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Serbia moving to build up its armed forces — president

"We continue to strengthen our army with the focus on national industry, national production," President Aleksandar Vucic told

BELGRADE, April 1. /TASS/. Serbia is reinforcing its military as the country’s choice to stay out of NATO means it needs to step up its defense capability, President Aleksandar Vucic said at a review of troops at Batajnica Air Base.

The ceremony was also attended by Serbian Defense Minister Milos Vucevic, Parliament Speaker Ana Brnabic and Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik.

"We have ordered <...> several dozen more multiple launch rocket systems, which will dramatically strengthen our firepower. But all this is not enough, because we have to take into account the special position of our country, which is the only militarily neutral country in this part of the world. We have to understand the challenges we are facing," Vucic said.

"We are now in the process of acquiring new units. You will be informed soon. We are talking about several fighter jets for the Serbian Armed Forces. We are purchasing many other things as we continue to strengthen our army with the focus on national industry, national production," the president told reporters.

He said Serbia is on par with such countries as France and Germany in terms of arms production.

The president said the nation’s defense industry needs to pay increased attention to the production of drones and other aircrafts that’s designed for offensive operations and providing assistance to the wounded in conflict zones.

"As soon as 20 days from now you will be able to see the first live firing practice and the use of Serbian drones. These will be the first formal, rather than training firing practice in the Serbian army," Vucic said.

Vucic previously stated that Western countries prevent Serbia from purchasing weapons and ammunition in the East. The president said Serbia had ordered the Krasukha and Repellent electronic warfare systems from Russia, but has not been able to receive them for reasons that are not Moscow’s fault.