

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