IN SHORTS

Companies clear for NATO contracts

NOW that the Slovak Republic is a member of NATO, companies from the country can apply for defense contracts with the alliance, deputy director of the Defense Ministry's armament section, Pavol Dzurilla, told the news wire SITA.

Dzurilla said that NATO needs to modernise airports, construct buildings, and install information systems in its member countries.

However, firms that come from non-member countries are excluded from the bidding.

The Slovak Defence Ministry has therefore set up a database of companies that are eligible for defence contracts, noting in particular whether the company has security clearance and whether it is financially stable.

The Defense Ministry is the guarantor of reliability of these companies.

For the common funding of these projects, NATO has a Security Investment Program, which directly contributes to improving NATO defence capabilities and promotes inter-operability between the allies.

This capital investment program is resident in Brussels, where projects of individual member countries are approved and money for them is allocated.

At this point, Slovakia is not preparing any defence projects. It plans to do so in two to three years, said Dzurilla.

In the Czech Republic, which joined NATO in 1999, preparations for about 50 projects are underway.

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