"We are very grateful to the Russian Federation for the help it provides ... This partnership shows that Serbia will never be alone anymore. Presidents Aleksandar Vucic and Vladimir Putin have truly become friends, and in this grave situation, when COVID-19 has gripped the entire world, Russia is helping Serbia, of all others. It has given Serbia useful resources, which could have been used at home [in Russia], so that we could defeat this disease," Vulin said.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that Russia will send 11 planes with medical staff and special equipment to Serbia. One Il-76 military transport aircraft has already landed at the Batajnica airfield near Belgrade.
The next four planes are expected to arrive later on Friday, followed by six on Saturday. Altogether, eight medical teams and one radiological, chemical and biological defence group will be sent to the Balkan country.
There are 1,711 confirmed cases in Serbia with the death toll standing at 31, according to the Health Ministry.