Interview of the Serbian General of Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Serbian Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, visited Greece recently and gave an interview for Strategy publications. Some of the most important remarks and comments are going to be represented in this article.

General Zdravko Panos once gain noted the excellent relations enjoyed by Greece and Serbia, and added that the defence agreement between the two countries has facilitated a stronger cooperation in military terms between them. Moreover he stressed the aim of Serbia to enter NATO and the EU, and to become an integral part of the Euroantlantic security framework.

Aroynd the recent defence agrement he pointed out to the importance of joint exercises between Serbia and Greece, as well as, cooperation in areas such as training, signal intelligence, and peace-keeping operations.

The General informed of a large reconstructing process that is being developed in the Serbian Army and mostly involves the transformation of the conscript army into a professional one by 2010. Furthermore he revealed the existence of the “PRISMA Plan” that will retrain Officers in order to facilitate their entrance from military life to civilian one.

After 2010 30,00 active personnel will be the roof of the active Serbian forces in par with an “Active reserve Forces corps” that will be mobilazed in case of an emergency.

General Panos also stated that the Serbian Armed Forces enjoy excellent relations with the respective Forces of Greece, Germany and Italy and cordial ones with UK, Norway, and France.

Currently Serbia invests 2.4% of its GDP for its Army and the expansion of the economy with a rapid 6.5% for this year, will assist in managing more funds in real terms for the Army’s projects.

A very interesting point, is that Serbia is eager to send medical Army personnel to Afghanistan, should ofcourse the new goverment agrees over the coming weeks.

For the Kosovo issue the General noted that this Province is an integral part of the Serbian nation and rejected any calls towards independence.

Lastly General Panos, emphatically stressed the strong bonds between Greece and Serbia and added that the experience Serbia has gained through its succesfull resistance in the 1999 war, will only be shared with its allies. In his closing remarks he revealed that the Greco-Serbian cooperation is an everlasting need and priority for all administrations throughout the political Serbian class.

General Zdravko Panos was born in 1962 in the town Knin.

He graduated in 1986 from the Technical Academy of Zagreb and received his Masters Degree from the department of Mechanichal engineering int he university of Belgrade.

In 2003 he was trained in the Center of Security Studies in Geneva and in 2004 he attended courses in the Royal College of Defense Studies in London.

In 2005 he was trained in the European center for security studies -George C. Marshall- in Germany.

In his military career he has experience in the departments of electronic warfare, intelligence, procurements and international exchange.

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