In 2018, NATO and its partners could hold the exercises in Serbia, similar to the ones recently held in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, reported sources.
The exercise is a test of international cooperation and interoperability in disaster response, including water rescue and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) detection, protection and decontamination.
The Balkans Insight quoted the Serbian daily Blic as saying that this news is already spread among NATO officials and it was suggested that a suitable location in Serbia is already being sought for the needs of the exercises. Blic daily also pointed out that the proximity of Belgrade is mentioned as one of the possible options.
No official confirmation has been issued thus far.
September 29 will be the last day of the annual security exercise mentioned in the article. The 17th EADRCC consequence management field exercise, called “BOSNA I HERCEGOVINA 2017”, was jointly organized by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and the Ministry of the Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The activities on the ground were based on a scenario that included floods, an earthquake, landslides and chemical incidents affecting the population and critical infrastructure in Tuzla canton.
Around 1400 participants from 34 NATO, allied partner countries, and several international and non-governmental organizations including Serbia, participated in the exercise, which was largest in terms of counties involved held by NATO so far.
The source also stated that the idea of holding NATO exercises in Serbia began at the time when Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić had a meeting with NATO officials. Serbia is intensifying its cooperation with NATO, despite anti-NATO sentiment present among the wider population.
The extent of Serbia’s cooperation with NATO could best be illustrated by the fact that, within the framework of this Partnership for Peace program, Serbia participated in a total of 23 (24 if the current is taken into account) military exercises, mainly as an observer.