Defense Ministry denies arms export claims by Serbian opposition politician


The Serbian Defense Ministry on Monday denied claims by opposition People’s Party leader Vuk Jeremic about the export of Serbian weapons to Islamic extremists in Yemen.

Jeremic told the N1 morning show earlier on Monday that there are reports and documents showing that “weapons from the Serbian army factory Krusik were being exported to Yemen for the Islamic State organization, adding that “the father of the police minister (Nebojsa Stefanovic) was involved”.  

The Arms Watch report said that munitions made at the Krusik plant in Valjevo ended up with Islamic State fighters in Yemen with the mediation of a US company. It added that photographs of mortar shells in the hands of Islamic State mortar crews carried visible Krusik markings. Arms Watch said that more than half a million shells were exported from Serbia by the GIM company which was represented by Minister Stefanovic’s father Branko at prices lower than those offered to other buyers.

“The Krusik company does not export arms and military equipment to Yemen,” the ministry said in a statement adding that “the claims by irresponsible politicians are not just ill-intentioned but inflict damage on all employees of the Serbian defense industry, upsetting its export potentials with lies”. The ministry specified that it was reacting to what Jeremic said on N1 TV.  

The Defense Ministry said that it was involved with three other ministries and state bodies in controlling and issuing export permits for arms and military equipment and dual purpose goods. The statement added that “Serbia is one of the top five countries ranked on the transparency barometer published by the Small Arms Survey organization in Geneva”.