Serbia Buys 11 Russian Attack Helicopters from Cyprus to Boost Military

November 24, 2023

NICOSIA – Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced the acquisition of 11 Russian-made Mi-35 combat helicopters from Cyprus to boost his country’s defenses, paying for part of the deal with weapons sent to the island.

“We have paid more than half to our Cypriot brothers with our weapons … mainly … artillery,” stated Vucic, adding Serbia is selling 48 self-propelled howitzers for 311 million euros ($339.55 million) to another country not named, said Reuters.


It was said that Serbia and Cyprus reached an agreement for the purchase of the helicopters in 2021 although Serbia has one of the biggest armies in the Western Balkans and still relies on former Soviet military technologies, the report added.

Serbia is a candidate for European Union membership and is trying to roll back military deals with Russia in the wake of sanctions by the bloc and west over the ongoing invasion of Ukraine which Serbia refused to impose.

The country maintains military neutrality but has joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, designed for nations not seeking membership in the Alliance and hasn’t been sanctioned for not going along with sanctions against Russia.

Vucic also said he’s not against selling weapons through intermediaries who may subsequently transfer them to Ukraine to use against Russian forces while Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said Serbia is prepared to participate in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine to bolster its EU hopes.


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