Kiska: Modernisation of Military Shouldn’t Hinge on Political Mood

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Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (L) at talks with President Andrej Kiska (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 12 (TASR) – Slovakia’s plans regarding defence and the modernisation of the military should be systemic, transparent, comprehensible and not subject to change according to political climate of the day, President Andrej Kiska said after his meeting with Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (SNS nominee) on Tuesday.

Kiska believes that the Slovak Armed Forces still enjoys a high level of trust, yet the public invests less interest in them than they deserve. There’s a broad array of issues new Defence Minister Gajdos will have to deal with in his portfolio, said Kiska.

Gajdos told the President that prior to taking office, he spent 41 years and 202 days in the military.

“I’m glad that we have a person with a full insight of the field,” said Kiska, who asked Gajdos to draft a comprehensive audit into how Slovak commitments towards NATO are being fulfilled for the upcoming summit in July in Warsaw.

Kiska also pointed to the need for the military to communicate with the public more efficiently, as he believes that the public relations aspect has been neglected. “We need to open the door for our generals and officers to participate also in public discussion about our military’s needs,” he said.

The new Defence Minister claimed that securing the defence of the country is not only a duty but also an honour for every citizen of Slovakia. He announced that Slovakia will have its security strategy approved in the foreseeable future. “My task will be to process the defence strategy – including the military strategy – due to be drafted by the Armed Forces of Slovakia,” he claimed, adding that he will vie for public support in this process.

Gajdos also pledged to continue the modernisation of the military in a transparent manner and in a way that provides the greatest cost-benefit efficiency.