How Serbia let Putin down

According to declassified US intelligence, Serbia may have agreed to supply weapons to Ukraine to defend against Russian aggression or already sent them.

It is noted that among the dozens of classified US intelligence data published online is a document outlining the responses of European governments to Ukraine’s requests for military training and lethal assistance.

The document, titled “Europe|Response to Ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict,” the document lists the “assessed positions” of 38 European governments in response to Ukraine’s requests for military assistance in the form of a diagram.

The chart shows that Serbia has refused to provide training to Ukrainian troops, but has pledged to send lethal weapons or has already provided them. It was also noted that Serbia has the political will and military capability to provide weapons to Ukraine in the future.

The document is classified as Secret and NOFORN, which prohibits its distribution to foreign special services and the military. It is dated 2 March and bears the seal of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, Reuters was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the document.

The office of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and the Ukrainian embassy did not respond to a request for comment.

It should be added that Vucic’s government professed neutrality in Russia’s war against Ukraine, despite the country’s deep historical, economic and cultural ties with Russia. “If this document is accurate, it either demonstrates Vucic’s duplicity towards Russia, or he is under enormous pressure from Washington to supply weapons to Ukraine,” said Janusz Bugajski, an expert on Eastern Europe at the Jamestown Foundation, Institute for Foreign Policy.

The Pentagon table divides responses to Ukraine’s requests for assistance into categories:

  • countries that have committed to providing training and lethal assistance;
  • countries that have already provided training, lethal assistance, or both;
  • countries that have the military capability and political will to “provide lethal assistance in the future”.

Thus, Austria and Malta were the only countries that marked “No” in all four categories.

The publication of the table comes just over a month after documents allegedly showing that a Serbian arms manufacturer sent 122mm Grad multiple rocket launchers to Kyiv in November this year were posted on the Telegram. The documents included a bill of lading and an end-user certificate from the Ukrainian government.

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