Medical aid from the Russian Federation has arrived
9.15pm - The sixth airplane transporting aid for the fight against the coronavirus has landed in Serbia from the Russian Federation. Five more airplanes with humanitarian aid are expected to arrive from the Russian Federation tomorrow.
8.33pm - Another, fifth airplane with medical equipment from the Russian Federation has landed at the Batajnica airport.
5.15pm- The fourth airplane with medical aid from the Russian Federation has landed at the Batajnica airport. In the meantime, medical supplies are being quickly unloaded from the planes that have previously landed. The fifth plane is expected to land later tonight, and tomorrow, six more planes from the Russian Federation will be delivering medical aid to Serbia for the fight against the coronavirus.
4.40pm - The third airplane with medical aid from the Russian Federation has landed at the Batajnica airport. Two more planes are expected to land today, and tomorrow, six more planes will ship medical supplies and protective equipment from the Russian Federation to its friendly Serbia for its fight against the coronavirus.
4.05pm – The Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin and the Chief of the General Staff, General Milan Mojsilović, with associates, immediately after the plane landed at “Pukovnik-pilot Milenko Pavlović” Airport in Batajnica, met with Major General Mikhail Chernyshov, the Chief of NBC Defence Troops in the Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
At the meeting they discussed and agreed upon engagement plans and assigned tasks to teams from the Russian Federation, which will work intensively in the coming days, together with members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces and health professionals to fight the spread of the coronavirus in Serbia.
3.35pm - Another plane with medical aid from the Russian Federation landed at “Pukovnik-pilot Milenko Pavlović” Airport in Batajnica.
3pm - Welcoming medical experts from Russia, the Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin pointed out that the agreement between the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, is being fulfilled in this way.
- Just as Russia assisted us under the Military Technical Agreement, and made our armed forces stronger and more secure and our skies guarded and protected, so today the Russian Federation and its armed forces help us to fight the terrible Covid-19 disease, which attacked and brought misery upon the whole world - said the Minister of Defence, adding that medical aid, experts, technicians, vehicles, everything sent to help us - would mean a lot and would strengthen our capabilities and capacity to cope with the terrible disease in medical terms, and even more than that.
- This shows us that we are not alone, that the Russian Federation and the Russian people are always there for us in times of hardship, that they are always there and that Serbia is no longer and will never be alone, said Minister Vulin.
He recalled that Presidents Putin and Vučić had made friendship and trust.
- Today, in these difficult times when the whole world expects assistance from the Russian Federation, that country has chosen to help Serbia. It decided to take a significant portion of its resources that it could have used in its own territory, for its own citizens, and handed it over to the citizens of Serbia - said the Minister of Defence and added that Serbia never forgets acts of kindness.
- Sometimes we tend to forget the evil that has been done to us, or at least we diminish it, but we never forget the good that has been done to us. Rest assured that the good that you, our Russian brothers, have done to the Serbian people today, will be returned many times and that Serbia will never forget it, said the Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin, expressing once again his gratitude.
He confirmed that in the coming days, the Serbian Armed Forces will provide all necessary assistance to medical and expert teams.
- We will be together wherever the Crisis Management Team orders us to be, we will do everything for the citizens of Serbia to feel better and more secure and to really help them - the Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin concluded his speech.
In her address, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić thanked for the “much needed assistance”, as she put it.
- It has arrived on the hardest day for Serbia since the beginning of the fight against Covid-19. It has arrived on the day when we have entered the fifth week of the fight, when we are entering two very difficult weeks, the prime minister said, adding that this is evident by today's number - eight dead and 305 newly infected. She thanked that the assistance from the Russian Federation arrived is such a short time.
- Thank you for coming to provide both material and psychological - friendly help and support. We have everything we need to win. We have partners and associates from all over the world, including the Russian Federation with its tremendous help. We also have equipment and doctors and excellent nurses, technicians, associates, researchers, scientists, laboratories. However, we still lack discipline, said Ana Brnabić adding that without iron discipline, "we cannot win".
According to her, this is a fight of all of us and on behalf of the President of the Republic and the Government of Serbia she conveyed support and gratitude to the people of the Russian Federation.
The Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Aleksandar Botsan Harchenko stressed that he is happy today because assistance from the Russian Federation has arrived in Serbia.
- I feel happy today, because assistance has arrived following yesterday's agreement between the two presidents, Vučić and Putin. This humanitarian assistance was organized by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and it is not an extraordinary thing in our relations. This gesture perfectly reflects the character of our relations and reaffirms the friendship, firm brotherly assistance and willingness of our countries to be together, to cooperate as best we can, not only in peace but also in difficult times. Co-operation, brotherhood and mutual support in the most difficult situation confirm the true friendship, Ambassador Botsan Harchenko said, emphasizing that a "team of the best experts" is coming to help Serbia.
Major General Mikhail Chernyshov, the Chief of NBC Defence Troops in the Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, who heads the Russian teams, said that the first aircraft from the Russian Federation has brought officers, namely, managerial staff, tasked with assessing the current situation and the scope of work ahead of them. A total of eight medical teams will arrive in Serbia, who will do their best to help Serbia overcome this difficult situation brought about by the coronavirus epidemic.
General Chernyshov urged all the citizens of Serbia to strictly abide by the measures the state has introduced to protect them, because that is, as he says, the most important thing we can do so that the situation with the coronavirus does not worsen.
2.35pm – The first of 11 medical aid airplanes from the Russian Federation landed at 2:35 pm at the “Pukovnik-pilot Milenko Pavlović” Airport in Batajnica. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Ana Brnabić, the Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin, the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović, and the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Aleksandar Botsan Harchenko were there to welcome it.
The medical teams of the Russian Federation are composed of one general, 42 officers, 42 NCOs and two members of the Russian Ministry of Health, led by Major General Mikhail Chernishov, the Chief of NBC Defence Troops in the Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Eighty-seven experts, epidemiologists and virologists are coming to Serbia, led by Major General Mikhail Chernyshov, the Chief of NBC Defence Troops in the Western Military District of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Russian planes are carrying medical equipment to assist in the prevention, fight and suppression of the coronavirus epidemic in Serbia.
Assistance to Serbia is coming after yesterday's talks between the two presidents and Supreme Commanders of Serbia and the Russian Federation, Aleksandar Vučić and Vladimir Putin.
Five airplanes are arriving today, and six more tomorrow.
The Russian experts are divided into eight medical teams, and each team will have a general practitioner, an epidemiologist, an anaesthesiologist, a medical technician and an interpreter. The rest of the delegation is made up of NBC experts.
The aid includes 16 special motor vehicles intended for the disinfection of facilities and roads, as well as a large amount of medical and protective equipment that Serbia needs in the treatment of patients with Covid-19 and in the fight against the coronavirus.