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Ukraine crisis prompts NATO military activity; Slovakia currently not participating
6 May 2014 Flash News
UNLIKE the Czech Republic and Poland, Slovakia has not yet offered its armed forces to NATO in connection with the conflict in Ukraine, the Sme daily reported on May 5.
The Defence Ministry told Sme that it has received no concrete request from NATO and that it is not even topical at the moment.
Slovakia has taken measures that stem from the obligations set out by the alliance “in the area of crisis management of NATO” and the government will strengthen the “military planning structures of the alliance”, the ministry told Sme. In addition, Slovakia’s armed forces underwent a comprehensive staff training aimed at testing the forces’ abilities in solving the possible humanitarian situation on Slovakia’s eastern border.
Slovakia should be more active towards NATO in this regard, according to Róbert Ondrejcsák, former state secretary of the Defence Ministry and currently an analyst with the CENAA think tank. Slovakia should offer infrastructure and air space, and should try to initiate a NATO military training on its territory, he told Sme.
Opposition Most-Híd MP František Šebej, the head of the foreign affairs committee in parliament, called Slovakia’s attitude “terribly irresponsible”. NATO did not request participation from the Netherlands or the Czech Republic either, he noted for Sme, adding that Slovakia does not realise it is threatened by Russia, too.
SDKÚ MP Martin Fedor, former defence minister, said Slovakia should offer NATO a permanent military base on its territory, Sme reported.
Another former defence minister, Ľubomír Galko of SaS, said that, regarding the matter, Slovakia is just making excuses. It should offer its airports and other facilities at NATO’s disposal, he told Sme.
Recently, 150 US paratroopers and 12 F16 airplanes, with another 450 US armed forces, have begun moving to the Baltic countries, Sme wrote. The Czech government offered 300 soldiers to NATO in mid-April, as well as anti-chemical troops and Gripen air-fighters.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
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