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Russian defense minister proposes holding joint drills with Serbia annually

Russia is also ready to build up military cooperation with Serbia in the field of military education

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. The flight and tactical drills Bars (Brotherhood of Aviators of Russia and Serbia) held in the Balkan country in October need to be held annually, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu said at an informal meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday.

"In October, the joint flight and tactical exercises Bars-2016 were held successfully in Serbia and it is pleasing that the word Bars is deciphered as the Brotherhood of Aviators of Russia and Serbia. This is a good name and it should stay and we must make these exercises an annual event," the Russian defense minister said.

According to the minister, the joint trilateral tactical drills Slavic Brotherhood-2016 with the participation of Belarus were also useful.

"We have organized good work for holding joint drills and we intend to develop this practice. We’ll shortly exchange approved plans for 2017 and, of course, we can’t but recall the participation of the Serbian team at the 2016 International Army Games where you have shown fairly good results," Shoigu said.

The Russian defense minister invited Serbian representatives to take part in the Army 2017 international military and technical forum and the 2017 International Army Games and also handed over an invitation to Serbian Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic to take part in the work of the 6th Moscow conference on international security in April 2017.

Russia is also ready to build up military cooperation with Serbia in the field of military education, Shoigu said.

During the Bars-2016 drills, the joint Russian-Serbian crews flew MiG-29 fighter jets and Mi-8 helicopters to hold air fights with a notional enemy, practice the interception of air targets and tactical strikes against ground objectives and carry out aerobatic maneuvers. The drills involved up to ten aircraft and helicopters of the Serbian Air Force.