Reactions from the EU and the US Regarding the Purchase of “Pantsir” from Serbia

The EU and the US responded after the first delivery of the Russian Air Defense System “Pantsir” S1 to the Serbian Armed Forces.

“To make progress on its European integration, Serbia needs to adjust its foreign policy with the European Union’s one as stipulated by the negotiating framework”, the Voice of America (VOA) reported (25.02), quoting Peter Stano, a spokesperson for the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Joseph Borrell.

Asked about the most recent Serbia’s purchase of the anti-aircraft defense “Pantsir” S1 system, Stano said that “Serbia defines its integration into the EU as strategic priority. We expect Serbia to act following the obligations it undertook”.

The European Commission, in many documents on Serbia’s progress towards full membership in the Union, recommended that Belgrade should adjust its foreign policy priorities in line with those of the EU.

Earlier, Lieutenant General Frederick Ben Hodges III, a former commander in chief of the US ground forces, told Voice of America he did not see the point that defense system would have in Serbia. “I’m wondering what these systems are for? Who Serbia believes it should protect itself from? The West is tirelessly trying to find ways to come closer to Serbia. And it doesn’t present any danger to it”, Hodges said.

Commenting on Serbia’s purchase of the Russian anti-aircraft “Pantsir” S1 system, the US State Department told Voice of America that “we call on all our allies and partners to give up the transactions with Russia which could lead to sanctions under “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA).

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