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Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) meet at the Ukraine-Balkans summit, Aug. 22, 2023. (Source: President Volodymyr Zelensky/Twitter)
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Serbian ammunition worth $855 million has made its way indirectly to Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on June 22, citing estimates from anonymous experts.

Serbian-Ukrainian relationships are complicated by Belgrade's friendly attitude toward Russia, as Serbia has refused to join sanctions against Moscow.

At the same time,  Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has called Ukraine a "friendly country" and had previously affirmed that Crimea and Donbas are Ukrainian sovereign territories.

According to the FT, estimates shared with the paper suggest around €800 million ($855 million) worth of ammunition exports have reached Ukraine via third parties. The paper then put this to Vucic.

"This is a part of our economic revival and important for us. Yes, we do export our ammunition,” Vucic said.

"We cannot export to Ukraine or to Russia . . . but we have had many contracts with Americans, Spaniards, Czechs, others. What they do with that in the end is their job.

“Even if I know [where the ammunition ends up], that’s not my job. My job is to secure the fact that we deal legally with our ammunition, that we sell it . . . I need to take care of my people, and that’s it. That’s all I can say. We have friends in Kyiv and in Moscow. These are our Slav brothers."

Asked about the $855 million figure, Vucic said it was broadly accurate over a period of "maybe... two or three years, something like that."

The so-called Pentagon leaks from April 2023  suggested that Serbia had allegedly committed to supplying lethal weaponry to Kyiv, or that it had already delivered it, which the Serbian government publicly denied.

It was reported last year that Vucic is "not opposed" to his country selling ammunition to intermediaries who would send it to Ukraine.

‘It really is insane:’ Ex-defense minister on Slovakia’s pro-Russian turn
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, neighboring Slovakia, with its own experience of decades of Russian occupation in the 20th century, became one of the staunchest supporters of Ukraine. Under the guidan…

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