Todt Wolters: I respect what Serbian army is doing

Todt D. Wolters; Photo: Tanjug / Zoran Žestić

BELGRADE – I am very proud of the fact that the Serbian Army and the President of Serbia have given us the opportunity to continue to support peace together, said Todt Wolters, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander (SACEUR) in an interview for RTS.

In an interview for Oko magazin, he talked about relations between NATO and Serbia, joint military exercises, the Western Balkans region, and the overall security of the European continent.

“The Western Balkans is certainly a very important region for Europe. I am here because it provides us with the opportunity to peacefully talk and to create peace. The Western Balkans is crucial in terms of the overall security of the European continent and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be here. Also, this is a fantastic opportunity to talk about ways in which we can support peace, exercises and training, about future opportunities for countries to cooperate in military terms, to increase commitment to peace”, says Wolters.

In the interview, Wolters spoke about Serbia’s cooperation with NATO and its members, pointing out that this cooperation is very strong. He had a chance to talk with the Serbian military leadership about what was achieved in the past and what is expected in 2019.

“Our goal is to look at the plans for 2020 and to continue improving the quality and number of these exercises so that we can better promote peace from the military perspective,” points out Wolters for RTS.

Asked whether Serbia’s military neutrality policy is feasible in the current conditions of NATO and Russia confrontation, Wolters says that he is, as NATO commander, focused on exercises and training, as well as opportunities for improving peace in the military component.

“The aim is to practice in order to improve our capacity to deter and protect the sovereignty of NATO member states. Naturally, I support everything that we can do to improve this. This is what I see in the area of the European continent today, and that’s what we will continue to support,” says Wolters.

He adds that he respects Serbia’s military neutrality and that it is up to Serbia to decide if it wants to join NATO.

“I respect what the Serbian army is doing, I respect the peace that it advocates, and I understand the discussion of neutrality, and as a NATO military commander, I am very proud of the fact that the Army and the President of Serbia gave us the opportunity to continue to support peace together,” concludes Wolters for RTS.

General Todt D. Wolters became the 19th Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) on 3 May 2019 and last week he visited Serbia and the region for the first time.