SLOVAKIA won't increase its defence budget in the next few years, despite the tension in neighbouring Ukraine, said Prime Minister Robert Fico on Slovak Radio's debate show on May 10.

Slovakia doesn't have enough resources at the moment to increase the percentage of GDP spent on defence, according to Fico. The current 1 percent of GDP may be increased somewhat, but no significant hike is realistic, he stressed.

"I'm interested in seeing a small professional military that will be adequately armed," said Fico as quoted by the TASR newswire, adding that the current tasks of the military are different from those 30 years ago.

"There's a major geopolitical dispute concerning Ukraine. We'll always promote the use of political tools and not of military and economic ones to resolve the crisis in Ukraine," Fico said.
"If the most severe sanctions [against Russia] are applied, Slovakia's economic growth next year won't reach 3 percent [of GDP] but a mere 1 percent."

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.