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The Serbs break the embargo on mil drills due to Ukraine-They participate with the US and Greece in the "Platinum Wolf" drill in Presevo

The Serbian Army will conduct the "Platinum Wolf" military exercise in June with members of the US Army and Western partners, including Greece, in southern Serbia, an area dominated by Albanian elements.

The mixed special forces teams will practice tactics, techniques and procedures with non-lethal weapons used in multinational operations.

Fighting in an urban environment, defending the military base, setting up a blockade and conducting a ground search, operating the checkpoint, conducting motorized and foot patrols and providing first aid are some of the activities included in the training programme.

A virtual battlefield simulator is also used in the training.

The objective of the exercise is to improve interoperability and mutual understanding between the armed forces of the partner countries at the tactical level while conducting a multinational peace support operation.

This exercise to which the Greek military will go will be implemented at the Southern base in Bujanovac in the region of Presevo ( South Serbia).

"This exercise will end the moratorium on military exercises with foreign partners from both the East and the West, introduced by Serbia after the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

At the end of February last year, after Russia launched the war in Ukraine, the Serbian Armed Forces suspended all military exercises with foreign partners, both Russian-Chinese and American, until further notice.

The activation of international military exercises was also mentioned by US State Department senior adviser Derek Sole, when he thanked Serbian President Alexander Vucic via Twitter for his constructive engagement in Ohrid, but also for, as he said, re-engaging Serbia with the US in military exercises, with the hashtag "Platinum Wolf".

"It is in the interest of the Serbian Army to increase the interoperability of its units, but conducting military exercises with Western partners can also be seen as a clear indication of the direction Serbia has decided to take," the Serbian expert said.

An indicator of this tendency in Belgrade was the trip of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Serbia, General Milan Mojisovic, to Washington in early February, where he met with the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces, General Mark Miley.

The meetings discussed the current security situation in the world and challenges in the region, as well as bilateral cooperation between Serbia and the US.

On 28 March, US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill visited the Training Centre for Multinational Operations Units in Bujanovac and stressed the good cooperation between Serbia and the US.

Incidentally, the US provided equipment for the Centre's operations, Hammer vehicles, equipment for combat simulations, parachutes, road-building equipment, equipment for digital simulations, as well as for medical simulations, and the value of this equipment is more than 14 million dollars.

More military exercises with the West than with Russia
The suspension of military exercises due to the war in Ukraine is not the first time that Serbia, due to international treaties, has suspended participation in bilateral and multilateral military exercises.

In 2020, Serbia also introduced a kind of moratorium on international military exercises for six months.

Specifically, in 2020, Serbia cancelled its participation in the Russia-Belarus exercises because they were held in Belarus at a time when that country was shaken by a political crisis following the presidential elections.

The then Serbian Defence Minister Alexander Vulin explained such a decision by saying that Serbia was under "terrible and unfair pressure from the European Union".

He then announced a moratorium on the participation of the Serbian Armed Forces in bilateral and multilateral exercises with all partners Russia, EU, NATO and China.

Serbia, which is a candidate country for membership of the European Union, declared military neutrality in relation to existing military alliances in 2007, with the Resolution on the Protection of the Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Constitutional Order of the Republic of Serbia, which was adopted by the National Assembly.

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