Bratislava, March 9 (TASR) – Up to 2,100 soldiers from other countries of the North Atlantic Alliance are set to operate in Slovakia, as the Government at its session on Wednesday okayed the strengthening of NATO’s forward presence in Slovakia.
However, the proposal still needs to be approved by Parliament.
The unit in Slovakia will consist of up to 600 Czech, 200 Dutch, 100 Polish and Slovenian, 400 American and 700 German soldiers.
Enhanced forward presence is to be set up in Slovakia as of March 15. “The aim is to demonstrate cohesion and declare readiness to defend jointly against any threat. NATO-member states are also confirming via this activity that a possible attack on one member will be considered an attack on all,” said spokeswoman for the Slovak Defence Ministry Martina Koval Kakascikova.
The number of members of the armed forces is also related to the equipment that the soldiers will use in defending Slovakia and that will supplement selected insufficient capabilities of the Slovak Armed Forces; for example, the Patriot air defence system and the possible deployment of Sentinel radar technology.
“I believe that the current reality that Russia has created for the whole world by its aggression towards a sovereign state without any pretext will be sufficient reason to end views of ‘to all cardinal points’ because one of them has grossly violated international law and is attacking civilian targets – these are facts. Therefore, I sincerely hope that the proposal to strengthen the security of our territory and the population alongside the Allies will receive clear support across Parliament,” said Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLaNO).
[The opposition Smer-SD party has stated in the past that Slovakia should orient itself to all cardinal points. – ed. note]
Multinational battle groups within NATO’s enhanced forward presence (eFP) emerged as an Alliance deterrent in response to the annexation of Crimea. They are based in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Alliance member states agreed to set up multinational eFP battlegroups along NATO’s entire eastern flank, including Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia.