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Serbian, Hungarian leaders attend army show in Serbia

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The populist leaders of Serbia and Hungary are observing a Serbian army train

BELGRADE, Serbia — The populist leaders of Serbia and Hungary noticed a Serbian army train Saturday, an occasion seen as a show of deadly firepower amid the conflict in Ukraine and tensions within the Balkans.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrived in Serbia on a beforehand unannounced go to. He was greeted by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who mentioned he was joyful “to as soon as once more welcome an ideal pal of Serbia.”

“Serbian-Hungarian relations are on the highest degree within the historical past of our international locations,” Vucic wrote on Instagram.

Each leaders have maintained political and financial ties with Russia regardless of its aggression in Ukraine. Their relations with Moscow have been a sore spot with different European nations and with the U.S.

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Though Serbia formally seeks membership within the European Union, Vucic has refused to affix worldwide sanctions towards Russia or publicly condemn the conflict in Ukraine.

And whereas Hungary is a member of each the EU and NATO, Orban has criticized war-related sanctions on Moscow. His authorities additionally has mentioned it might not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he have been to enter the nation regardless of him being the topic of a global warrant for alleged conflict crimes in Ukraine.

Saturday’s train at a army airport on the outskirts of Belgrade included low passes by Russian-made MiG-29 fighter jets and Mil helicopters, in addition to a show of a not too long ago delivered Chinese language anti-aircraft missile system and drones.

Serbia’s army buildup has raised considerations amongst a few of the nation’s neighbors, which worry it may threaten the delicate peace within the area that was engulfed in a bloody conflict within the 1990’s.

Vucic mentioned he and Serbian army commanders have been watching how the conflict in Ukraine is being carried out and planning future purchases of army {hardware} accordingly.

“Serbia has by no means had a stronger military in its historical past,” Vucic mentioned.

The train got here a day earlier than native elections in a Serb-populated northern area of Kosovo, a former Serbian province that declared independence in 2008. Serbia doesn’t acknowledge Kosovo as a separate nation.

The elections on Sunday have triggered ethnic tensions and fears of doable incidents. Many Serbian voters deliberate to boycott the votes.

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