NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, opened today in Mladenovac together with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, a civil protection exercise “Serbia 2018”, which was attended by nearly 2,000 emergency response officers from 40 countries! This is the largest exercise ever organized jointly by the “EADRCC” (Emergency Response Center) operating within “NATO” and the Emergency Situations Department of the MIA of Serbia.
“Serbia 2018” is not a military exercise, but an opportunity to train civil defense teams, firefighters, emergency aid, mountain rescue services and members of other emergency response services (so-called “first risponders”) from NATO member states, our allies, and partner countries. It is also an opportunity to share their experiences in saving lives”, Secretary Stoltenberg said. He thanked to Serbia for organizing the exercise, stressing that this is a good example of how Serbia’s partnership with “NATO” can bring concrete benefits for that country, “NATO”, and the entire region. He added that the exercise is a good opportunity for exchanging knowledge and experience of rescue teams in emergency situations, as well as for testing the latest devices used in such circumstances.
” The lessons we will learn during the duration of this exercise will help us to be even more successful in saving lives in the coming years”, Stoltenberg stressed. He added that the unique goal of “NATO” in all Western Balkan countries is to contribute to strengthening stability and peace, because this is a necessary condition for economic prosperity. Speaking about this, NATO’s Secretary General stressed that members of this military alliance are the largest investors in the region, and that they mostly help with the creation of new jobs. Mr. Stoltenberg stressed that “NATO” fully respects the fact that Serbia is neutral, and explained the concrete benefits of the partnership between that country and the Western Military Alliance. Citing examples in which projects it was reflected was the destruction of ammunition that is no longer used in the Serbian Armed Forces, as well as assistance to the Serbian armed forces in preparing and participating in international peacekeeping missions. On the same day (October 8th), NATO Secretary-General, at the invitation of NGO “Belgrade Security Forum”, participated with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in the conference “Leadership for a Safer Region”. Vladan Živulović, president of NGO “Atlantic Council of Serbia”, and vice president of “ATA” received the invitation for this event. During his visit to Serbia, Mr. Stoltenberg also visited the Department of Scandinavian Languages at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade and spoke with students, and he also had an official meeting with Anne Brnabic, the Serbian prime minister.