Serbia stages maneuvers days after protests & official’s detention in Kosovo

Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic and foreign diplomats on Thursday attended a training drill, dubbed Synergy 2018. The maneuvers came three days after Kosovo police used force to scatter Serb protesters in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica in Kosovo’s north, and briefly detained a Serbian government official, Reuters said. Army commander Gen. Ljubisa Dikovic said the exercise at the Pasuljanske Livade training range, involving more than 900 troops, was a part of training plans for 2018. In 2006, Serbia – which has adopted military neutrality – joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. Belgrade signed the Individual Partnership Action Plan in 2015 – the highest rung of cooperation between the alliance and a country not aspiring to join. Serbia also fosters close military ties with Russia.