Brussels/Bratislava, April 12 (TASR-correspondent) – Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) said that his visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday proves that the Slovak Government adheres to Euro-Atlantic values and principles, TASR learnt on the same day.
It was Pellegrini’s second foreign visit in office after visiting the Czech Republic on Wednesday (April 11). He met NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.
“I’ve informed the secretary-general about our plans to increase defence spending in line with the promises given to our allies, specifically to reach spending of 1.6 percent of GDP by 2020 and the 2-percent limit in 2024,” Pellegrini told a press briefing after meeting the NATO chief. “We want to invest, in particular, in modernising the most important equipment of our army, precisely in accordance with the requirements and military capabilities required by our allies,” he added.
The fact that Slovakia makes significant contributions to foreign missions was also welcomed by Stoltenberg, who praised the country’s commitment to increase its defence expenditures. According to him, this commitment was also underlined by the fact that Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (Smer-SD) also met him on Thursday. They also spoke about topics relating to the NATO summit in Brussels in July, namely how to strengthen and modernise NATO.
At the meeting with Stoltenberg, Pellegrini confirmed Slovakia’s commitment to continue to carry out NATO missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. They also spoke about a new mission that Slovak soldiers will join in Latvia. “I want to say that the Government will give a mandate for another mission, namely that it will send 152 soldiers to Latvia as of July 15 who will support the collective defence of NATO’s eastern border,” stated the Slovak prime minister.