Bratislava, August 10 (TASR) – The North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) in its summarising evaluation report reproaches the Slovak Armed Forces, saying that the building of a heavy infantry brigade, which was supposed to be Slovakia’s main priority, has been too slow and that the number of soldiers and military doctors is insufficient, TASR learnt from Martin Dubeci of the non-parliamentary Progressive Slovakia (PS) party, who published the review on Facebook.
According to the report, NATO also recommends that Slovakia should double its efforts in the field of meeting the Alliance’s objectives in terms of quantity, quality and time, as well as to boost the management of the armed forces, especially in the field of defence planning.
The NATO report further points out that NATO defence ministers agreed in 2017 that Slovakia should give priority to the development of an infantry brigade. A medium-sized infantry brigade should have been fully available this year, but this goal has not been met. As for a fully-capable heavy infantry brigade, Slovakia committed itself to building it until 2030, which NATO considers to be insufficient.
In 2017 the Slovak Government agreed to purchase the 4×4 and 8×8 military armoured vehicles to replace obsolete military equipment. However, no decision has yet been made regarding the chassis on which the armoured vehicles should be. As a result, it remains unclear whether the armoured vehicles will meet the requirements of a heavy infantry brigade, reads the NATO review report.
The Defence Ministry responded that NATO’s criticism directed towards the Slovak Armed Forces is nothing new for the ministry and that the long-term shortage of funding as well as neglecting the defence area as such are mainly behind the poor state of the Slovak Armed Forces.