Turkey's intention to acquire Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems and Ankara's refusal to obey to the United States ultimatum to abandon purchases of Russian weapons are likely to be the cause of America's sudden favour with Greece. Indeed, in the past, should Washington's relations with Ankara or Athens fall in a crisis, the USA "put things right" by supplying weapons to the other side.
The same can be said about the US' policy on weapons supplies to the Croatian Army. Americans, of course, do not like the fact that Russia is giving weapons to Serbia. However, Washington cannot openly blame Moscow and Belgrade for this, so the United States follows the same behaviour pattern as in the case with Greece and Turkey.
In response to the 30 modernised T-72 tanks and 30 modernised BRDM-2 armoured vehicles, which Russia donated to Serbia, Washington responds by voicing its intention to donate 60 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to Croatia. It is true that it would be good to upgrade these BMPs, but even without modernisation as they are, these are excellent combat armoured vehicles by Balkan standards. At the moment, Croatia has more wheeled armoured fighting vehicles than Serbia.
America also intends to supply Croatia with 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters by 2025. The cost of their donation to Croatia is $63 million. Thanks to these American helicopters, Zagreb plans to replace its fleet of old Soviet Mil Mi-8 and Mil Mi-17 helicopters by 2025.
It should be recalled that Croatia started modernising the ageing helicopter fleet back in 2007 and 2008 when it acquired 10 Mi-171Sh combat-transport helicopters (which were upgraded in 2017) due to the clearing of the debt of the former Soviet Union to the former SFRY. The modernisation works costed 26.9 million euros and was carried out by the Aeronautical Technical Centre in Velika Gorica, near Zagreb, and the 810th Aircraft Repair Plant in Chita, Russia.
So this is a not-so-subtle policy of "sending messages" using the language of weapons deals…
What is there left for Serbia to do? Only to buy new combat and transport helicopters from Russia and upgrade its air defence system because we are living in an era when only military power is respected. As they say: "Might makes right"…
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.