Serbian Officers Not Going to Georgia

resizer103A Belgrade daily, Blic, reports that alleged decisions to send Serbian Army, SA, members to take part in NATO exercises in Georgia are ‘not true’.

“The truth is that our soldiers will not go to Georgia and we have notified the Russian Ambassador in Belgrade about this,” a source with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Blic newspaper.

The participation of SA personnel was announced earlier, and was defined by the Individual Partnership Program, IPP, with NATO.

The details of the program, including participation in the Georgian drills were mostly proposed by the Ministry of Defense, said the source, adding that “after the conflict in the Caucasus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a written, negative opinion on the subject of sending our soldiers to Georgia”.

“The Ministry of Defense agreed with this position and it is now up to the government to formally adopt changes to the IPP at the next session. This is because participation in a military exercise in a conflict region is not of paramount importance to our defense system,” the daily further quoted its Ministry of Foreign Affairs source, who continued:

“Serbia did take on certain obligations with the Individual Partnership Program for 2009 and 2010. But, the plan must be adopted to foreign policy circumstances.”

Blic also said it had “unofficially learned that the Ministry of Defense had decided to halt plans to send the men to Georgia on account of its saving on ‘economic spending measures’.

Earlier this month, Russia asked NATO to abandon plans to stage military exercises in neighbouring Georgia.

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