MAINTAINING the presence of Slovak soldiers in international missions and fulfilling international obligations are Slovakia’s main priorities as a NATO member, said Defence Minister Jaroslav Baška on March 29, on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of Slovakia’s accession to the alliance, reported the TASR newswire.
According to Baška, NATO membership has brought Slovakia greater security. It was necessary for Slovakia to join NATO, as such a small country can hardly defend itself against various outside influences on its own, he said.
In addition, its participation has helped in making the Slovak army professional, making it possible to lower the number of troops, give them better training and modernise technologies, and in this way to improve its quality, Baška said. He also noted that the greatest challenge for the Slovak army now is its presence among international forces in Afghanistan, where the need for interoperability is being tested.
General Staff Commander-in-Chief Ľubomír Bulík said that NATO membership has been of great benefit to Slovakia. The country has now reached a stage in which it is established in all NATO military headquarters and its professional soldiers have not fallen behind in their tasks in any missions in which Slovakia has taken part, TASR reported Bulík as saying.
6. Apr 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports