Europe

Russia ready to boost Serbian defense to counter NATO

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, smiles during a statement with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, right, in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Lavrov is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, smiles during a statement with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic, right, in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Lavrov is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, smiles during during a statement with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Lavrov is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, smiles during during a statement with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Lavrov is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, speaks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Lavrov is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, speaks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Lavrov is on a two-day official visit to Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the Kremlin is ready to boost Serbia's defense capabilities amid what his Serbian counterpart says is a threat from neighboring Croatia.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Monday that Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic would visit Moscow later this month to discuss the donation of four MiG-29 jets.

Media reports say the jets were decommissioned by the Russian Air Force and need major repairs. Lavrov confirmed the visit, but refused to disclose details of a possible agreement.

Dacic says Serbia has to strengthen its armed forces in the wake of NATO's arming of neighboring Croatia. The two countries were at war in the 1990s.

Russia has opposed Serbia and other Balkan countries joining NATO. Serbia formally wants to become a European Union member.