Romania Says It Blocked A Russian Arms Shipment To Serbia

Romania has announced it has blocked a Russian military shipment to Serbia earlier this month because of international sanctions against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine.

In a statement released on July 26, the Romanian Foreign Ministry said that it could not issue a transit permit for the shipment due to a European Union embargo introduced in 2014. The statement gave no further details.

Russia is facing Western sanctions for, among other things, its March 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine where more than 10,300 have died since April 2014.

According to the AP news agency, Serbian officials complained earlier this month that Romania — a member of NATO — had prevented the delivery of some 60 Russian secondhand tanks and armored vehicles that were to be shipped from Russia via the Danube River to Serbia.

But the Russian Defense Ministry denied sending any such arms shipment to Serbia along the Danube River.

In a statement quoted by Interfax on July 26, the Russian Defense Ministry said such reports were “absolutely false.”

Russia has supplied Serbia with military equipment, raising concerns in the Balkan region.

In the 1990s during the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia was at war with neighbors Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Serbia has already received six MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia.

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