Kiska: Defence Should Remain Priority Even After General Election

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From the left: Defence Minister Martin Glvac, President Andrej Kiska and Slovak Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Milan Maxim at an annual assembly at the Defence Ministry (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, February 11 (TASR) – Defence is a topic that we need to talk about constantly, said Slovak President Andrej Kiska after the annual assembly of Slovak Armed Forces Chief of General Staff Milan Maxim at the Defence Ministry on Thursday.

According to Kiska, protection of Slovakia and its citizens is an important topic at the moment. He wants it to remain so after the general election due to be held on March 5. “We need to talk about defence seriously, also in relation to our armed forces and NATO,” he stated.

The Slovak president is pleased that the Defence Ministry has launched modernisation, which was discussed at last year’s assembly. “There’s still a lot ahead of us, but I’m glad it’s started,” asserted Kiska, adding that this is one of the basic tasks that Slovakia needs to carry through. NATO used to criticise Slovakia’s defence for its lack of modernisation.

Defence Minister Martin Glvac considers the past year to be the best in terms of modernisation over the past 20 years. “Over these past four years we’ve succeeded at least in purchasing Spartan transport aircraft. In addition, all defence concept materials have already been approved by the Cabinet.

A public tender for the purchase of radar equipment is factored into the budget, said Glvac. “What will come out of it is up to people to decide based on their decisions in the [general] election,” said Glvac.

Glvac considers this assembly to be a good opportunity for exchanging differing opinions. The assembly evaluated military training, exercises and missions in 2015 and presented projects planned for 2016. Glvac said that the Defence Ministry wants to focus on developing ground forces and the air force.