Serbia considers reintroducing compulsory conscription as regional tensions grow

Adriana Lima
By Adriana Lima 3 Min Read
origin 1Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić evaluations the guard of honor throughout the welcoming ceremony on the military barracks in Belgrade. ©AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

Serbia is contemplating reintroducing compulsory navy service, its president mentioned on Tuesday, citing tensions within the Balkans and different elements of Europe.

President Aleksandar Vučić he mentioned senior military commanders had given him “a robust argument” in favor of reintroducing compulsory conscription, which had been suspended in 2011 in a push to professionalize the armed forces.

Serbia’s populist president didn’t specify when the draft will return. He mentioned the nationwide parliament, dominated by his allies, would vote on the proposal, which comes after a protracted marketing campaign by nationalists on his behalf.

“We are not threatening anyone,” Vučić mentioned as he inspected the show of navy tools after assembly with commanders. “Today, if you don’t have a (strong) army, you don’t have a country.”

“We will see if the military service will last 90 or 100 days, or maybe 110 days,” Vučić informed reporters. “As well as how it will be introduced and how the financial and logistical assumptions will be met.”

Opposition politicians and different critics of the draft have questioned the logic of a navy buildup when Serbia is nearly fully surrounded by NATO member international locations which have superior firepower within the occasion of a battle. There are additionally issues that the federal government might battle to foot the invoice for a bigger military.

origin 1Serbian Army troopers in Belgrage put together for a presidential go to. Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved

Tensions have been excessive in latest instances within the Balkans, which skilled the bloody breakup of the previous Yugoslavia within the Nineties. Although Serbia is formally impartial, its military has maintained shut ties with Russia, from which it buys most of its tools, together with fighter planes and tanks.

And whereas Serbia is formally looking for to hitch the European Union, its authorities has refused to introduce sanctions towards Russia for invading Ukraine.

The fundamental bone of rivalry is the previous Serbian province of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008. Serbia and its allies Russia and China haven’t acknowledged its state.

In latest months, Serbia has repeatedly elevated the fight readiness of its forces on the border with Kosovo.

However, Belgrade maintains cordial relations with NATO, whose peacekeeping troops have been stationed in Kosovo since 1999, when the Western navy alliance intervened to cease Serbia’s bloody crackdown on Kosovo Albanian separatists.

Another unstable area is Bosnia, the place Bosnian Serb separatist chief Milorad Dodik has threatened to declare the Serb-controlled half of Bosnia unbiased and unite it with neighboring Serbia.

Dodik accompanied Vučić to the assembly with military commanders on Tuesday.

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