Belgrade,Serbia. US Senator John McCain flew in for a one day visit to spread America’s version of “democracy” in meetings with Serb leaders and to help steer them down the path to future NATO membership.
Serbia’s military and the United States agreed to step up efforts to bolster regional security including joint military and police training drills, Serbian Prime Minister and President-elect Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday.
The Serbs are maintaining a balancing act between the West and Russia, its traditional Slavic ally. Although it wants to join the European Union, Belgrade has adamantly refused to join NATO which bombed it in 1999 during the war in Kosovo. In 2008, with US support, Kosovo declared independence.
Following the meeting with Republican Senator John McCain, who also chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, Vucic told reporters that the two sides will have “six or seven” joint training operations this year.
During the one day visit to Serbia, McCain attended a training between Serbia’s elite police unit, a detachment of the U.S. Special Operations Command and a military unit from Slovenia, a ex-Yugoslav republic and now NATO member.
“I am sure Mosul and Raqqa will fall,” McCain told a news conference speaking through an interpeter, referring to two Islamic State strongholds in Iraq and Syria. “Many people seeking to do violence may then come to Europe and the US, therefore joint drills are important,” McCain stated.
The trip underscores America’s desire to reinforce former Warsaw Pact nations, now turned NATO auxiliaries in the continuing desire for pressure upon the Russian Federation.