Serbia receives 4 MiG-29 fighter jets from Belarus

Serbia has received four MiG-29 fighter jets from Belarus, Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin said on Sunday, adding that he recently had talks with his Russian counterpart about helicopters, armoured vehicles and missile defense systems.

“Under an agreement between Serbian President Alexandar Vucic and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus has given us fighter jets and we are very thankful to it for that,” Vulin said, adding that Serbia’s fighter jet fleet would number 14, Tass reported.

According to Tass, Belarus had earlier said it would hand over over eight MiG-29s and two Buk missile systems in 2018 on condition that Serbia pays for repairs.

Speaking to the Politika daily, Vulin said he had talks in Moscow in April with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on the supply of four Mi-35 combat helicopters, four Mi-17 transport helicopters, armoured vehicles and missile defense systems.

In December, Vulin said Serbia was in talks with Russia to buy six Mi-17s and the setting up of a helicopter repair centre.

In February, Russia approved the donation to Serbia of €2 million ($2.5 million) for training MiG-29 pilots, Janes reported. That followed from the October 2017 delivery of six Russian MiG-29s gifted to Serbia. The Russian jets are to be modernised at a cost of up to €230 million ($280 million).

Russia has also agreed to donate 30 T-72 tanks and 30 BRDM-2 armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicles.

According to Tass, the two states are in negotiations over Buk-M1 and Buk-M2 air defense missile systems, and Tunguska surface-to-air gun and missile systems.

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