BELGRADE, October 20. /TASS/. Russia has kept its promise to deliver six Mikoyan MiG-29 fighters to Serbia, which was timed to coincide with the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade from Nazi Germany, Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu said.
The Russian defense minister made this statement at a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vulin.
"In August, when you were in Moscow, I promised that by the time of this celebration the planes will arrive in Belgrade. The planes are now in Belgrade. I am sure that they will serve as a reliable shield and a guarantor of Serbia’s independence and security," Shoigu said.
The six MiG-29 fighter jets have been delivered to Serbia by decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was reported earlier that the six MiG-29 fighters had flown from Russia to Serbia in early October.
Serbia is grateful to Russia for the transfer of six MiG-29 fighters, the Serbian defense minister said, stressing the importance of the agreement between the presidents of Russia and Serbia.
"Thanks to this, we can say that today we have a possibility to defend our sky," Vulin told his Russian counterpart.
"I want to thank you personally, dear minister because I know how many efforts and much labor were needed to do all this. Thank you that today you are participating in this celebration together with us," the Serbian defense minister said.
The six MiG-29 fighter jets arrived in Serbia in a group of two planes a day on October 2-4. Now they will undergo modernization that will be carried out in three stages and will cost Serbia 180-230 million euros.
In addition to the MiG-29 planes, Serbia will also receive 30 T-72 tanks and 30 BRDM-2 combat reconnaissance and patrol vehicles from Russia for free. The sides are also holding negotiations on Buk-M1 and Buk-M2 air defense missile systems and the Tunguska antiaircraft missile/gun complex.
The Russian defense minister also noted that Russia and Serbia had big plans for military and military-technical cooperation.
"In accordance with the decisions by the presidents of Russia and Serbia, we have a large-scale program for both military and military-technical cooperation," Shoigu said and suggested that he and Vulin should discuss further cooperation plans.