The Serbian army brought down a suspect drone on Wednesday said to have been flying over military installations on a reconnaissance mission in the country’s southern part.
Defence Minister Miloš Vučević said the drone was neutralised with the use of “state-of-the-art electronic devices” and added that an investigation would follow to see who had owned and operated the drone.
The news comes a day after Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić ordered MiG-29 jet fighters to take off and destroy suspect drones seen over southern Serbia.
Although none of the officials mentioned drones in the context of rising tensions with Kosovo, Serbia’s former province which declared independence in 2008, it was clearly on everyone’s mind.
“We are not sabre-rattling, threatening or attacking. We want to sit at the negotiating table, talk and compromise,” said Vučević, without giving other details.
“But Serbia is not a punching bag. Its army is able to defend the country,” he said. The Serbian army was put on alert and ordered to increase its combat readiness on Tuesday (1 October).
Belgrade refuses to recognise Kosovo’s independence and has also challenged Pristina’s decision ordering all Kosovo citizens to replace Serbian car plates with Kosovo-issued ones.
Kosovo later agreed to implement the decision, originally due to take effect on 1 November, in several stages over several months.