News Briefs – November 9, 2019

Serbia set to buy Russian missiles despite U.S. sanctions hint

Russia will deliver an anti-aircraft missile system to Serbia even though the U.S. has warned of possible sanctions against the Balkan country in case of such purchases.
Russia’s state TASS news agency said Nov. 5 that the Pantsir-S system will be delivered to Serbia “in the next few months in accordance with the signed contract.”
The U.S.’s special envoy for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, warned Serbia last week that the purchase of Russian weapons “poses a risk” of U.S. sanctions.
Serbia remains a key ally of Russia even though it wants to join the European Union. Belgrade has pledged to stay out of NATO and refused to join Western sanctions against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine. AP

Putin: New weapons will offer Russia reliable protection

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Nov. 5 that Russia’s new weapons have no foreign equivalents but he insists the country will not use them to threaten anyone.
Speaking during a meeting with senior military officers, Putin said that “we plan to build up our defense capability, commissioning hypersonic, laser and other new weapons systems that other countries don’t have.”
“Yet it’s not a reason to threaten anyone,” he added.
The Russian leader claimed that the new weapons systems are designed exclusively to “ensure our security in view of the growing threats,” and vowed to pursue arms control efforts.
Russia’s relations with the West have plunged to the lowest levels since the Cold War years over the conflict in Ukraine and other disputes.
In 2018, Putin announced an array of new weapons, including a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, a hypersonic glide vehicle, a nuclear-armed underwater drone and a nuclear-powered cruise missile. AP

Boeing chairman says CEO won’t get bonus until Max flies

Boeing’s new chairman is giving embattled CEO Dennis Muilenburg a vote of confidence and says the executive is giving up any bonus this year.
David Calhoun said Nov. 4 on CNBC that the Boeing board believes Muilenburg “has done everything right” in dealing with the aftermath of two crashes involving the 737 Max that killed 346 people.
Last week, several members of Congress challenged Muilenburg to resign or at least give up pay. Muilenburg’s compensation last year was worth $23.4 million, including a $13.1 million bonus and $7.3 million in stock awards.
Boeing is changing flight-control software and computers to get the plane back in service late this year or early next year.
Calhoun was named chairman last month after the Boeing board stripped that title from Muilenburg. AP