"I hope we won't have to use (the military) against anyone," Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said. "All this should serve primarily as a deterrent against an aggressor's attack." Tensions have increased in the region with Serbia and Kosovo accusing each other of undermining efforts at reconciliation following a 1998-99 war which ended after NATO intervention. Kosovo, a former Serbian province, declared independence in 2008. But Belgrade doesn't recognize it.
Any military intervention by Serbia in Kosovo would trigger a direct clash with NATO-led peacekeepers stationed there. "Serbia is a free country and we won't allow anyone to threaten its freedom," Vucic told the soldiers and thousands of people who gathered to watch the parade.