The Serbian army is one of the main military forces in its region and "strongly strengthens", greeted President Aleksandar Vucic on Saturday, commenting on the important maneuvers organized on the occasion of the centennial of the 1918 armistice.
Expected since October, these exercises are called "The centenary of the winners", as confirmed by the Kosovan president Hashim Thaci in an interview with the AFP, which Kosovo, whose defense is provided by an international force, has planned to establish his army, a red line for Serbia.
"We and the Hungarians are comparable, but all the others are far, far behind", "we are significantly strengthening our army," said the head of the Serbian state, RTS, on national television, which participated in the Pasuljanske Livade (east).
"We have a lot of tanks, in terms of number (tanks) we are a superpower", "we will have to arm ourselves according to new technologies, we have already ordered the first drones to our Chinese friends, people will see it in 2019" Aleksandar Vucic, "happy" with these maneuvers organized in a dozen places.
They mobilized 8,000 soldiers, 100 tanks and eight MiG-29s.
In an atmosphere of tension, Hashim Thaçi and Aleksandar Vucic met on Thursday in Brussels, for the first time since July, to try to resume discussions on the normalization of their relations.
Belgrade does not recognize the independence proclaimed in 2008 by its former province, for the most part inhabited by the Albanians.
Aleksandar Vucic was talking before going to Paris to attend the commemorations of the centenary of the end of the First World War, like Hashim Thaçi. French President Emmanuel Macron is organizing a Sunday peace forum.
Kosovo is recognized by about 115 countries, according to Pristina. But Belgrade ensures that a dozen nations have returned to this recognition, which Kosovo contests.
With the support of Russia and China, Serbia is opposed to entering the United Nations of its former province, recognized as a state by major Western countries.
It is estimated that around 120,000 Serbs still live in Kosovo, which has about 1.8 million inhabitants.
Serbia effectively lost control of Kosovo after a Western bombing campaign forced it to withdraw its troops, ending a conflict with Kosovo's independent Albanian guerrillas (1998-99, over 13,000 dead).
The political leader of this guerrilla force was Hashim Thaçi. While considered an ultranationalist hawk, Aleksandar Vucic was a Serbian information minister led by Slobodan Milosevic.