The deal is, the results of which Russia will be rearming of the Serbian army, is close to completion. And although her need is due to important security issues in Serbia it met a violent opposition on the part of liberal circles. The reason is that the West is significantly ramping up propaganda pressure on the Balkans, while Moscow started there business to chance.
After the visit of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in Belgrade, talks about large-scale deliveries of Russian arms to Serbia went into action. Immediately dropped all kinds of rumors, primarily related to arms, which can be described as strategic or offensive. However, the General staff of Serbia is yet to develop understanding of the nature of the fighting that will be created (with Russian participation) new Serbian army.
“Striking blonde Zoran Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for transport, infrastructure and (important!) energy – recommended Rogozin “to take care of your state, not Serbia”
In Serbia reports about the possibility of rearmament newest Russian weapons drew a mixed reaction. In January it became the main topic for the Serbian media gave the opportunity for many local politicians the Pro-European orientation. Particularly negative were the reactions it is possible to supply s-300 systems, but negative this was determined not so much political, how many financial considerations. Another thing that those opposed to such transfers of Serbian politicians, scientists and journalists specially brought to the fore the financial side, deliberately oblivious to considerations of a higher order, for example, about security of Serbia. It is a known technique, when more mundane arguments against things far more complicated for common understanding: “butter instead of guns” during the election period more than a cute slogan than “guns instead of butter”. The result – an almost perfect scheme to put pressure on the government.
The next step is the assertion that Serbia must defensive, not an offensive weapon. It does not need to explain to the reader that the air defense system, by definition, defensive. Substitution of concepts, however, does not lead to a change of emotional attitude in society. In General, liberal and Pro-European newspaper “Blitz”, which spoke about the “offensive” nature of the s-300, conducted a survey among the readers: “Should Serbia to buy arms from Russia?”. 58% voted in favor, 23% against and 19% felt that Serbia needs to produce weapons itself.
The share of Russia in the world arms trade (infographic)Example of another tool in the information war being waged now in Serbia: some government sources in Belgrade say that the government Vucic did not intend to buy weapons from Moscow, and only leads the Russian delegation at the nose. Serbia has no obvious financial capacity to carry out such purchases, therefore, survived only simulates the negotiation process.
Meanwhile, the issue of supplies of Russian arms to Serbia is almost solved, and now we are talking about technical details, but including financial. At the same time Moscow does not even think to interfere in the internal processes in the Balkans in response to the changing situation in the region only at the request of the Serbian partners. The arms race began in the Balkans Croatia, announcing the procurement of tactical missiles and medium-range. This decision razbalansirovat the balance of forces in the region, and the desire of Serbia to protect themselves naturally. In the end, the Serbian-Croatian conflict goes back centuries and is not associated with the political position of Moscow. He was, is and will be, a Zagreb will complement its cruise missiles, and Serbia – the Russian air defense systems and upgrading the land army.
The option of rearmament, which Moscow is likely to offer Belgrade, provides for the delivery of strategic systems, and especially the front-line, tactical. We are talking about “Torah”, the “Shell” and “Beeches”, that is, systems of air defense frontline of defense and of the operating room. “Thor” is designed to support Panzer group in defence and in attack, to not be distracted by attacking stormtroopers. “Buk” provides depth defense front, and “Armor” in General, the system short range placed also on wheeled platforms (that is certainly cannot be classified as offensive).
For the Serbian General staff, this means a reversal in strategic planning. S-300 with a range of 300 kilometers, of course, able to create an umbrella not only over Serbia, but also over the border territories, angry Croatia. But the theoretical conflicts in the Balkans now do not involve strategic bombing, as in the days of President bill Clinton, a “conventional” war demands just such a system of rearmament, which offers Belgrade Moscow.
As for the financial issue, the arms trade, there are many ways to avoid instant payments through the credit system. This kind of operation normal and does not cause difficulties. But this, of course, does not prevent the liberal part of Serbian politicians and the media during the election period to Lodge the agreement with Russia as buying “expensive toys” and “Imperial enslavement”.
A separate issue is a reaction to public statements Rogozin, who never concealed his negative attitude to the attempts of the Belgrade political elite to join the EU by any means. So, striking blonde Zoran Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for transport, infrastructure and (important!) energy – recommended Rogozin “to take care of your state, not Serbia.” It wouldn’t need to ask, as the army and weapons are not in its competence, but Zoran talks about Russian gas supplies to Serbia, taking care of the transit through Ukraine to the detriment of devious means. However, the position of M. was not always so unambiguous. For example, she advocated the supply of agricultural products to Russia in circumvention of the EU sanctions. In its current words, not a lot of personal or principled anti-Russian, rather it is usual for the Serbian government to attempt to sit on several chairs at the same time, explaining that the ballet moves “enemies around”. With such a mixed government, of course, difficult to deal with, but it is necessary. For example, the Chairman of the moderate Democratic party of Serbia, Sanda Raskovic-Ilic demanded M. to disavow his words as “undiplomatic”. This purely female (which is typical for the Balkans) the dispute has remained not yet complete, especially as Sanda Raskovic-Ilic already went to the Crimea than earned a solid “anti-European” reputation, which in today’s Serbia it is very easy to use in the election campaign.
It should be noted that when the supply of Russian weapons to the Serbian side will get more preferences that have nothing to do with guns. So, there is evidence that Russia has agreed to mediate in the negotiations of Belgrade with Astana in the tangled question of the Serbian supply components for the production of Fiat vehicles on the territory of Kazakhstan. Another example is the ability to replace components for Russian KAMAZ trucks in Serbian is prohibited to import Turkish.
In the end, even the most rabid opponents of the Russian-Serbian deal must admit that Serbia gets more than what will pay in fact. While the contract with Serbia for Rosvooruzhenie will never be the largest, although and allows you to talk about a fundamentally different level of Russian influence in the Balkans. Moscow was again in the system of tough competition, but if the US and NATO involved in this struggle the methods of “soft power”, as well as financial and intelligence schemes, Russia’s “soft power” problem, despite the traditionally good relations between peoples and individuals. Now in Belgrade with great difficulty surviving, only one Russian private advocacy Agency-“Russian Express”, and the scale of European and us presence is enormous. Some film festivals Kusturica here will not solve the problem, important though they are.
To summarize. Technical aspects of military-technical cooperation between Russia and Serbia will again be adjusted, but this is work for experts of the General staffs. A fundamental decision about the rearmament of the Serbian army by the Russian weapons, which she needed now, made. And we first started the arms race in the Balkans. The main question is how it will end.