Serbia purchased 6 drones from China in 2020 for $19.3 million, Radio Free Europe has found.
The purchased drones were exhibited in July last year in a ceremony attended by President Aleksandar Vucic, who said he couldn’t reveal the price as it was classified. RFE extracted the price information from the Serbian Statistical Office.
The CH-92A drones are produced by a state-owned company in China. They can carry two missiles, and strike from a distance of up to 9 kilometers. Other specs include image recording at a distance of up to 250 kilometers, flying at an altitude of 5,000 meters, and a maximum speed of 200 km/h.
Serbia has been beefing up its military capabilities in collaboration with China and Russia in recent years.
At the same time, while the country collaborates with NATO, it has refused to join the alliance and is Russia’s closest ally in the Western Balkans. Serbia is also the country to have progressed the farthest in its EU accession path, compared to other candidates in the region.
The US and EU have both imposed arms embargo on China since 1989, following the Tiananmen Square protests, and on Russia since 2014, after its invasion of the Ukraine.
Serbia and Russia are working to open a Russian Defense Ministry office in Belgrade.
Serbia has received heavy military equipment from both countries in recent years, including Chinese and Russian missile defense systems, military jets, helicopters, drones, tanks, and patrol vehicles, which it claims are for defensive purposes in case it is attacked.
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