Slovakia and the Czech Republic plan even more intensive defence cooperation
Yesterday Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď welcomed Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová at the premises of the Ministry. It was her first visit to the Slovak Ministry of Defence and, in keeping with tradition, her first foreign bilateral visit after taking office. They discussed Russia's military aggression in Ukraine and related humanitarian aid, as well as strengthening the Alliance's eastern border. Cooperation between the two countries in the defence industry was also a prominent topic.
Picture: Yesterday Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic Jaroslav Naď welcomed Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic Jana Černochová at the premises of the ministry. | Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic
The head of the Slovak defence ministry thanked the Czech side for the Czech Army's contribution to the NATO multinational battle group being established as part of the Forward Presence (eFP) in Slovakia, in which the Czech Republic will be a framework country. "I look forward to having the first Czech soldiers in Slovakia in the coming weeks, or perhaps even sooner. This is a clear signal not only of good relations, but also of the responsible alliance that the Czech Republic has shown towards Slovakia," Minister Naď said.
The Minister also highlighted the very active Czech assistance in terms of humanitarian aid to Slovakia. In particular, he mentioned the deployment of members of the Czech Army in the construction of a tent city for war refugees from Ukraine at the Mokřad base near Liptovský Mikuláš.
"Our countries have always been close to each other and the crisis in Ukraine has strengthened our cooperation. I very much appreciate the offer to be part of the NATO multinational battle group and even to command it," Minister Černochová said.
"We want to link our priorities in these two organisations. It will not be easy for the Czech Republic to lead the European Union at this time of crisis, at a time of Russian aggression in Ukraine. We will therefore be of the utmost assistance to the Czech Republic," Naď added.
However, the Minister and the Minister also expressed the initiative to deepen cooperation in the field of modernisation of the armed forces and the defence industry. This would allow the Czech and Slovak governments to tackle some defence projects jointly or mutually at the government-to-government level. The use of the capacity of armaments companies and state-owned enterprises is gaining importance at this time when most NATO member states are aware of the need to accelerate the modernisation of their armies.
"We have agreed to exchange the material lists of our armourers so that we can better cooperate in government-to-government procurement," explained the Czech Defence Minister. One of the opportunities for further elaboration of this topic is the traditional IDEB trade fair, which is always attended in the Slovak capital by most companies from both sides of the border operating in the defence sector.
Both ministers also paid tribute to the memory of the first Czechoslovak defence minister Milan Rastislav Štefánik in Bratislava on Friday. Minister Černochová also invited Jaroslav Nada to the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of Operation Anthropoid in June.