Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Stefanović on the destruction of the Serbian Armed Forces’ weapons during the time of Ponoš and the former government

Statement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović, PhD:

"For days, there have been numerous attempts to change history and cover up hard facts clearly showing that, during the time of Zdravko Ponoš, the Serbian Armed Forces were disarmed and, to put it mildly, utterly ruined. No matter how hard various analysts try to put this in some kind of context, they will not be able to convince anyone that Ponoš and the former government armed the Serbian Armed Forces, when they were actually disarming them.  No matter what Dragan Đilas does, the facts and the wrongdoings committed by his candidate Zdravko Ponoš cannot be changed. They speak about the fact that Ponoš, the politician who had attained the rank of general thanks to politics and by skipping ranks in an unprecedented manner, left the Serbian Armed Forces in ruin. Even as a general, he did not know his place and role and he acted like a politician. He does not know his place even now when he is a politician trying to present himself as a general, so that he and his superior Đilas would come to power.
I would like to remind the public about the information that they themselves published in 2008, even bragged about it. Here it is – out of a total of 700 tanks, 90 helicopters, 850 armoured personnel carriers and other armoured vehicles, 140,000 infantry weapons, 1,800 air defence artillery-missile weapons, which the armed forces had in mid-2006, two years later, only 220 tanks, 45 helicopters, 500 armoured personnel carriers, 70,000 infantry weapons and 290 air defence artillery-missile weapons remained. But Ponoš's transformation, as he and his political comrades-in-arms called it, did not stop there.  The fact that some conscientious people in the armed forces managed to save some of the weapons and equipment, does not diminish the desire and intention of the above-mentioned to destroy that as well. Also, the photos that we provide to the public best show how much truth there is in the claims that nothing was cut or destroyed during the former government, and that is only one of too many examples."