Bratislava, January 27 (TASR) – The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is considering the possible deployment of reinforcements in Slovakia, Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Korcok (a Freedom and Solidarity/SaS nominee) confirmed following a session of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee on Thursday.
The minister stressed that no decision has been made yet.
British TV news channel Sky News reported on NATO’s considerations on Thursday, stating that 1,000 troops could be sent to Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia.
“This is not a requirement from Slovakia, it’s part of normal defence planning in response to the situation,” said the minister. NATO is set to address the issue in the coming days and weeks. “Such military structures are in the Baltics and Poland as a response to what happened in 2014. Since we thought that there would be no such escalation as in 2014, the presence of NATO structures did not build further,” he said.
At Thursday’s unofficial meeting of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Korcok informed the four MPs present about what is happening in Ukraine and its border, and the ongoing diplomatic talks. “My conclusion was that the situation is really tense, but solvable. However, there must definitely be steps to de-escalation, we must get off the table the real threat that a military action against Ukraine may be carried out here, this is unacceptable,” he said. The minister also called on the opposition to state clearly where it stands in a potential conflict.
The United Kingdom is also considering sending hundreds more troops to Eastern Europe, wanting to do so before a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Russia has amassed tens of thousands of its troops and weapons near the Ukrainian border. According to the British channel, the NATO reinforcement will take place only with the consent of all 30 member states of the Alliance – even if some of the countries concerned don’t deploy their own troops.
More than a month ago, Moscow asked the United States and NATO for comprehensive security guarantees, including that the Alliance would not expand to include Ukraine.
Russia has recently amassed around 100,000 of its troops near the border with Ukraine, which the West sees as possible preparations for an invasion. The United States and its allies have threatened Russia with harsh sanctions if it attacks Ukraine. Russia denies planning such an attack.