SLOVAKIA joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) 10 years ago and NATO membership has strengthened the security of the country, said Defence Minister Martin Glváč in an interview with the TASR newswire marking the occasion.
NATO membership has also paved the way for investments and enhanced the prosperity of Slovak society, he said.
“Our membership has also had a significant influence on the nature of our armed forces,” Glváč said as quoted by TASR. “We had to reduce the number of soldiers and build a professional army based on voluntary service.” Even though professional army is not cheaper, it is of higher quality and is able to fulfil its mission more efficiently, he added.
Apart from this, Slovakia’s membership in NATO has allowed our soldiers to acquire "a lot of invaluable experience from solving military as well as non-military crisis situations", according to Glváč.
Slovakia is an equal partner, who can influence matters within the grouping, as the decisions within NATO are made by means of consensus reached by all the member countries, he continued.
"NATO membership guarantees Slovakia assistance by allies if Slovakia has to face extreme scenarios involving armed conflict, in which the country would never be able to defend itself," asserted Glváč as quoted by TASR.
As for the major contribution of Slovakia toward the organisation, Glváč observed that the country is of help to NATO via its active engagement in various international operations.
He further observed that in order for the country to retain its standing within NATO, it needs to keep up with other allies in the form of modernisation. Also of utmost importance are joint training sessions with member countries.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.