– The world is changing, and it is for the worse, as it is becoming an increasingly unsafe place where different threats come from various sides, Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin said addressing participants in the Balkan Response 2018, a multinational civilian-military exercise held at the Ravnjak training range near Kruševac.
– Asymmetric threats are a danger to the security of all countries. Terrorism can appear in any form, utilising chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. That is why the Serbian Armed Forces has to prepare itself for any possibility and for anything that might threaten us, but not only the Serbian Armed Forces, but by the entire society, from the Ministry of the Interior, the Red Cross, local self-governments and any organisation that can help in the preservation of lives and safety of our citizens, Minister Vulin said.
According to him, that is why we attended today the exercise of not only soldiers, but also of the states that are worried about the changing world and are ready to work against the greatest evil of the modern era – terrorism.
– When this evil appears, it threatens everything, not just one country or one nation. Today, we are showing that when preparing for the fight against that evil, we are ready to forget all political disagreements, conflicts, different opinions and to concentrate on what is most important, and that is saving lives, Minister Vulin said.
Speaking about the exercise, the Minister of Defence stressed that today there are armies of countries that often think differently about numerous things, but they all think exactly the same when it comes to the fight against terrorism and the preservation of life.
– Today we had the opportunity to see top professionals who demonstrate knowledge, training and readiness. I would like to thank all the guests from abroad and everyone who came here for the knowledge they have brought to us, but I also wish that they had something to learn from us. I would particularly like to thank members of the Serbian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Interior, the Red Cross, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the local self-government of the City of Kruševac, because each of them showed great effort and desire to learn, Minister Vulin emphasized pointing out that he is especially proud of the members Serbian Armed Forces, their knowledge and their readiness to defend and protect their country.
Assessing the exercise as excellent, the Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Ljubiša Diković, emphasized that it is of great importance because nothing is new when we say that nuclear, chemical and biological weapons today are a major threat, but it is new that it is also used in some modern wars.
– It is weapons of mass destruction that can cause enormous problems if it falls into the wrong hands of those who have the goals of destroying lives and goods in the world. If we are not ready to resist it, we can get into a serious problem. Today, we have demonstrated the ability of the Serbian Armed Forces and other Serbian structures to oppose and intervene in the elimination of consequences, especially from the use of chemical weapons. Terrorism is not a problem of a state, terrorism is a global problem, and everyone must participate in the fight against terrorism, emphasized General Diković, especially emphasizing the international character of this exercise.
At today's exercise at the Ravnjak military training area, action of rescue in the urban environment in the conditions of nuclear-radiological-chemical-biological contamination caused by terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and accidents has been demonstrated.
The exercise included 370 members of the armed forces of Serbia, Austria, Belarus, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro and Spain, as well as members of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, the Red Cross of Serbia, the General Hospital Kruševac, the Kruševac Health Centre and representatives of the United Nations Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Representatives of Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Kingdom, Italy, Montenegro, Spain and the USA attended the exercise as observers. The exercise, which was held from 20 to 26 May, was organised by the Serbian Armed Forces Training Command.