Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Tuesday called on Croatia to abandon its armament plans, saying that Serbia would do the same the moment Croatia confirmed it would not procure arms.
"The second they say they will not do it - we won't be buying anything," Vucic told the press.
"We don't want to buy missiles of the same power and equally expensive, we want defence systems," the media cited Vucic as saying.
Asked why Serbia is announcing the procurement of the Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems S-300, instead of investing in the economy, Vucic said Serbia was investing money in the economy, adding that it would not invest in arms if Croatia abandons its plans to procure missiles.
Vucic said this would be Serbia's policy as long as he was prime minister. He declined to say what would be the cost of procuring the S-300 missiles systems, adding that Serbia would resolve its problems at an affordable price, adding however that the objective of his government is a concern for the region.
Serbia cares about peace in the region that includes Croatians and others. You assure us you will not be procuring offence weapons and we will not be procuring defence weapons, Vucic said.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in Belgrade on Monday that Russia would consider Serbia's invitation to deliver the S-300 missiles systems and try to support Serbia.
We will do everything to secure support for our ally in the Balkans, Rogozin told a joint news conference with Vucic.