Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia
 
10.08.2020

Minister Vulin: The state of Serbia has not violated any domestic or international rules




- The permit for the export of weapons to Armenia, as well as any other permit, is obtained in the same way. Therefore, there is no special procedure for obtaining a permit for Armenia. All permits must be issued by the Ministry of Trade and Telecommunications, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All legal conditions must be met, and in order for weapons not to go to any other country, it is necessary in the first place for that country not to be under United Nations sanctions - said the Minister of Defence, Aleksandar Vulin, today in Kruševac, answering a journalist's question about who issued a permit for the export of weapons to Armenia and how that permit is obtained.

- Much more weapons and military equipment, including technology, have been exported to Azerbaijan than to Armenia. The Government of the Republic of Serbia, headed by Mirko Cvetković, passed a Conclusion according to which weapons could also be exported to Armenia. In 2006, it was stopped, and then the Government of the Republic of Serbia, which at that time consisted of parties of the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, made the decision that weapons could be exported to Armenia as well - said the Minister of Defence.

He pointed out that all the time, even the same companies exported both to Azerbaijan and Armenia, and that some of them were private companies.

- Politics can make a decision to do something or not to do it. I am glad that you, as representatives of the Luxembourg media where democracy is very developed, will do everything so that politics never again decides on economic matters, on the economy, that politics never again orders something to be done or not to be done. When you export weapons to Azerbaijan, Armenia tells you that it is absolutely unacceptable. When you export weapons to Armenia, Azerbaijan tells you that it is absolutely unacceptable. And then those whose lobby is stronger, who can ask for something more loudly, who can blackmail or insult more should decide about that - Minister Vulin emphasized and said that he carefully read the letter sent by the representatives of our defence industry which says that "if politics decides where they are allowed and where they are not allowed to export their weapons, and if that is not in accordance with the general rules, which means that the decision is also made by the United Nations, their fate and the fate of their families will be very uncertain. "

- The Serbian Defence Industry employs 17,000 people and it is not that easy. They make weapons and you cannot sell a single bullet to anyone without some other party thinking it is not very good. We must always think about the interests of our country. These are friendly countries, neither of them recognizes the false state of Kosovo, we must certainly take into account how Azerbaijan or Armenia feel, but just make sure that everything is done strictly according to the law and that all decisions are made on the basis of the decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia from 2012 - the Minister of Defence pointed out, emphasizing that we are a state governed by the rule of law and that we must have respect for the legal system.

- All decisions of the previous governments are still valid. Personally, I think that we made a lot of mistakes there, because we unconditionally abided by the decisions made by the Democratic Opposition of Serbia before us. We may have been able to revise them, but we didn’t. It was done the way it was done. That means legal security, and that should certainly be respected, and I absolutely support that, and I will say again that decisions and permits are made not on the basis of politics, but on the basis of clear legal rules. That is the only way it’s done. A state can make a decision to sell something to someone or not to sell it,

regardless of everything, but if there is no political decision, then the arms trade is carried out according to strictly established rules - Minister Vulin emphasized.
- In any case, the state of Serbia has not violated any domestic or international rules, none whatsoever. Whether that will change is another matter, it is a matter of politics, but I will say again that these are friendly countries, countries that are not under United Nations sanctions, and our defence industry must fight for its place on the world market and start working. When we forbid them something, we directly affect their production. Maybe we should consider shutting down the defence industry of Serbia. Then there would be no such questions. Admittedly, the need for weapons would be met, but we would buy them from Bulgaria, or from some other country. I think that the defence industry of Serbia must exist, it should exist and it is very important, and if the country has foreign policy interests somewhere, the defence industry of Serbia will unconditionally respect them - the Minister of Defence concluded.
 
videoVIDEOGALLERY
10.08.2020
mp4 (332,4 MB)
Minister Vulin’s statement