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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



NIN: Belgarde in partnership with Baku; Vucic’s sponsor sells arms to Yerevan

July 29, 2020

The Belgrade NIN weekly reported on Wednesday it obtained documents showing that ‘Vektura Trans’ company, controlled by Slobodan Tesic, one of the sponsors of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) led by the head of state Aleksandar Vucic, had exported huge quantities of arms to Armenia which was at was against Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh, a landlocked region in the South Caucasus.

The exported arms were produced in Serbia in the factories ‘Krusik’ from the western town of Valjevo, ‘Prva Petoletka and ‘Zasatav oruzje’ from the central cities of Trstenik and Kragujevac, NIN wrote.

Azerbaijan is one of six countries which Serbia has the signed agreement on strategic partnership with, but that arms export imperilled the relations between Belgrade and Baku.

Serbia's Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic has said that some arms trade were issued in 2015.

The last Azerbaijan – Armenia conflict erupted on July 12. On July 14 and 15, the weapons from Serbia’s factories were sent from the southern city of Nis airport ‘Konstantin Veliki’ to an airfield close to Armenia’s capital Yerevan.

NIN discovered that additional 16 flights carrying arms to Armenia flew to the airport near Yerevan in 2019.

Marinika Tepic, of Serbia’s opposition Party for Freedom and Justice (SSP), told reporters at the country’s Parliament, she demanded  Ljajic say how many permits for arms trade to Armenia were issued to Tesic’s companies and those linked to him in 2017, for what kind of weapons, what quantity and at what price. Ljajic has said some permits were issued but did not specify.

 According to the documents NIN had access to, 142,000 mines of different calibres and ten Grad 122-mm rockets made at ‘Krusik’ should be exported.

Besides, an agreement was made for a transfer of at least a hundred 120-mm mortars from Trsetnik and three 20-mm anti-aircraft cannons M55A4 from Kragujevac.

That arms export was agreed between Tesic’s ‘Vektura Trans’ company and the Armenian Defence Ministry in 2018.

In May 2018, Vucic said he was honoured in Azerbaijan when the Action Plan for the strategic partnership and some bilateral agreements were signed.

At the same time that year, Tesic’s ‘Vektura Trans’ signed four contracts with ‘Krusik’ for arms exports to Armenia, one before and three after Vucic’s visit, NIN wrote.

The weekly said a total worth of those agreements was 5,864,364 Euro and 5,315,520 US Dollars.  

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a624524/NIN-Belgarde-in-partnership-with-Baku-Vucic-s-sponsor-sells-arms-to-Yerevan.html

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