- Category: Defence&Security
- Published on Friday, 31 July 2020 09:38
July 30, 2020
Rasim Ljajic, Serbia's Trade Minister, said on Thursday that three companies got permits to export arms to Armenia in 2017: private 'Vektura Trans', 'Partizan Tech' and the state-owned 'Zasatav Oruzje.'
He said that the export of weapons to Armenia was not illegal, but that the friendly relations with Azerbaijan should have been taken into account.
Answering questions by Marinika Tepic, an opposition deputy, Ljajic said that export started there years ago, that 19 permits for the arms worth 33 million Euro have been issued so far and that 20 million Euro have so far been paid.
Ljajic added that one company was denied the export permit but did not specify which one.
He said that 'Vektura Trans' received 15, 'Partizan Tech' three and Zastava Oruzje one permit out of total issued for the arms export.
Ljajic said that according to the international 'Small Arms Survey' organisation, Serbia had held high place concerning its transparency in arms trading. In 2017, the country shared the third and fourth places with the Netherlands, in 2018 was at the fifth place and in 2019 shared the fourth and fifths places with Great Britain.
According to the Minister, since a total of 2,589 permits for exporting arms and military equipment have been issued since 2015, but that not all of them have been realised.
In that period, Serbia was exporting arms and military equipment to 113 countries, mainly to Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Saudi Arabia.
"All permits were issued after being authorised by the Interior Ministry, civilian secret service BIA, Defence and Foreign ministries. No company without all necessary consents ever received a permit, and no firm was rejected if provided the necessary agreements," Ljajic said, adding that 29 requests have been rejected at the same time.
To date, Serbia's Trade Ministry has 240 companies registered for the arms trade.